“Spark neglected burns the house” - Quick Response to a complicated problem

by Tata Cummins Ltd.
27 3012 4.9/5

Sandeep Sinha the chief Operating officer of Cummins Group in India exited from the steering committee meeting between Cummins and Tata Motors Ltd., and started to walk towards his car, expressions of deep thought and concerned were visible on his face. He knew blocks were a bottle neck in achieving the numbers being asked by TML. TML was constantly asking for reasons for the sudden drop of supply and wanted the supply to be up. Emission changeover was around the corner and TML wanted to maximize sales in this pre-buy period. Sandeep entered his room and Ashwath Ram, Vice President manufacturing followed Sandeep. “What happened Sandeep?” asked Ashwath, “It has been one long meeting with TML on production numbers. TML is losing market share and we can’t let that happen for long” Sandeep said. “Well you know about the issues with block line, even if we buy a new machine we are down to 50% for next 8 months, its quality versus quantity, a catch 22 scenario” said Ashwath. “I know that, and I won’t ask you to compromise on quality but do something“Said Sandeep, “let me see to it” with these words Ashwath left and called an urgent meeting with key stakeholders Ashish Bhatnagar, plant Manager of TCPL Jamshedpur plant Master Black belt Sushma Mani and Block BU Head Ashwani Kumar, and asked them to start a Six Sigma project with an immediate effect to be completed less than 6 month.A cross functional team was formed with Anjan Mahanty as project lead. In the conference call with Sandeep, Sandeep promised all the resources however, “Anjan, I want a methodical coverage of this problem, I would be calling you for regular updates and support you but I need a date to commit to TATA Motors and you won’t get a day more”. “Right Sandeep I am on work” Said Anjan. Anjan was worried as he was the person who had the hands-on experience on this machine, and was trying to solve the problem without any results since last few months. Ashwini approached to Anjanand patted his back and said, “You look worried”, Anjan Said, “You know the effort gone into this machine, I am not sure how we are going to get this fixed in this short time, Sushma who was overhearing this conversation pitched in “We will do it Six Sigma Way”.

TCPL Block Machining lines were operating in full capacity to meet customer demands which were all time high and customer was gaining market share piggybacking on acceptance of Cummins engines. However, it was observed that honing parameters on Cylinder block were going out of specification. Soon High Engine Oil Consumption started reporting from the field in our engines and on investigation it was realized that surface finish is the root cause of these failures.

Based on Cummins philosophy of “Customer’s First” production stopped from this machine resulting in drop of production to 50%.

The project started at break neck speed with a deep dive Fault Tree Analysis done and constant leadership reviews followed. This was being done with a commitment to TML to start with the machine within 6 months of time. This project was closed in 172 days with a savings of around $32000.00.

Lessons Learned

  • Systematic approach, problem analysis and data validation is very important for arriving at probable cause and get sustainable solutions.
  • Root Cause elimination is key to avoid recurrence of any event.
  • Participation from the cross functional team members are critical for success.
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24 November 2018 by Tusar Routray
Improvements which overcome customers pain is considered to be number 1 priority for long term sustainable business. Great inspirational story.
25 November 2018 by Pradeep Srivastava
This project is a good learning for all. It is a amalgamation of systematic approach & team work , having very practical implementation of various Six Sigma Tool. Great Achievement.
25 November 2018 by Arun Dubey
Excellent work towards our Prime customer by using Six sigma methodology
26 November 2018 by Deepak Gupta
Excellent work
26 November 2018 by Shiva Kumar
This is the current day practical challenges faced by all manufacturing plants crossed operations over a decade.
Systematic approach might take longer time to identify the root cause but I am confident that the results will definitely support us gain in long run.
Appreciate the team efforts in this Success!
26 November 2018 by Pankaj Saraswat
Excellent work and use of six sigma tool. This is one of the best project I have review.
26 November 2018 by Tripti Khalkho
Great work done by team. Perfect usage of Six Sigma Tools to solve the problem and achieve success in achieving the results.
26 November 2018 by Parmanand Damahe
Very good approach to solve the issue using six sigma tool
26 November 2018 by Sujit Bera
Excellent demonstration of dependability...
27 November 2018 by Ajit Sahu
Good cross functional team work, usage of problem solving tool, G8 achievement.
27 November 2018 by Vinod N Galgali
Cummins philosophy of “Customer’s First” - This project truly demonstrates the philosophy..! I am thoroughly convinced its the way of life in "CUMMINS"
27 November 2018 by Mithilesh Kumar
Feel proud, I was also part of this project. learnt about quality tools their uses to root cause analysis and elimination .
great job..
28 November 2018 by Mahesh Gharat
Great work done by team.
28 November 2018 by Suresh Manchukonda
Great Job. Excellent usage of Six Sigma Tools to support customer
29 November 2018 by Shishir Kumar Pandey
Excellent work . Through this project we learn a lot .
29 November 2018 by Divyasree Yellamelli
You have inspired all with your work. Your project has helped the company so much
29 November 2018 by Tikan Kumar Bhuyan
Good work done by Mr. Anjan.
The project was reliefed my pain area which was critical to Quality and made confident with our team to sustain in Business by making Quality of Product.
29 November 2018 by Kirti Deshpande
This project is a good learning for all. Excellent use of six sigma tools and structured approach.
29 November 2018 by Sanjit Chattopadhyay
Excellent work towards protecting customer with a faster recovery rate.
29 November 2018 by Manish Kumar
Great work done by Mr Anjan Mahanty, we leart a lot because of this project.
29 November 2018 by Balbir Singh
Awsome work done by the team. The mantra to excel in almost all industries is to fulfill customer commitment and provide superior service/product. I was a part of Tata Motors about 15 years back and still miss the work culture, integrity and customer commitment which is an integral part of the Tata management. Keep up the good work.
29 November 2018 by Balbir Singh
Congrats Anjan...Hope to see many such achievements in future.
29 November 2018 by Ashish Bhatnagar
It was a great commitment.dedication and collaboration by Anjan along with cross function team to ensure customers requirements were met without compromising quality and at the same time reducing costs. Great team work Anjan. Also will thank the associates who cooperated and contributed a lot in making this important intiative happen
29 November 2018 by Dinesh Barkhey
The achievement you have today has your story of climbing the highs. The story of hard work and efforts that bring you the desired goal. Keep this spirit forever in your life. Many Congratulations....
30 November 2018 by Samit Modak
Excellent project.
30 November 2018 by Rajneesh Kathuria
Excellent work and good example of team work. Systematic approach for problem solving has given long term sustainable results. Overall great achievement
30 November 2018 by K Guru Saran
Great job. Appreciate the team work from TCL &TML with support of proven power of Six Sigma tools. One again demonstrates Cummins's philosophy of 'Put customer first'