Lean PD Best Practices: Winterthur G&D
Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) is a leading developer with a 10% share in the market of 2-stroke low-speed Gas and Diesel engines used for propulsion power in merchant shipping. The WinGD research center in Wintertuhr, Switzerland, focuses on the development of leading technologies for applications in new generation low-speed engines. WinGD engineers products-to-order, while manufacturing is made through a worldwide network of licensees.
In 2011, WinGD introduced Lean in order to focus on products and solutions that are adding value to its customers. As WinGD started its Lean journey, external help was acquired to create customized training for top management and ensure the commitment of the top levels of the organization. The company also completed a lean assessment so as to create a referral “point zero” of its lean journey.
WinGD has learned through the years, and has recently presented a renewed WinGD Lean Framework where Strategy Development & Deployment, Tools & Techniques, Value Stream management, Communication, Culture & Competence Development and Innovation Development contribute to an effective project execution; also, they all interconnect and deeply rely on the people in the company that enables the entire process.
Following an initial training in 2011, WinGD performed several training sessions including a Lean Awareness training for 150 middle managers and employees to roll out lean psychology and encourage lean thinking. WinGD has invested many resources to train its employees on how to apply lean methods and techniques to their day-to-day work, starting with Lean Awareness, and has recently continued with Innovation training and workshops for all Product Development employees. WinGD believes that tools, knowledge, and behaviors are visible, but the strategy of deployment and attitudes are like the bottom of an iceberg, hidden to the eyes but very important; thus, commitment to Lean at all levels is encouraged.
WinGD held several Value Stream Mapping events where value stream maps of most of its delivery processes were created and potential improvements were identified and implemented thereafter. WinGD is also aware of the importance of visual management and has introduced visual management tools for top-management in R&D.
To maintain the success met at the start of its sustainability and efficiency journey, WinGD set objectives and initiated a change management program which encourages the commitment of employees, something crucial to success.
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