Independent audit highlights process excellence at Case IH manufacturing facilities
Silver status achieved only seven years after initial start of WCM programme / Successful reduction of waste, markedly increased efficiency / Focus on customers’ needs for top quality
The production site of Case IH and Steyr tractors in St. Valentin, Austria, has been awarded silver status for successfully implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), one of the highest global standards for the integrated management of manufacturing plants and processes. “It has only taken us seven years from the initial start of the WCM programme in St. Valentin to achieve silver status, and we are particularly proud that the St. Valentin plant is the first CNH Industrial manufacturing site for agricultural and construction equipment in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region to receive this silver award. St. Valentin has a long standing reputation for its manufacturing quality and efficient production, and now our excellent standards have been signed and sealed”, says Andreas Kampenhuber, Plant Manager at St. Valentin.
Highly dedicated team
Being one of 34 CNH Industrial manufacturing facilities in the EMEA region, the St. Valentin plant employs about 600 people producing tractors in the segment up to 270hp. In addition to its capacity as manufacturing facility, the site is the EMEA Commercial Headquarters for both Case IH and Steyr brands. “This award is a great honour for our staff as it demonstrates the excellence, competence and passion of our team in St. Valentin. All of us are dedicated to the products we are building, and we are committed to improving our processes on a daily basis. With this silver award, we now rank amongst the top eight CNH Industrial facilities worldwide”, highlights Kampenhuber.
Following an audit by independent, trained auditors on May 27-28, the St. Valentin plant earned the silver award for achieving production process excellence and for the extensive knowledge of WCM demonstrated by employees throughout the facility and especially on the shop floor. The WCM programme stands for a comprehensive approach to environmentally friendly and resource-efficient quality production. “WCM is a system based on continuous improvement, designed to eliminate waste and loss from the production process. This integrated model for managing all elements of an organisation focuses on improving the efficiency of a company’s technical and organisational components while maximising market competitiveness”, Kampenhuber says.
The widespread use of WCM principles at CNH Industrial plants allows the entire company, totalling some 69,000 employees across 190 countries, to share a common culture based on efficient processes and on a language universally recognised across all plants and countries in which CNH Industrial operates. Key objectives are the elimination of waste and loss by pursuing the zero optimum principle, which is zero injuries, zero defects, zero breakdowns, zero waste, reduced inventories, and suppliers’ punctual delivery of parts to plants, and subsequently to dealers and end users. 59 of CNH Industrial’s plants around the world are involved in World Class Manufacturing, and presently there are nine silver level and 18 bronze level plants.
“Reliable processes are an important element of WCM; we have improved all our assembly steps in order to do it right the first time. This ensures that all functionalities and optional features are achieved at optimum quality. At the same time, we have succeeded in shortening necessary walking distances for individual employees during the assembly of the tractors, thus reducing physical strain and time requirements alike”, explains Kampenhuber.