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cLEAN-INITIATIVE: clean & lean work!

A clean, well-structured workspace and efficient production are key success factors in modern companies. With the company-wide cLEAN campaign, ARGO-HYTOS is setting additional standards in terms of qualification and restructuring.

Comprehensive rules for a clean and structured workplace as well as for effective production processes apply at ARGO-HYTOS already today. The cLEAN initiative will further refine and strengthen these important topics through various communication measures such as flyers and videos. The campaign aims to further increase product quality and make work processes even more sustainable.

Cleanliness is essential

“Hydraulics come often into action in dirty environments but cleanliness is essential inside a machine. Fluid contamination is the most common cause of premature wear and machine downtime,” explains Anke Kraus, Head of Group Quality Management at ARGO-HYTOS. “This makes it all the more important to raise awareness when it comes to cleanliness in the workplace.“

Avoiding all kinds of contamination is of highest importance.
ARGO-HYTOS has three golden rules for this:

  • Avoid dirt: This applies to the selection of production equipment and methods as well as to the briefing for and selection of suppliers. Frequent causes of contamination are metal chips brought in with deliveries or abrasion from unsuitable packaging material, which must be avoided.
  • Remove contamination immediately: The longer contamination persists, the more the foreign matter spreads and the more difficult it is to recapture. Those who react quickly avoid high and time-consuming cleaning costs.
  • Protect components from contamination: There are a number of aspects to consider here, especially during storage and transport.

“Cleanliness for us is much more than just aesthetics,” affirms Anke Kraus. “Avoiding contamination of any kind is a very important pillar of our quality concept. Therefore, every new employee receives special training on this very complex topic, also as part of the cLEAN campaign.“

Order increases productivity

“Only the tools and materials that are really needed at the moment should be at the workspace,” explains Dr. Dirk Linden, Head of Group Technology & Production at ARGO-HYTOS. “The area should always be tidy, standardized and well-structured - you have a higher output if you search for less.“

The 5S principle applies to the workspace:

  • Sort & select: Separate the important from the unimportant - only what is currently needed should be in the workspace.
  • Set in order: Arrange important tools and production equipment in a clear manner and within reach for easy accessibility - and to notice immediately if something is missing.
  • Shine: Establish and maintain cleanliness - clean systematically and remove contamination immediately.
  • Standardize: Tidy up according to standardized principles and check conditions according to the set-out plan. This way even a substitute can find their way around immediately.
  • Sustain: Maintain the achieved conditions and improve them continuously - only the continuous implementation of the guidelines guarantees maximum quality.

Get rid of any baggage!

The LEAN principle is at least as important as adhering to the rules of cleanliness. “Production and intralogistics must get rid of everything that wastes time, manpower and production resources,” asserts José Kemerer, Head of Group Supply Chain at ARGO-HYTOS. “We produce what the customer wants, needs and pays for – nothing less than that but also not more.”

The following disruptive factors must be avoided:

  • Overproduction: Any part that is produced but not processed further immediately wastes space, money and other resources.
  • Waiting times: Delays in internal logistics and service operations cause involuntary pauses and lower productivity.
  • Excessive stock and buffer inventories: Parts that are produced and kept in stock “just in case” are an indication of inadequate planning and must be avoided.
  • Defects: The later a defect is detected, the higher the processing effort in production. Additionally, it can also lead to a loss of image if a defect is only noticed by the customer and not during production.
  • Superfluous movement: Every movement on the shopfloor that does not directly serve production is a waste of energy.
  • Unnecessary transport: Every route taken means additional costs. This makes careful planning in intralogistics all the more important.
  • Additional work and rework: Every feature or element and every production step that is not explicitly requested by the customer reduces efficiency and increases unit costs - also for the customer. Rework is also relevant, meaning the correction of errors made in previous process steps.

Challenging and fostering employees

“The most important success factor in our company are our employees,” conclude the three ARGO-HYTOS experts. “Putting their qualifications and talents to good use and promoting them in a targeted manner is one of the main objectives of our HR policy. Rules and specifications are essential, but the personal responsibility of each individual is even more important - in their personal workspace and beyond.“



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