CUAUTLA, Mexico—One plant's focus on continuous improvement has paid off.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies' operation in Cuautla received the highest rapid plant assessment score among the firm's global operations. Its mark of 95 out of 100 was the highest in the history of the program, making it FST's top plant among its 58 global sites for 2018.
"Our rapid plant assessment process is a way to evaluate each site on how they are implementing lean methods and practices," said Dean Laughy, senior vice president of growth, lean and supply chain management at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies.
"Our businesses are motivated to improve their practices to better satisfy our customers' needs and in doing so, compete against each other for the honor of best plant. The audit process drives a constant focus on continuous improvement and business performance. Cuautla's score is remarkable, and we are proud of the employees who made this achievement possible."
The program's rapid plant assessment audit grew out of its Growtth program, which stands for get rid of waste through team harmony. The program began in 1992 and is based on the Toyota production system, which was established by Freudenberg-NOK to grow its business in the Americas.
As the program evolved, FST developed a process to measure its sites' continuous improvement activities. This is the rapid plant assessment process, or a series of audits and metrics that are measured in the operation to see how the firm is doing implementing lean principles into the business.