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Panorama Newsletter


Alessandro Del Ponte introduces the innovative program

Tecniplast has been introducing continuous improvement in the organization for three years now. Can you tell us what TPS & IPS are?

Tecniplast Production System (TPS) & IWT Production System (IPS) are based on the culture of the World Class Manufacturing System (WCM). The WCM is an innovative and continuous improvement program strongly oriented to the customer and corporate people, with the aim of attacking all kinds of waste and losses, thanks to the rigorous application of methods and standards through the involvement of every worker/work role.

Composed of ten technical pillars and ten managerial pillars, the WCM defines, through a detailed assessment, a path of improvement. This takes place in seven steps by initially acting on the model areas and expanding horizontally on all other areas after reaching the standard level. The WCM is based on the creation of value in relation to its costs.

Developed in America in the 1980s by Richard J. Schonberger and later by Professor Hajime Yamashina, it stems from a set of Lean manufacturing methodologies developed in Japan since the early 1900s. It arrived in 2005 in FCA's Italian plants, spreading around the world as a structured and effective operating model.

What are the objectives that the program has in a complex organization such as TP/IWT?

Starting from our vision and needs to build the TPS, following the WCM culture we are working hard to create our factory management model. We want to create a new type of organization that works as a group in problem analysis and solution search. This is the first major goal achieved together with safety culture, involvement of people and customer care.

The concept of “zero optimum” (zero stock-zero injuries-zero scraps) is no longer an abstract goal but a concrete result that we want to achieve on time on budget.

Could this be a strategic direction that only a few companies have chosen? Therefore, are TP/IWT innovators?

Certainly, TP and IWT are innovators and able to look beyond the immediate.

In 2017 the ownership decided to measure the opportunities for improvement of its production system with the Best In Class levels related to the organization. To do this, a BellaFactory audit (Ergo Foundation, a leader in the field of management consulting) was carried out and the process of change went into operation as a result of this assessment. Very few companies spontaneously choose to join and invest in such a structured and challenging program, with an innovative vision from top management, who believe in the new TPS.  A solid commitment from the company’s top management fosters organisation alignment towards our shared ultimate goal of ‘Operational Excellence’ while overcoming barriers. 

It has been three years since its introduction. Can you already see results in the application of program rules?

The factory is different than it was three years ago, we breathe new air: that of profound change, not dictated by some ephemeral fad, but by something true that you are able to see, which is a beautiful factory that people can live in concrete terms.

We are not only talking about KPIs or daily team meetings on issues and structured activities of problem solving in search of root causes, but we talk about transformed, clean and organized areas, where the operators themselves have helped to change them, making them beautiful and efficient with the ideas and daily commitment of all.

This is the most important result: the ability to create stable, excellent, and standardized processes managed by trained, involved and inspired people working together in the same direction.

I also make no secret of the impact of economic results on improving efficiency indicators and the savings projects we are having: all this is truly remarkable and spurs us more forcefully towards excellence, namely "DANTOTSU" (being the best, far ahead of others).

What do you think are the biggest benefits that a customer of TP/IWT products can have from the TPS & IPS?

For our organization, the Customer is the supreme good. Our commitment is to improve their satisfaction through what we do in everyday life, to take care of them both in the reactive and preventive phase (analysis on the critical issues present through problem solving methodologies eliminating the return of problems) and in the predictive phase (analysis to eliminate any possible future criticality).

One of the key principles of the transformation in TPS is "The Voice of the Customer in the Factory", which represents the knowledge of the needs of our customers directly in the factory. It may seem trivial, but it is thanks to the increase in sensitivity to customers by everyone that allows us to make a difference. Our customer today also becomes the downstream department, and this strengthens the principle even more.