Carinafour and Fira Palvelut Oy have signed a letter of intent aiming at a long-term strategic partnership. According to the agreement, Carinafour will deliver development and operation services related to Fira Ketterä’s pipe renovations concept. The letter of intent stipulates the basic principles of the strategic cooperation, based on which the detailed content of the actual service agreement will be outlined. The agreement is a great opportunity for Carinafour to exploit its capabilities more extensively in the construction industry.
Ari Viitanen, Chairman of Carinafour’s Board of Directors, describes Fira Ketterä’s concept as a revolutionary way to make pipe renovations as it considers the needs of end customers and maximizes customer satisfaction. According to Viitanen, Fira’s value creation model which is based on a digital platform and a new type of ecosystem is exceptional in the industry.
More about Fira Ketterä can be found from Fira’s website.
Carinafour’s Chairman of the board Ari Viitanen held a workshop as part of the Business Camp Turku event on the 4th of April which discussed competitiveness of companies as a leadership issue. The identified key components of how competitiveness of companies can be enhanced through leadership were creation of value for the customers, the overall efficiency of the company and boosting the productivity of knowhow.
As one of the barriers of enhancing competitiveness, Viitanen mentions the inability of many companies to purchase value. As value-based business is still a relatively new concept in comparison to the more traditional transactional trading, often the business potential related to value-based buying is not completely understood. Also the inability to change and change resistant attitudes hinder the development of competitiveness in many industries. Furthermore, complex organisational structures that are heavily focused on the supply side, together with slow decision making, hamper the improvement of new value creating structures. However, Viitanen states that we should not generalise too much as for example in the Finnish maritime industry significant transformations are taking place, e.g. Meyer shipyard’s substantial capacity and productivity investments and new “digital strategies” of system suppliers, for instance autonomous shipping, to mention a few.
According to Viitanen, customer value consists of many different elements such as financial value, environmental value, and social value. Measuring value simplistically and only in monetary terms is not always easy, especially in cases in which the end customer is a consumer or a community. When creating new value, the customer and the customer’s problems are always in the centre of everything. One has to understand what the problems the customer is facing are and create solutions utilising own products and services. Co-operation based on trust is vital in customer value creation and it is important to develop means together with the customer that enable verification of value actualisation.
–Digital tools and new organisational practices enable improvement of transparency in customer value creation which again makes it possible to identify bottlenecks and continue development, explains Viitanen.
Moreover, Viitanen emphasises that it is not sufficient to understand only the surface issues of your customer’s business but to really have an in-depth understanding of the value streams of the whole ecosystem, capabilities and various interests.
When the number of goods produced increases at our customer’s site, it is necessary to quickly increase the number of employees to meet the newly changed production requirements. In such a case, also the one-piece flow of production needs to be altered, in order to keep the level of unfinished products in minimum.
The increased demand in human resources at Carinafour’s customer site in Piikkio Works resulted in 25 new employees joining Carinafour’s team. The recruitment and training were planned and executed together with Opteam, Edumax and Meyer Turku Shipbuilding School. For Carinafour, as the party operating manufacturing, it is of high importance to find the individuals looking for employment in the Varsinais-Suomi region, in order to make sure that the benefits of completed customer projects stay in the region.
Scalability of labour resources is achieved by having clearly defined standardised work processes, with which production capacity can be rapidly increased without jeopardising quality, together with a high-class training process which combined enable quality and velocity when scaling.
– Employee orientation plays an important part in getting the right work practices completed in the right order while doing everything with high quality. When going through the standardised work processes of production, it’s important to keep the learning time as short as possible while being clear about the process itself, Key Account Manager Mika Söderman explains.
The new employees started with a three-week training period which aimed to ensure that they were capable of meeting the technical and visual quality standards of the customer and also capable of operating as a part of the one-piece flow at the customer site.
– Also, training the ‘core team’ is crucial as they are the ones teaching the new employees the ropes. For this, we have developed a new orientation process, clarifies Söderman.
After the initial training period, each employee demonstrates their ability to match the requirements of the customer which again ensures quality of work in production.
– Already during training the working atmosphere was describes as extremely positive and we were able to keep up with the takt time of the one-piece flow which was also one of the main goals of the training, explicates Söderman.
Carinafour’s daily management system, C4 Floor Management, has been developed to respond to the requirements of our customers in the marine industry. C4 Floor Management is a part of the C4 Production System and in line with the principles of Kaizen; it is in continuous development in our company. Carinafour’s daily management system is an integral part of production scheduling, safety planning, communication and control. C4 Floor management also enables continuous development of production and manufacturing processes while ensuring fulltime controllability of production processes.
Furthermore, C4 Floor Management enables time efficient management of production processes, releasing the site management’s time to other develop activities and people management. By using C4 Floor Management, daily management is quick and of high quality. In the daily management meetings, the upcoming activities of production are discussed with the employees central to the process, and in accordance with Kaizen, problems identified in production are dealt with and plans for necessary follow-up made. With Carinafour’s daily management system, it can be estimated how agreed methods such as Kaizen and 5S are implemented in production. By combining C4 Floor Management with our C4 Signal System, we can also follow the demand and supply balance of resources and also process variations in production. C4 Floor management and C4 Signal System together improve productivity, one-piece-flow and quality of production and manufacturing in the marine industry.
C4 Floor Management is utilised in all of Carinafour’s own production and logistics processes. Carinafour’s daily management system was also piloted during the spring in one of our customer’s, Shipbuilding Completion’s, turnkey project. The management system was tailored together with Shipbuilding Completion to fit the specifics needs and requirements of their system suppliers. As a result of the successful piloting and positive customer feedback from Meyer Turku, C4 Floor Management system was also implemented on a larger scale in Shipbuilding Completion’s delivery of projects.
Shipbuilding Completion Oy specializes in interior turnkey projects for cruise ships and passenger ferries. Shipbuilding Completion Oy is a subsidiary of Meyer Turku Oy.
As a result of Piikkio Works cabin factory, Carinafour’s customer site, changing its assembly line to operate according to the principles of one-piece flow, the production logistics has also experienced a transformation. During the winter, the logistics have been rearranged as a one-piece flow in order to be synchronous with the operations of the assembly line, generating operating efficiencies to both of the processes.
With the newly organised one-piece flow logistics, the materials are gathered to picking train wagons and the quantities of the materials have been synchronised with the set takt time of the assembly line. All of the quantities and delivery times in each wagon are known which assists the logistics employees in knowing what the assembly line employees need at different times and subsequently reduce the need to go back and forth to collect materials. Changing the logistics process has also resulted in increasing the number of the picked materials; before, the materials that were directly taken to the assembly line with a forklift truck are now also loaded to the picking train wagons with the rest of the materials, consequently reducing the forklift truck traffic inside the assembly hall.
The one-piece flow logistics is supported by the C4 Signal System which allows pickers to know what is supposed to be collected and in what order while at the same time everyone around can also see clearly what is being collected, in what quantities, and where the materials are going. By analysing the C4 Signal System’s logistics data, it is possible to balance and measure the effectiveness of picking. While using the picking trains with the support of the C4 Signal System, we can ensure on a daily basis that the right materials and quantities are accessible at the assembly line.
─For example, with the newly organised logistics, the removing of material packaging has been transferred from the assembly line to be the task of the logistics, making it possible for the assembly line employees to focus on value-generating activities, explains Sami Haaja, the Head of Carinafour’s Production Development.
The process logistics of the Piikkio Works cabin factory and the C4 Signal System supporting it are closely connected to Carinafour’s floor management (C4 floor management), which ensures quality, continuous process improvement, flow of information and cleanliness at the customer site. The renewed logistics model also supports the implementation of the 5S principles in the assembly hall; for instance, the assembly lines remain tidier when no extra packaging material longer exists.
─The next step is for Piikkio Works to connect also their material suppliers to the same synchronized one-piece flow, adds Haaja.
With the help of increased transparency in material deliveries, the ability to react to rapid changes, for example in the event of design changes would increase. Subsequently, this would help the cabin factory and the suppliers when less material that is no longer needed would be made and delivered. Furthermore, with increased transparency, it would also be possible to see if the amount of materials to be delivered is correct in order to anticipate situations in which a risk of late delivery of the material exists. Thus, synchronizing also the material suppliers to the one-piece flow would improve the functioning of different parts of the marine industry ecosystem.
Piikkio Works Oy manufactures tailor-made modular cabins and turnkey deliveries of entire cabin areas for cruise and passenger ships. Carinafour has been delivering development and operating services to Piikkio Works since 2013.
Carinafour’s C4 Signal System made its world premiere in the Bahamas during Azamara Journey’s cabin modernisation project. Carinafour’s customer, I.S. Mäkinen was in charge of the cabin refurbishment project in which the C4 Signal system was utilised. The C4 Signal System is a digital tool used to improve processes in industrial settings.
– We had 42 tablet computers in use at the ship in which data was collected daily of each phase of the process. When each day came to an end, the data was sent to our office in Kaarina for analysis, explained Aleksi Heinonen, Program Manager at Carinafour.
The digitalisation service enables data from different processes to be collected in any part of the world, analysed either at the site by Carinafour’s experts or sent to Finland for a thorough analysis. Digitalisation services, such as C4 Signal System, modify existing contexts of work in industrial environments. For example, in the case of Azamara Journey’s cabin refurbishment project, raw data was sent in the evening from the Bahamas to Finland and because of the differences in the time zones, the ready-made analysis was waiting in the morning at the Bahamas, enabling fast process improvement.
I.S. Mäkinen is one of the leading companies specialising in cabin refurbishments for cruise ships and passenger ferries. I.S. Mäkinen’s cruise ship modernisation projects utilise the method of one-piece flow, ensuring risk management, quality and cost-effectiveness for their customers.
Last week eight of Carinafour’s core team members participated in Kaizen training in which the secrets of continuous process improvement were revealed. At Carinafour, process development is everyone’s business and thus takes place in all levels of the organisation.
─ The biggest process improvements, which require altering concepts, are carried out by the process development team together with the customer. Once the concepts have been reconfigured, chosen processes will be developed step-by-step so that eventually every worker involved in the process develops small parts of the process further, clarifies Sami Haaja, the Head of Production Development at Carinafour.
Production workers utilise the principles of Kaizen every day by identifying problems in the processes they are involved in and by making improvements related to reducing waste and non-value added in the processes. Process improvements can be introduced faster when already in the production line problems are identified and decisions made about the improvements in the parts of the processes that are fairly easy to execute. Kaizen also requires efficient background processes so that the people making continuous improvement are motivated in what they do and feel that the suggestions related to improvements they have pointed out are heard. At Carinafour, all of the identified problems and improvement suggestions are collected and discussed in daily management meetings.
Carinafour’s core team shares their Kaizen expertise to the other workers at the customers’ sites which can be detected, for example, as improved levels of cleanliness in the sites and as improvements in the quality of work, not to mention in the long run, in the company’s earnings resulting from increased productivity. By having scalable labour resources, we at Carinafour can ensure that the required expertise and know-how are always present in different stages of the production and manufacturing processes.
─ One of our principles at Carinafour is always to be better today than yesterday and this would not be possible without Kaizen, explains Haaja.
The chairman of Carinafour’s board Ari Viitanen discussed the future of the Finnish marine industry and Carinafour’s role in developing its ecosystem in TSE for the Future Forum at Turku School of Economics on the 20th of January. The core message delivered in the event was the importance of collaboration between different actors in the marine ecosystem to create value in the changing business environment where customers are no longer interested only in chasing the lowest cost but in creating value.
According to Viitanen, the Finnish marine industry could benefit from one-piece-flow processes used in other manufacturing industries in those parts of the manufacturing process in which repetition exists. Carinafour aims to develop more efficient and scalable processes together with its customers which lead to growth and increased profitability while improving flow efficiency in the customers’ sites.
─ We sit with our customers and think about their future and we are really committed to improving their productivity, Viitanen explains.
Improving productivity requires close collaboration with the customer. Improving productivity can be achieved through continuous improvement of processes and modifying of existing structures to fit the new and improved processes, all of which is done in close collaboration with the customer.