AfriLean projects are practical interventions designed to create maximum involvement by the business at all levels and maximum visual impact to create a WOW factor. The results have been especially successful when working with teams in Africa and Eastern Europe.


Cadburys SMED Project

This 3 day workshop was run over a weekend (including Friday) so as to minimise the impact on production. The three goals set for the workshop were firstly to improve the communication between technicians and operators, secondly implement a housekeeping system and thirdly reduce the changeover times on the moulder and wrapper.

The first day was spent on the 5S training and implementation. Clutter was identified, tagged and either removed or given a specific storage space. Equipment was cleaned and machine faults were identified, tagged and repaired (where possible). Operators were taught the basics of ‘First Line’ maintenance so as to allow the fitters time to implement the line improvements. Visual management team boards were installed where the team displayed their pictures, process maps, tag sheets and performance data. At the end of the day technicians and operators were identifying and implementing improvement solutions as a team.

The second day was spent on learning how to practically implement the quick changeover theory using a mini factory.

Cadbury SMEDThe third day was used to practically apply the SMED learning in the factory. During the planning stage each element of the 30 minute changeover was discussed and the team realised that the moulder did not have to be shut down for product changeovers. They decided to do a ‘hot changeover’, which meant that the production line would not have to stop. The only time lost would be the 1 minute switching pouring chutes and checking the weight of the new product. Critical to the success of the plan was the pre work (preparation).

The target was achieved during the practical execution thus adding an additional 29 minutes of production time. An extra R37 900 of product per shift. The OEE was measured at 71% for that shift setting a new benchmark. Once the results were communicated via the team board other teams volunteered to participate in the same program. Paresh was appointed as the SMED champion responsible for training and managing the changeovers in the factory.

View SMED presentation


Nampak Tissue ‘Back to Basics’ project

The primary goal of the ‘B2B’ project was to motivate the operations staff to take over the ownership of their work areas and equipment through focused training and transfer of skills. The five stage project started with a project sensitisation talk held during the morning meetings. The objective was to give employees an overview of the project, to get their involvement through asking for improvement suggestions and to agree on time lines and a project champion.

Each team (a shift including artisans and operators) was taken away over a weekend for a teambuilding session where they agreed on roles, responsibilities, functional areas and performance measurements. They also learnt about team dynamics, trust, conflict management, how to run effective meetings and communication.

OPL sheetThe B2B practical sessions were run 1 day a week for 6 consecutive weeks. For the project the workplace was divided into 4 sections, one for each team (shift).

Day 1: the workplace was cleaned and clutter tagged and removed. Equipment was stripped, cleaned and all faults tagged and repaired if possible. A floor plan was designed and process flow documented. A continuous improvement action list was put on the team board for daily review.

Day 2: Job descriptions were designed by the team for each team member including areas of responsibility and performance measurements. The team also developed a training needs and skills matrix.

Day 3: A process map was developed for the plant. Teams learnt how to develop LDT’s (Learner Directed Training Modules). Each team member was responsible for developing a ‘One Point Lesson’ for the equipment they specialised in. Team members were required to network with similar specialists in other teams and present their module to the group the following week.

Day 4: Presentations where LDT’s were agreed to and included in the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). A skills matrix was developed and training plan designed.

Day 5: Planned and predictive maintenance schedules were designed per machine, agreed to and included in the SOP’s.

Day 6: Each team decided on a continuous improvement project and created a project plan with time lines and expected performance measurements (OEE).

A ‘Master Operator’ program was put in place for those team members who were certified as functionally competent on all equipment in the plant. Each area of competence earned the individual a badge to be worn on their sleeve. Master Operators are the team mentors and coaches identified by green outfits.

View Back 2 Basics presentation