RECAP: Lean Leaders Meeting at Thermo Fisher, April 2018

The New England Lean Consortium held its April 2018 Lean Leaders Meeting at Thermo Fisher in Franklin, MA, on Tuesday, May 2nd. This was a Members Only meeting as Thermo Fisher, Franklin, MA, is not a member of the New England Lean Consortium. The NELC recognizes that not all the best practices in Lean and Operational Excellence reside in the member companies. Therefore, we visit non-member companies that are considered Centers of Excellence, or companies that are well down the road on their Lean Journey. Thermo Fisher, Franklin, MA was one of the Plant Tours for the AME Boston 2017 Conference. It was rated as “Advanced” by the Plant Tours Committee, of which, I was Co-Chair, and highly rated by the people who went on the plant tour.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Franklin is a 110,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and business facility that employs approximately 380 people. The facility produces equipment for the Environmental and Process Instruments products business and typically produces 2,800 instruments per quarter. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Franklin also includes a product service center, which serves as an organizational hub for Thermo Fisher Scientific field service engineers that provide product assistance to customers on site. 

 

A sample of the products manufactured on site include:  Portable Field Use Toxic Vapor Analyzer, Mercury Emission Monitoring Systems, Natural Gas and Petroleum Liquid flow Computers with unmatched Lightning Protection. Industries severed include Oil and Gas, Refining and Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Mining, and Steel.  

 

Some of their best practices are in the areas of Kaizens, Visual Control, Respect for People, Daily Recognition, Visual based 5S for Office System, Daily Management Boards, Visual Based KPIs, Advanced Leadership, Gemba Walk Process, Daily improvement Culture. 

 

 

5S is very important at Thermo Fisher. There are regularly schedule audits of all areas. The audit team consists of one person from the manufacturing area and one person from the office area. Our host, tour guide and presenter, was Jarrod Pierce, EPM Global PPI Lean Process Manager. Jarrod goes to great lengths to match the personalities of the Audit Team and came up with the word “accountabilibuddy” to describe what he is looking for in an audit team.

 

Jarrod involves all employees in the company in one or more daily huddles or Gemba walks. He has standardized all the Gemba Boards so that the information is easily read and understood. The Visual Management in this plant is outstanding. The PPIs are few, but easily understood and achievable. Progress on attaining the goals and objectives is prominently displayed on the Gemba Boards.

 

 

As a reward for allowing the NELC to tour the facility, we conducted a Plus/Delta session to conclude the meeting. The Pluses were all the things that the attendees saw and liked. The Deltas were the improving ideas that the attendees offered to the host company. As a token of appreciation, Jarrod was given a copy of one of a recently published book, “The New Collar Workforce” by Sarah Boisvert.

 

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