European Car Safety Seat Manufacturer Makes A 300% Increase in Output

300% increase in output plus a reduction in reject components reaching the assembly line – savings on this one line achieved US$10K / mth.


Following poor assembly line output, component quality issues, escalating production costs and an increasing sales demand, there was an urgent need to increase output, reduce cost and improve supply chain performance.

The Results  (after 11 weeks of change)

From To
Workers/Hour/Seat 2.0 0.65
Avg Seats requiring mechanical repair 16 / day 2 (per week)
Scrap Seats per day 2 0
Avg number of component rejects found on the line 87 / day 3 / day

The Challenge

  • To persuade the manufacturer to buy into the improvement process, which would require a cultural, as well as assembly process change and a significant re-organisation of the assembly line.
  • To double assembly line output using the same number of workers. 
  • Reduce the cost of poor quality.
  • Improve supply chain performance from the factories component suppliers.

Project / Activity

In The Factory:

  • Benchmarking – where are we today, (our stake in the ground / datum), Process Map, Measure & Record to measure success.
  • Obtain the necessary commitment from the Company President.
  • Communicate the problem & goal to the workforce
  • Training key workers in basic problem-solving techniques 
  • Set up Cross-functional teams
  • Introduced Standard Operating Procedures / Flow Charts & Work Instructions & employed Kaizen
  • Produce Quality Plans
  • Redesign the assembly line to make it more ergonomically friendly. Produce sub-assemblies off-line & stored them in the assembly area rather than in the warehouse.
  • Standardise & Simplify – breakdown the process into bite sized equal time tasks ensuring the method incorporates process – check, process – check at each workstation (Poka Yoke).  
  • Rationalise subcontractors & train / assist factory’s purchasing team in supplier selection techniques.
  • Constantly observe, monitor and verify improvements – this had to become the Company Culture.

Sub-Contract Manufacturers:

  • Prioritised those suppliers requiring quality or capacity improvements.
  • Visit, Assess, Train and / or find alternative sources.
  • Monitor & Control incoming goods.