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Suretank provide engineered solutions including offshore tanks and containers for the offshore oil and gas sector.

Offshore tank manufacturer getting more from LEAN

Offshore tank manufacturer getting more from LEAN

In my last blog post I introduced our 6S programme  - the bedrock of all of our Lean manufacturing techniques and practices here at Suretank Thailand where we  produce high quality DNV 2.7-1 certified specialised tanks and containers for the Offshore Oil & Gas industry

We strongly believe that the 6S programme is fundamental to the business' success and of the 6 pillars that make up the programme the last one 'Sustain' is of particular importance. But sustaining the 6S discipline is a challenge. It requires continuous commitment and improvement from everyone within the business.

As part of the programme we set ourselves a new target - “80 ton – 4 one – 8 CT” - to reduce cycle time and increase output whilst keeping quality at the highest level.

The application of lean tools and processes helped bring us close to this target. By cleaning up and organizing our workplace better, we have increased productivity, freed up space and reduced waste.

However, to progress further we realised that there were individual activities in each department preventing us from achieving our target. To align all departments and reinforce a team approach we decided to conduct a day-long workshop with all managers and foremen.

The idea of the workshop was to understand the value stream better, improve interface between departments and find a solution to develop a quasi-flow from material stock yard to FG shipment.

In the workshop we simulated the current state by means of a game. Each department was represented by a table and information and material flow was recorded on flipcharts. In the first round we captured the current state and exposed certain problems. In the second round we developed a desired future state and agreed on an action plan.  

It was extremely encouraging to see that all employees were engaged and contributed with valuable ideas Everyone now has a much better understanding of what is required of them in order to achieve the target.

And a recent presentation from our CEO, John Fitzgerald on the company's vision and future direction has given everyone confidence and motivation to excel.  

Special thanks must go to Khun Supachoti, who is responsible for managing the “80ton-4one-8CT” project and took charge of arranging and moderating the workshop.  

But “planning” is only the first step and the next step of “doing” is equally as important. Just in the sense of Deming’s circle: P – D – C – A.   And 6S has to become second nature to everyone. Only then we can expect success.

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