by Paul Boileau – Philips Lighting employs approximately 250, manufacturing light fixtures and housings in Langley. As part of its Lean Manufacturing implementation strategy, Philips introduced a lead-time reduction program for their customers, called Quick-Ship.
Start-to-finish orders have been cut to just 10 days, while work-in-progress is down to 48 hours, “a reduction of 70%” according to Health & Safety Co-ordinator Andrew McKenzie. An inherent benefit of the Quick Ship program is a reduction in piece part touch times and associated exposure to warehouse pedestrian incidents.
Plant Manager Vincent Gelineau describes the site’s vision for alignment between Lean and health & safety:
“Lean and safety are very much linked together, by empowering each employee to take ownership of Continuous Improvement in both productivity and health & safety. ”
An aspect of Lean within the scope of health & safety is the standardization of work instructions. Lines of text are converted from text form into pictures of procedures, including health & safety measures and best practices.
Adds Vincent: “employees are encouraged to step away from their everyday tasks to improve their work area”.
An example of the company’s success is the Quick & Easy Kaizen program, where each employee is tasked to make one improvement in their area every month. This led to many safety improvements: in one instance a plastic tube stopper was added from one side to the other on a mobile rack, so that housings on the rack don’t move during transportation.