Anna Ryz at the production facility of NORMA Group in Poland.

An Expert of Change

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Sometimes I get asked how it is to be the only woman among 20 men in my department. My answer is: A person’s character is what matters, not their gender. I love working with people.

Of course, it’s sometimes a challenge. Especially when it is about change. And my job is about constant change.

I always have an open ear for my colleagues. I want to be like a good
friend to them.

I am a certified expert in Total Productive Maintenance. TPM, in short, is a system within Operational Global Excellence that basically belongs to Lean Management. It is meant to help reduce waste, often by factoring in material and time.

I regularly examine machines and production processes as part of this. I analyze and correct errors like recurring machine defects. But I am also training my colleagues to use TPM.

Impressions of the plant in Poland: 

I work in the Maintenance Department at the plant in Pilica, Poland. I take care of fault indications and machine failures. For this, I supply spare parts, schedule regular machine and tool maintenance with operators, keep an eye on water, electricity and gas consumption, take care of all the various items of production equipment and distribute safety shoes and clothing to employees.

Every day colleagues come by my office seeking help – and get it. I listen to people, try to be honest, and I like doing it this way. If there are problems, I always have an open ear for my colleagues. I always want to be like a good friend to them.

Improvements through Total Productive Maintenance

I joined NORMA Group in September 2009. For the first three months I operated machines in the plant that fitted plastic connectors. Back then Operational Global Excellence started. Step by step the NORMA Production System (NPS) developed.

A few years later, TPM was also introduced in the production in Pilica. I was asked by my manager and the plant manager if I wanted to become expert in this. I agreed right away. I knew from the beginning that this would be a good school for me.

NORMA Production System

The NORMA Production System (NPS) contains tools derived from Lean Manufacturing Management. The aim is a lean production.

NPS Tools

The tools help keep workplaces clear, analyze processes and resolve the underlying causes of problems, among other things.

Zero Defective Parts

The long-term goal is: zero defective parts, zero failures and zweo work accidents. To achieve this, NPS tools must be regularly taught in training sessions.

It’s sometimes hard to understand that change is a good thing. To make it different than it has always been. But I try to convince everyone. I show them concrete examples of something being achieved.

Such an example are our ovens. In the thermoforming department, employees use special tools to combine lines for fuel, cooling water and urea solutions into their final form. The lines are then heated in two large ovens to cure the plastic.

Driving Changes Every Day

However one of the two ovens was frequently failing. It was reducing productivity. After an analysis in a TPM workshop, it became clear that the same error was occurring again and agian. An improperly constructed mechanism at the oven’s exhaust duct was found to be the cause. After we made some adjustments, we had hardly any failures.

I drive such changes every day. That’s a great pleasure for me.

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