Kaizen and TPM – Regulars at HCCB’s factory premise
With the change in technology and consumer preferences, a production facility needs to continuously keep tweaking its way of work. But it is easier said than done, because change involves upgrading and upskilling the skills of the Factory workers.
At the heart of the longevity and productivity of any factory is the inherent belief of its operators and staff that processes are meant to be improved everyday – be it man or machine. For e.g. today, each of the more than 100 employees at HCCB Pune can do more than 5 different jobs, as and when needed!
At the core of this ability of the Pune Factory workers is Kaizen – small but sustained improvements in work processes, thereby re-skilling the entire workforce to become more productive, employable and efficient.
Nothing illustrates the change better than the story of Rahul Jamkar, a machine operator, at HCCB, Pune, who joined in 1996 after working in another manufacturing set-up for a couple of years. For nearly two decades, he only had a simple role at the plant – to ensure that the filler was cleaned on time. But then, he actively started participating in the maintenance of machines for which he was not even responsible. He was beginning to learn that any problem at the factory is a collective responsibility and not just an individual’s ordeal.
“It was tough to go about the change. But we got to know something new,” the 1992 electronics graduate from the Industrial Training Institute says.
His colleague Nitin Joshi still remembers the day he had joined the plant – July 1, 1996. His job was to ensure that the returnable glass bottles (RGB) had been placed properly as they got ready to be filled with beverage.
He began to learn how to manage the reverse osmosis set-up and the art of making syrup - something that his family of four, including his mother, wife and daughter are now proud of. With the new approach, “it has become easier to work and the confidence is higher,” says the HCCB veteran.
A shining example of their skill and commitment is the Water Treatment Plant (WTP), at HCCB, Pune, which for almost all factories is messy. The employees re-designed the WTP and brought about process improvements to a point, where today, not a drop of water can be found on the floor. In fact, until the time someone tells you that this portion of the factory is the WTP it is difficult to understand this.
"We wanted to change the way things were at the factory to a point where it became a best-in-class factory. That involved bringing about a change in culture and instilling a sense of ownership among the employees,” says Yogesh Bhavsar.