In recent years, Saab is working successfully with lean. Proof of this can be seen from Saab's recent invitation to take part in Boeing's World Cup Kaizen.
Image: Gustaf Dohlmar and Raoul Nilsson
The 2011 World Cup Kaizen took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. More than one hundred participants, including suppliers, customers and Boeing employees, gathered there to learn more about improvement work. Gustaf Dohlmar and Raoul Nilsson from Saab were among them.
Mission: streamline processes
The participants were divided into different teams and given various tasks to work on. This year’s theme was “Moving to Flow” and provided a forum for the participants to leverage existing knowledge, develop new skills and create solutions to manufacturing issues.
Gustaf Dohlmar, who works as Production Manager at Aerostructures' composite workshop, and Raoul Nilsson, whose job is to develop production documentation for the 787 program, worked on the same task: to produce a more efficient jig frame to a landing gear door in order to decrease the flow time.
The Boeing trip has given Gustaf and Raoul many experiences to bring home with them.
"It was highly educational in many ways. We are working with lean here at Saab and have done so for a long time. During the Kaizen World Cup, I discovered many new ideas about how lean can be used to streamline our approach," says Raoul.
For Gustaf, the trip provided confirmation of how far Saab has come in its lean work.
"The trip to Boeing made me realise that we are doing a really good job and that we have come a long way in our lean work. Boeing was very interested in our contribution and really listened to what we had to say."
Mats Karlström is the Lean Manager at Aerostructures.
"It is great that we are being invited to “working together, learning together” events like this one, it shows that we have a good relationship with Boeing and that they are pleased with us and the work we are doing. We have made a considerable effort regarding lean since 2006 and this has led to us improving our stability, quality and our ability to adapt our production to higher work rates. We have also started to work with lean within our development operations with very positive results."
2011 Winnipeg World Cup Kaizen was arranged by Boeing Canada Operations Ltd. and the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Lean+ Enterprise Office and was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on October 17-21.