Eighteen applications were received for IMexI, as against an initially estimated 40, of which 7 applicants eventually withdrew because of the lockdown. The executive committee was insistent on physical site assessments, which also became a constraint for various sites. 11 sites were finally assessed during December 2020 and January 2021. While one site each qualified in the Platinum Medallion Zone and the Gold Medallion Zone, five sites qualified in the Silver Medallion Zone and one site scored in the Certificate Zone. The other three, who didn’t make cut, have been offered a complimentary audit in the 2021 cycle, hoping that they would get time to address their COVID woes & bounce back.
The virtual prize ceremony
The prize ceremony was anchored by Jayanth Murthy, JMD, Kaizen Institute. Vinod Grover, Founder & MD, Kaizen Institute, South Asia, while welcoming the audience, very crisply presented his views on the disruptive megatrends and what it means to the manufacturing and business excellence.
The keynote was delivered by Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, who brought in the policymakers’ perspective and emphasised that sustainability will be the key lookout factor going forward. Vijay Kalra, Head, Mahindra Institute of Quality & Chairman — Central Safety Council for Group, spoke next, delving on his perspectives of change and what it means for the industry to adopt by way of a quality culture. Dr Ravichandran, Chief Mentor, UCAL Fuel Systems & Former CEO, Lucas TVS, emphasised the need for meaningful and relevant change in order to remain sustainably lean. Of the eight companies that qualified in the ‘zones’, each one of them showed the grit and resolve to ensure that the right message is propagated through the manufacturing organisation through this participation. That operational excellence is not compromise-able, irrespective of the upswings or downturns in business! True corona warriors!
The prize winners
The highest honour of the programme, the Platinum, went to the Wabco India unit in Chennai (now ZF). Be it the innovation and concurrent engineering, or other crucial routine activities, like daily work meetings, it has been practising it all. A good visual factory, with adequate representation of monitored critical metrics in dashboards, placed strategically in the plant, says it all. The digital roadmap showcased had a clear purpose, and it was being leveraged in manners that were brainstormed to achieve selective strategic advantage. M S Ravikumar, Integrated Supply Chain Leader, Wabco India and his team were online while accepting the prize.
The next highest prize, the Gold Medallion, went to ICML, Panchla unit of ITC Foods division. A dynamic leadership coupled with the on-site observations wrt PLC control, OEE calculations, capturing of important critical data manually, selective investment in IoT for packaging lines, constant effort to balance the fryer with the downstream packers, excellent HR policies and much more indicate that this highly motivated team would very soon become a benchmark site for others to emulate. With a constant focus on downstream supply chain inventories, it is on its way to lean. The prize was accepted by Partho Bhattacharjee, on behalf of his team.
Silver Medallion winners
ACG Pharmapack, Shirwal
This facility makes products that ensure we live healthily. The visual display of production metrics and the investment in newer state-of-the-art plants were truly commendable. The enthusiasm of their workforce, a young one at that, with special mention to the NPD team that represented their department well were all truly appreciable. The visual boards with updated metrics of performance was a feel-good factor, and the fact that the team was contemplating a few correctly identified tactical steps hinted that they were thinking in the right direction.
Recipients: Shiv Shankar (CEO) & Balasaheb Phalke (Chief Mfg Officer) & Team
Acceptance speech: Phalke
Microtek New Technologies, Parwanoo
A part of a rapidly expanding group of companies, the Microtek facility is headed by a visionary who pushes his people to dream big and supports them to the core to achieve the same. Note the speed of their response when they ideated, conceptualised and implemented a project to make remote sending thermometers – a national mission to provide these critical and now almost-everywhere used equipment, at very affordable rates. Import substitution & addressing the demand-supply gap in such a short time. The facility, though small, took herculean efforts to put up the unit in a few months which was largely compliant to all GMP.
Recipients: Vivek Talmale, Akash Somkuwar, Rajan Khurana
Acceptance Speech: Vivek Talmale (COO)
UPL - Unit 8, Jammu
The unit of an Agrochem company making products that ensure our crops and produce is secure. This unit impresses with sincerity, dedication and display of concrete steps taken by its team in various aspects of OEE improvisation, capacity utilisation, etc. Yet again, this plant hardly saw a shutdown, except when it was legislated into the closing for a few days. The constant focus on cost reduction at a unit level is well aimed at ensuring that more products get shifted to this unit from the global portfolio of the parent organisation.
Recipients: Ponnsamy, Sanjay Misra, Radha Raman, Aman Sharma, Atul Verma & Team
Acceptance Speech: Ponnsamy Pillai
Kalpataru Power Transmission, Raipur
Having made selective investments in equipment and having identified new business areas (railways), this facility has also started off on its plan to digitise critical parts of its processes. What strikes one is that most of the processes have been coupled, and the incoming rolled aluminium RM almost proceeds continually to galvanising. A huge positive, especially given the industry that it represents. There are opportunities for improvement; however, the KPTL Raipur team is committed to heading in the right direction.
Recipients: Kamal Kishor Jain (Director - India Operations), Harish Lalani, Ketan Nirmal & Team
Acceptance Speech: Ketan Nirmal
UPL Unit 1, Ankleshwar
It’s headed by a charismatic leader; for those who have seen this unit a few years ago, this presents a pleasant transformation into where concepts of TQM and Statistical Process Control are fast gaining pace. As one of the plants identified for challenging Deming prize, concepts wrt first stabilising and then becoming capable are already becoming target focus in many process areas. The KPIs on boards in the plants, the daily meetings at the plant and setting up of the Obeya rom, etc are all assurances that this plant is on its way to achieving what its corporate has given it as a mandate – the Deming!
Recipients: Vinod Singh, Amol Rade, Sanjay Dharajiya & Team
Acceptance Speech: Vinod Singh (Unit Head - UPL 1)
Certificate of Appreciation: UPL Ltd - Arysta Unit
Advisory panel members:
Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI
Vijay Kalra, Head, Mahindra Institute of Quality & Chairman - Central Safety Council for Group
Dr N Ravichandran, Director, India Japan Lighting; Chief Mentor, UCAL Fuel systems
Y Shashidhar, Advisor, Dubal Holdings LLC; Former Partner & MD, Frost & Sullivan
Pradeep Banerjee, former Executive Director, HUL, VP Supply Chain South Asia & Chairman Nepal Unilever.