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Lean Product Development Framework at Winterthur Gas & Diesel


Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) develops 2-stroke low-speed Gas and Diesel engines used for propulsion power in merchant shipping. This innovative company started implementing lean in its operations in 2011. Through its journey, the company established best practices in several aspects of lean product development. The lean framework was developed to help ensure the organization is aligned and lean is part of day-to-day work.

By reading further, you will learn how WinGD focuses on seven key areas of WinGD lean framework to guide its lean journey and continuously improve.

Winterthur Gas & DieselWinGD is a leading developer of 2-stroke low-speed Gas and Diesel engines used for propulsion power in merchant shipping. These engines are utilized for the propulsion of all types of deep-sea ships worldwide, such as tankers, bulk carriers, car carriers, general cargo ships and container ships.

The company was previously known as Sulzer Diesel, a Swiss industrial engineering, and manufacturing firm established in 1834 and later as Wärtsilä. WinGD is (since 2016) 100% part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.  The WinGD research center in Winterthur, 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.

WinGD started its lean product development journey in 2011 and has been continuously diffusing and updating its Lean Framework. The company understands that its success comes from its employees; that is the reason why WinGD EMPLOYEES are the core central element. Other six areas are distributed around the employees enabling a lean and efficient organization.

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) Lean Framework

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) Lean Framework


To ensure the right products are delivered at the suitable times, WinGD needs to understand who its customers are and which are their needs. Based on that, the company defines a sustainability and profitability target supported by strategy created and deployed in the organization to enable all employees to be aligned and have the same understanding of how WinGD will reach the set target.


To ensure that WinGD remains successful, it needs to meet all customer and stakeholder needs and even exceed them to differentiate its offers from competitors. To exceed customer expectations, an innovative WinGD needs to be created to continuously generate more value through its deliverables. Innovation development in WinGD means bringing new tools and methods to empower employees to innovate.


It is very important that WinGD works as efficiently as possible in all its value streams focusing on the End-to-End process to deliver new products to its customers. The organization focuses to eliminate everything that does not add value as far as customer needs are concerned, removing waste (Muda), reducing variation (Mura) in the process and adapt flow to work on the actual customer orders. By reducing variation, WinGD also reduces the risk of overburdening (Muri); by reducing the risk of overloading employees with too much work at certain points in time. Overburdening ultimately tends to generate mistakes, defects, and undesirable behavior.


In order to enable a lean culture, aligning its employees’ attitude & behaviors to WinGD’s vision, the company provides training to its employees enabling and motivating them to learn the necessary lean tools and techniques. These latter trainings aim to support efficient problem solving, waste reduction and quality improvements as well as alignment amongst product development teams towards continuous improvement.


To ensure WinGD delivers the right products in the right way, first time right, efficient communication needs to be enabled within the organization. Required information must be communicated to relevant stakeholders in all value streams so that WinGD can ensure that rework loops are minimized and everybody works for the same agreed objectives.



Having the right competences to be innovative and deliver added value to customers, is imperative to achieve a sustainable and profitable WinGD. The organization needs to continuously analyze what competences and skills are needed to enable a competitive advantage. Competences are grouped into those to be achieved internally for its employees and those that can be acquired externally.


The WinGD Lean framework was developed in-house and tailored to their specific needs. Do you think a generic framework might work for multiple organizations? Which are the vital building blocks that should be included in such lean framework? If you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to let us know at info@lean-analytics.org

Book 2017 - Mockup 01 (small-900px)

WinGD Best Practices are presented and described on more than 25 pages in the Lean Product Development Best Practices book. WinGD chapter is only one out of the 10 chapters presenting the real-world application of lean product development in multinational companies.

The hard copy of the book with the 10 cases is available for only 74.99 EUR.


WinGD Lean Product Development case is available digitally free of charge to our members.


Interested to become a member?


About the Authors

Lean Analytics Association

Doroteja has 3 years of experience collaborating in Lean Product Development projects with a background in mechanical engineering and ultra-precision technologies. She has worked with global organizations from various industrial sectors, either leading or supporting the development and introduction of bespoke lean innovation and new product development solutions.

Doroteja is interested in innovation capability development and over the past years, she has developed several training courses to support organizations achieving quick and efficient knowledge transfer through customized simulated sessions. Being a certified Service Design Thinking Facilitator she believes in “Doing, not speaking” and supporting developments of truly customer-centric products and services.

Doroteja is a co-author of the Lean Product Development Best Practices book and conference publications.


Lean Analytics Association

Dr. Flores has over 20 years of experience collaborating as internal or external consultant in different manufacturing and services organizations, leading several initiatives related to Lean Thinking, Business Process Improvement, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Change Management, Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and Human Centered Service Design; providing also training and coaching.

She is co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) and visiting scholar at the College of Management of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

She carried out her Post-doc at EPFL collaborating at the Lean Product and Process (LeanPPD) FP7 European Project from 2009 to 2013. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the Politecnico di Milano studying Open Innovation Models to enable Industry-University collaboration for innovation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Systems in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tec (ITESM) in 1996.

Myrna Flores
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