Auto Industrial Machining named South African Kaizen champion

Auto Industrial Machining was named Kaizen Champion at The National Kaizen Seminar and Awards function hosted by the AIDC at the Dolphins Leap Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth in March 2017.

In the presence of manufacturers across sectors and international manufacturing experts, the Johannesburg based company, involved in the machining and assembly of chassis and drive train components to clients including OEMs, claimed the top award for their winning Kaizen, “change for the better”.

Natstan Wire was named the first runner-up and the second runner-up award was shared by Omnia Fertilizer and SJM Flex SA, for achieving significant improvement in manufacturing measured by Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the key component of which is machine downtime.

Tenneco Emission Control, Lumotech, Air Liquide, Continental ContiTech, Fry’s Metal, Auto Industrial Foundry, Auto Industrial Systems and Steel Best Manufacturing were amongst the entrants, showcasing its Kaizen activities that ranged from SMED, process variation, space utilisation, equipment modifications and material changes. A quantitative impact on the projects on showcase at the awards seminar totalled in excess of R9.4 million savings in operating costs.

Auto Industrial has over 300 CNC machines on the floor in their machining operations

Multiple JIPM global award winner Rakesh Atre, Vice President of Munjal Showa, and Lean Institute Africa’s Professor Norman Faull addressed 60 participants at the function and judged presentations made by each of the eleven companies, together with NMMU Industrial Engineering lecturer Mieshkah Ryneveld.

In his address Atre inspired automotive production and manufacturing managers with practical examples of how making factory machines lean can decimate costs and radically boost productivity.

“Manufacturing machines in-house was logical given that companies have daily design feedback from the workers that use those machines and the immediacy of repairs by in-house staff, which ensured repair response time was a fraction of imported machines,” he said.

Faull said that the TPM approach, which promotes enquiry to solve problems, invites us into a process of development and growth.

The Kaizen methodology typifies how leadership in South African business can improve conversations in the workplace, he said.

Kaizen is a business philosophy or system that is based on making positive changes on a regular basis, by asking questions, to improve productivity.

As a wholly owned agency of the Eastern Cape Development Centre, the AIDC introduced TPM into the South African Automotive Industry as one of a basket of services provided to assist Eastern Cape suppliers in its quest for competitiveness.

AIDC MD Hoosain Mahomed said the principles of lean manufacturing and TPM were applicable across all manufacturing sectors.

As a result the TPM Programme is now “one of the longest serving clusters.”

Mahomed said TPM had become an essential and highly effective methodology for South African manufacturers to deal with rising costs and he invites more suppliers to participate in the proven methodology to sustain and grow its competitiveness.

For more information on the TPM programme and the TPM Club SA contact Bianca Ehlers on TEL: 041 393 2100 or visit