Towards production excellence (focus on WCM Poland)

With the contributions of Lorenzo Paruta, Dominik Polak, Piotr Grzechnik, Dominik Wacowski, Mariusz Nowakowski, Giovanni Lazzerini, Paolo Zambelli, Wojciech Sobczyk.


Lorenzo Paruta
Country General Manager Brembo Poland

Ready to get WCM up and running

«I like to emphasize a big difference with the old Brembo Production System, where it was only the optimizer that actively "drove" the whole organization to find and implement solutions. With WCM it's another story. It's the entire plant team that "spurs" the organization to focus on boosting productivity, with a can-do approach. I'm very confident about the results this method will bring, and in part has already brought. During the Steering Committee Meetings with the Chiefs and Operations Managers, we look at how far it's been implemented in all the plants. Here in Poland, we decided to promote this tool by informing all our external collaborators during the Town Hall Meetings, and internally by various forms of communication.»


Dominik Polak
Dąbrowa Cast Iron Foundry Plant Manager

The role of the Plant Manager.

«It's fundamental for the success of WCM implementation. Plant leadership must make the difference, and has the basic task of putting together a team that can obtain the change identified by WCM. The Plant Manager is the person who also has to be able to encourage and guide the team when the first problems or obstacles emerge. The manager's role is to convey a clear message and recognize people's approach and commitment. Building up the skills and expertise that enable the bar to be raised in the subsequent system implementation phases. All this makes it possible to attain the results that the plant manager is responsible for.»


Piotr Grzechnik
Plant Production System Manager Dąbrowa Fonderia

The tasks needed to implement WCM.

«I don't feel that any special preparation was needed to introduce the new system at Dąbrowa Foundry. A number of the tools required already existed and were being used at our plant. Most of them just needed to be adapted so they could move away from the old Brembo Production System. Of course, the preparatory work began with the definition of the pillar leader. Training courses were arranged for each pillar, organized separately by the central production system team or the worldwide pillar leaders. All the pillar member took part in these courses, which had to be held online because of the significant number of Brembo plants.»


Dominik Wacowski
Plant Production System Manager Niepołomice

The importance of an action plan.

«The implementation of WCM involves a vital step - the drawing up of an action plan. This enables the identification and selection of a series of model areas where interventions can be made on the basis of the results of the Loss Prioritization Matrix, the Quality Matrix and the Safety Matrix. The first actions have already been applied here at Niepołomice and now, 6 months or so later, we're seeing the first results.» Training is vital too. At Niepołomice it was fairly simple for those who were already familiar with the previous Brembo Production System but, in the case of the Shopfloor Management and Professional Maintenance pillars, we had to begin the WCM training with the basic principles. It took longer, but all the managers are now fully trained and can lead the work of the pillars independently.»


Mariusz Nowakowski
Plant Production System Manager Częstochowa

An example of Professional Maintenance.

«By preparing the “Loss Prioritization Matrix”, we were able to single out the machine that was generating the highest fault-related costs at Częstochowa - the SW 54 (a 4-spindle CNC machine) - which automatically became our model area. In keeping with the WCM methodology, we began by restoring the basic conditions, organizing the thorough cleaning of the machine and identifying and eliminating various faults and sources of contamination that could have a negative impact on the process. The second step was a detailed analysis of the faults. We discovered that 90% of them were linked to the fact that the tools didn't adhere properly to the spindle. The main cause lay in the inefficiency of the coolant filtering system: it became contaminated during the cast iron processing phase, which made it impossible to obtain the right pressure level between the tool and the spindle. We decided to install an additional filtering unit called a hydrocyclone. Thanks to this unit, the coolant filtering process has been greatly improved and the problem resolved.»


Giovanni Lazzerini
Niepolomice Plant Manager

The twin faces of Shopfloor Management.

«This pillar can be applied in various ways depending on the business set-up. It's more linked to maintenance in the case of high capital intensity areas where the aim is to eliminate the sources of contamination and reduce cleaning and inspection times to boost machine efficiency and minimize faults. On the other hand, when there are a lot of manual operations it's more linked to the organization of the workplace, focusing on ergonomics and the minimum handling of materials to limit NVAA (non-value added activities) and therefore increase line productivity. This is clearly a method that has to draw in the operators, taking their suggestions as a starting point for identifying and limiting losses.»


Paolo Zambelli
Dąbrowa Disc Machining Plant Manager

The entire path of a WCM activity.

«At the Dąbrowa Disc Machining plant, we've defined certain model areas in relation to the Safety, Shopfloor Management and Professional Maintenance pillars. In these areas we're applying the appropriate WCM tools, including risk assessment and the checklist for cleaning and tidiness. We make all these activities visible with the aid of panels and monitors on the lines. Next comes project management, with these phases: - identification of improvement opportunities, with priority given to projects on the basis of their potential impact on the KPIs - creation of inter-departmental teams, with people from various sections working together on the projects - planning of the project sphere, the goals, time-scales, resources required and results expected (including the identification of the relevant KPIs for measuring the progress and success of the project) And then the final phase, project execution, calling for coordination, communication and progress monitoring to ensure completion within the time envisaged.


Wojciech Sobczyk
Member of the WCM Central Team, Global Logistics pillar leader

The importance of management and of people recognition.

«WCM can't be correctly implemented without the commitment of management; it's a crucial element. Managers have to act as promoters within their teams, especially at the beginning. WCM is based on the Japanese philosophy of lean production - a method we can apply in every area of the company's work; not as a parallel activity, but right at the heart of our daily tasks. Many people, however, don't see their single improvements as an approach to continuous improvement. A few little examples? Changing the position of the tools in the workstation means improving the workplace; tidying the desk or shelves means maintaining 5S standards; using pedestrian walkways and crossings means safety.».The importance of management and of people recognition.


The current system of ideas, Kaizen, was drawn up in a workshop with the participation of all the Polish plants, and is based on the best practices and solutions of each one. The main idea was to create an efficient system for all employees and departments, following the same rules and the same information flow in every Polish plant. It's important that everyone involved in the creation and implementation is appreciated, which is why the new system rewards people who implement the solutions put forward in the company. That's how teamwork is created and developed. A significant element of the whole system is the regular feedback to the employee who presented the idea. Of course, it requires monitoring and constant support from managers.»


MyB_May / August 2023