Case study - Drive Head Assembly Line Work Standardization



The client is currently the largest independent manufacturer of Rear Drive Axle Assemblies in India. The company has also expanded its footprints in North India with its plants at Pant Nagar and Jamshedpur. Over the past 30 years, it has successfully been manufacturing reliable & long-life Medium & Heavy-duty Drive axles, Front Steer axles, non-drive axles, Axles for Defence & Off-Highway applications and Drum & Disc Brakes



•Operational inefficiencies were significant challenge stemming from the absence of standardized processes. Without well-defined procedures, it was challenging to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and optimize the operations effectively. This inefficiency lead to resource wastage and increased operational costs.

•The cost of direct labour in the organization emerged as a significant challenge. This situation was characterized by a workforce that was not appropriately aligned with the actual needs of the business. It resulted in underutilized resources and excess labour costs in some areas, while other crucial functions faced understaffing and increased workloads. This misalignment hindered the organization’s efficiency, productivity, and overall cost-effectiveness.

•The inefficiencies in material handling stemmed from a fundamental flaw in the layout design. This deficiency hindered the smooth flow of materials, leading to delays and disruptions in the operations.


What We Did:
Standardized Work

The implementation process of standardized work involves several key steps to ensure the efficient and consistent execution of tasks within an organization. Initially, we begin with the identification of the specific task or process that requires standardization. Once the task is identified, the next step is to document the existing work procedures thoroughly. This documentation includes a step-by-step breakdown of the task, including work sequences, cycle times, quality requirements, and any safety considerations and framing the standardized work After providing a standardized framework for work, it helps to minimize errors, reduce waste, and optimize resource utilization. Additionally, standardized work simplifies training for new employees and ensures that all team members follow the same processes, which is essential for maintaining consistency in output.


Line Balancing based on reorganization of elemental work with Kaizen initiatives and rightsizing of manpower – Pinion cage Assembly

Our project was dedicated to achieving line balancing through a dual-pronged approach, involving the reorganization of elemental work and the combination of tasks, along with a Kaizen initiative aimed at significantly reducing Ram movement. The overarching goal was to optimize our manpower allocation for increased efficiency and productivity, and this was accomplished through a methodical process.

Our journey began with a comprehensive assessment of the existing production line. We meticulously examined each elemental task, scrutinized the current workforce distribution, and performed a detailed analysis of the workflow. This critical phase allowed us to pinpoint areas of imbalance and redundancy, offering a clear understanding of where improvements were needed.
With this comprehensive insight, we engaged a collaborative effort involving a multifaceted team that included process engineers, production managers, and supervisors. We conducted a thorough revaluation and redefinition of elemental tasks. We strategically combined certain tasks to attain a more balanced workload, thereby ensuring that each task was appropriately sized to match the available workforce capacity. In parallel, we initiated a Kaizen event focused on reducing Ram movement, a critical aspect of our production process. By changing the home position, we were able to significantly cut down the Ram’s travel distance, thereby optimizing the overall workflow and efficiency.

Additionally, we conducted comprehensive training programs to upskill and cross-train the workforce, ensuring that each team member was adept at handling the revised tasks efficiently.
Through this methodical, collaborative approach, we achieved line balancing through the reorganization of elemental work, task combination, and a Kaizen initiative that substantially reduced Ram movement. The result was a production line that operated with remarkable efficiency, reduced bottlenecks, and significantly improved overall throughput. This initiative not only enhanced productivity but also cultivated a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability, ultimately benefiting organization as a whole.


Line Balancing based on reorganization of elemental work with layout modification -Differential case assembly

The study commenced with a comprehensive analysis of the existing production line to achieving optimal line balancing through the reorganization of elemental work, with a particular focus on the gear heating station and the associated tasks related to the gear feeding conveyor. This meticulous assessment provided insights into areas of imbalance and inefficiency, which were causing delays and impacting the overall workflow.

To address these issues, we formed a collaborative team consisting of engineers, supervisors, and production managers. we embarked on the task of reorganizing elemental work. This involved the redistribution of elementary tasks and the optimization of task sequences to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce unnecessary movement within the production process

A significant part of our strategy was the modification of the layout near the gear heating station, specifically on the gear feeding conveyor. The goal was to reconfigure the layout in a way that minimized walk reduction and material handling, ultimately facilitating a more streamlined flow of gears and enhancing overall operational efficiency. we also conducted targeted training programs to ensure that the workforce was adequately trained and prepared to handle the revised tasks efficiently and effectively.

Through our systematic approach, we successfully achieved line balancing by reorganizing elemental work and implementing a layout modification near the gear heating station, particularly on the gear feeding conveyor. The outcome was a production line that operated with improved efficiency, reduced delays, and enhanced overall throughput. This initiative not only heightened productivity but also optimized the workflow, contributing to the success of our organization.


Sustained Change – Our Journey

Our project embarked on a comprehensive journey to bring about sustained change in line balancing. first step was an extensive analysis of our existing production processes. This phase involved meticulous scrutiny of elemental tasks, workforce allocation, and workflow patterns. By pinpointing areas that called for adjustments, we ensured that manpower was optimally utilized and work processes were restructured to enhance efficiency. Simultaneously, we delved into work standardization. Our team meticulously crafted detailed, standardized work instructions for every task. These instructions were designed to be clear and easily accessible to all employees, serving as a foundation for consistent and efficient work processes.

Subsequently, we incorporated the proposal of Kaizens into our project. In this phase, we identified specific areas where incremental improvements could be made.  Our team members played a crucial role in suggesting and implementing these Kaizens. The objective was to eliminate waste, reduce errors, and elevate the overall quality and efficiency of our processes. Throughout the project, we maintained a strong focus on employee involvement and training. Our workforce was actively encouraged to participate in the standardization and Kaizen processes, providing their invaluable insights and feedback.

By diligently adhering to this systematic and collaborative approach, we successfully achieved sustained change in line balancing. This involved the reorganization of elemental work, the right-sizing of manpower, work standardization, and the proposal of Kaizens. This initiative not only significantly improved productivity but also cultivated a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability, profoundly impacting our organization’s overall success.


Key results

• Total Manpower reduction is 21
• Output efficiency increased from 68 % to 95 %
• Eight process improvement kaizens were deployed.
• Implemented a data capturing system for real time loss tracking.