The case Daikin Applied Europe: constant improvement aiming at customer satisfaction
Since its founding, Daikin has focused on developing technology with the aim to help solving social and community problems while growing business. The group strives to meet expectations and maintain trust worldwide as a global company that supports human health and comfort while creating new value for air and the environment. That is why Daikin has a special attention to reducing human impact on the environments and does it developing green and highly efficient technologies, but also constantly reducing the environmental impact during production processes Group-wide.
Daikin Applied Europe, other than being Daikin’s Headquarter for the development and the manufacturing of Air Conditioning and Ventilation technologies for commercial application, is also a perfect example of how Daikin’s manufacturing plants around the world embrace the group’s culture. But there is more to that. Daikin Applied Europe perfectly blends the flexibility of the Italian manufacturing, and the excellence of the Japanese industry is known for.
The LEAN Manufacturing started Japan and is an approach the Daikin Group made his own, requiring all the manufacturing sites in the group to adapt to this philosophy.
It is a manufacturing management approach that aims at constantly minimizing waste and make the whole manufacturing process as efficient as possible. So, it is a philosophy aiming at bringing the company to the highest level of excellence, while building an efficient and effective organization that produces products and offers services constantly optimizing resources.
At Daikin Applied Europe, this philosophy – mixed with the flexibility of the Italian manufacturing – has led to a lean and winning approach, especially in a market where each product is tailor-made for the end customer.
The LEAN approach is a comprehensive approach, involving a wide number of aspects, from the design and the manufacturing processes to quality tests. This approach requires all company’s functions to be actively involved, so the manufacturing process can be less complex and waste in all forms can be avoided.
The aim is ensuring that the manufacturing process only includes activities producing value, organizing production lines in a way that will help operators using time and energy efficiently. With this approach industrial processes are not just designed to ensure absolute quality, though. Punctual delivery and minimized environmental impact from factories activities are also pursued.
Daikin Applied Europe as a case study
The LEAN and Kaizen approaches have been successfully used at Daikin Applied Europe for years now, making Daikin Applied Europe’s manufacturing plants a landmark in the HVAC sector.
Daikin Applied Europe’s Power Electronics Division in particular, is one of the great examples of Daikin’s approach.
The Power Electronics Division, based in Vicenza (Italy), is a world-class center where Daikin Inverter technology is both designed and manufactured. In this facility the entire industrial process has been designed to ensure that
- waste is avoided
- products are of the highest quality
- production lead time goals are perfectly met
From warehouse management, components supply to the production line, product test activities, packaging and product storage, the whole process is designed to be like clockwork.
The production process of inverters follows the “One Piece Flow” method, which aims at reducing the accumulation of semi-finished products between processes, generating a significant reduction in the duration of production cycles. The production line, then, is controlled by the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) which acquire and distribute information to optimize, regulate and monitor the production flow in real time.
All of that, makes the Power Electronics Division at Daikin Applied Europe a model which is often studied in trainings that are meant to share Daikin’s knowledge and experiences with a wider audience of professionals from different sectors.
That is the case of the events that will be taking place in June at Daikin Applied Europe, where the Power Electronics Division will be object of study during LEAN manufacturing trainings, as proof of the relevance of the Daikin model and the company’s willingness to be a benchmark.
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