The company was awarded the "Most Comprehensive Lean Program" prize during the Operational Excellence Awards 2023, organized by Lean Institute Bulgaria
SOFIA, Bulgaria, May 26, 2023 - Sensata Technologies presented its Lean practice during the "Tomorrow redefined" conference, organized by Lean Institute Bulgaria, where the company was awarded the "Most Comprehensive Lean Program" prize. The award reflects Sensata's comprehensive, holistic approach to applying Lean in both the thinking and practices of the company's manufacturing operations and the management of its teams.
Driven by Lean's core objective of eliminating defects, reducing costs and improving quality, Sensata changed its operators' workflow more than 5 years ago by introducing innovative LED boards in place of wooden tables with printed drawings and instructions. The change reduces component changeover time in the product assembly process to just 2 seconds and gives 100% production safety for automotive sensors. With this move, the company work towards its environmental sustainability targets by reducing the use of tons of paper, eliminating waste, minimizing errors in non-standardized assembly of components thus saving significant effort for the team in Botevgrad, where nearly 3,500 employees currently work.
"On average, 30,000 sensors per day and more than 11 million per year pass through our innovative LED boards, so the most important things in our manufacturing company is to ensure quality and promptness of the process and that it brings minimal waste,“ says Ivanka Tyankova, Lean Manager at Sensata, who presented Sensata's experience with multiple Lean tool implementations during the Tomorrow Redefined conference.
Lean practices are not limited to manufacturing, they can also be applied in other areas where efficiency and process quality improvement are key. These include employee engagement and encouraging their ideas and contributions to the company. The overall improvement system is accompanied by two other extremely important processes - "Gemba " (translated as "go and see with your eyes", followed by "find the losers and fix them") and daily meetings to discuss operational performance (opex). "Lean is a way of thinking, so it can be applied in different work processes, but also in our lives and in the way we treat people and teams in general," adds Tyankova.
The palette of possibilities provided by these methods was unleashed by the originator of the Lean concept himself, Dr. James P. Womack, who visited Bulgaria for the first time as a participant in the "Tomorrow redefined" conference. The day before the event, Dr. Womack had the opportunity to tour Sensata's production center in Botevgrad, where he got a close look at the application of Lean methodology in the automotive sector.
The Sensata team in Bulgaria welcomed Dr. Womack to demonstrate how top-level management support and employee engagement are critical to the successful application of Lean thinking in a global company - through the implementation of a culture of continuous improvement and smart processes.