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What can be done to improve quality

Quality, Safety and Efficiency

When we think about manufacturing rubber sponge, we view it as balanced by three pillars: quality for our customers, safety for those who work with us, and efficiency for our company. But more than anything else, we must define precisely the quality we seek before efficiency can have any meaning. For example, my thoughts on manufacturing efficiency stem from a basis of industrial engineering (IE): What kind of work are fast employees doing? To which process should resources be injected? Are hedges being taken for safety risks? All of these become ways in which to improve quality.

What we gain from trying

I went through trial and error adjusting the personnel assigned to each process. For example, four workers were formerly working at a certain process. When I worked at this process myself, I thought that two people could do the same work and tried this plan. At first, the staff had some misgivings about a change in the system. But this process alone comprises about 80% of the production rate, and could be completed by 2 people. Then the other two people could do something else. But this idea was not without its problems. When four people were doing this job, the work was passed on to new people very well, but could not be passed on as thoroughly by only two people. In the end, this process employed 3 people for a time, and was resolved by creating this system that made passing work on to new employees easier. Some things can only be learned when you implement ways to increase efficiency and optimize processes.

Make the machinery work

In the actual making of raw rubber into rubber sponge, what directly approaches a material is the machinery. No person jumps up and down on the rubber to knead it, or kneads it by hand. This is all done by machines. But not all of those machines are automatic. There is a person intervening in this process. The question becomes: how much of the work can be done by machines? The person making the machines do the work is performing useful work. This may be an extreme way of thinking, but whether or not the person is working hard makes no difference to the rubber. All of the myriad trials and management policy models, in the eyes of the company called Miyahara Rubber, come down to these words:

Thoroughly investigate safety and efficiency to improve quality.

宮原ゴム工業株式会社 宮原良信

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