Product Line Engineering Process Improvement

Client: A global automotive component company

The company wanted to improve the efficiency of its engineering function and engaged DAI to implement lean approaches into its engineering activities, including design, testing, prototyping processes, and systems integration activities.

A multi-level team responsible for improving processes was trained in lean concepts. Extra focus was placed on understanding how to identify non value added activities and how to establish appropriate metrics. Mind maps of engineering value streams were created. Engineering value stream groups were organized and an engineering operations model was developed. Visual management techniques were established with engineering managers to review progress and plan next steps.

Process flows were documented and customer/supplier linkages were identified. Individual engineering processes were identified for improvement and small group work teams were established to address specific engineering process issues.

Product Engineering team alignment was improved. New product development activities were coordinated with planned manufacturing and process engineering improvements. The aligned prototype process resulted in a significant reduction in process steps, and included a closed loop financial compensation system. Overall understanding of issues that impact efficiency was increased , and the improved system was successfully implemented.