Continuous Improvement Workshop Series 2018 was a great success

The event took place over 3 days at Nelson Mandela University’s Industrial Engineering Department on North Campus. Attendees came from all over South Africa, including Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape, to attend this year’s CIWS event. SYSPRO was also involved as a main sponsor.

We have received lots of positive feedback from the attendees who gained great value from the main points of discussion, which were structured about the Lean Management application of Continuous Improvement tools.

Participants were happy to find that the subject matter and practical exercises were not only applicable to their working environment, but also encouraged them to get involved in manufacturing for the future.

There were 4 main topics for discussion:

Risk Management and Continuous Improvement through FMEA

Dr. Karl van der Merwe, Senior Lecturer of Industrial Engineering at the university, opened the event with the first workshop topic. Using a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis tool, participants were taught about the most appropriate tools for addressing risk management and how to identify potential areas for failure in manufacturing and services processes.

Computer Aided Engineering, a One-Stop Shop for Product Realization

Dr. Sean Poole, Renewable Energy Short Course Coordinator at the university and business owner experienced in design and prototyping, covered the second topic of 3D printing. He exposed participants to concept of additive manufacturing and the benefits which 3D printing technology can offer individuals who wish to design, prototype and create products in the comfort of their own homes. He also covered how this extends to automotive manufacturing. Participants were able to design a small component using 3D printing software, and then print it using the university’s 3D printing lab.

Improving Supply Chain Management Through the Effective Use of IT Systems

David Hedderwick, Product Manager for AutoEDI and head of software development at Haldan Consulting, emphasized the importance of using technological developments in Supply Chain Management to make your processes more efficient. He highlighted Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, as well as applications (AutoEDI) and barcoding devices (Translution), and much more. SYSPRO sponsored this workshop, making the ERP software available to participants who were able to do practical exercises in planning, inventory and shipment.

Simulated Work Environment – Practical Kanban in the Lean Learning Factory

Jaco Snyders, Industrial Engineering lecturer at the university, covered the last topic on the final day. He discussed the advantages of pull production scheduling and why it is vital in a lean learning environment. Participants were exposed to fundamental principles, complex calculations and step-by-step implementation guide, in addition to a practical Kanban exercise in pull production scheduling.

 “The event was very insightful and inspiring. It opened the mind to always strive to make improvements in and around your organization. The lecturers were key and on point – they emphasized what the current industry standards are and how we need to adapt to what the future holds. They conveyed their messages in a meaningful and practical way with involvement from the entire group of delegates.” – Danie du Plessis, Business Developer at SYSPRO – Africa; who also attended the event this year.

This is a yearly event which will benefit anyone who is responsible for carrying out improvement initiatives or coaching teams to that are responsible for Continuous Improvement. They would typically be from a supervisory level upwards and would include operations, engineers, quality assurance and lecturing staff.

The next event is scheduled for May 2019. If you are interested in taking part, or in sponsoring a topic for discussion, please contact Karla Vermaak to find out more.

See some of the activities that took place over 3 days at Nelson Mandela University: