Industry Forum

A case study in Supply Chain Improvements in the Power Generation sector.

This supply chain development activity focussed on delivery and productivity improvement and was achieved using techniques including effective teamwork, 5C / 5S, flexible production systems, visual management, standard operations and set up improvement (SMED).

“Because of commitments to other programmes at the time, we had to carefully consider whether to support this initiative, but chose to go ahead because of the reputation of Industry Forum. Now that we can see the great results, we are committed to rolling out the tools and techniques across the rest of the business.”


Richard Higginson – Company Spokesman

The Customer

The Host

Perkins is a leading supplier of diesel and gas engines in the 4-2000 kW (5-2600 hp) market. Perkins diesel engine solutions are supplied to more than 1,000 leading manufacturers in industrial, construction, agricultural, materials handling, marine and electrical power generation markets.

Participating Supplier

Maxpower manufactures a diverse range of tube manipulations and pipe assemblies, primarily for major automotive customers. The company employs 138 people and has an annual turnover of £5.5M.

The Customer’s need

The Host
Maxpower to improve Delivery Schedule Achievement to better than 95%, through Set Up reduction, and improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness and People Productivity.

The Supplier
Improve current throughput in the cell from 32 pipes/hour to 45 pipes/hour. To reduce the pipe bending cycle time from 80 seconds to less than 60 seconds

The IF Solution

Supply Chain Groups provided a structured framework approach bringing together customers and suppliers from different tiers in the Supply Chain. Developed by Industry Forum the 3 pronged approach enables individual businesses not only to see real gains in QCD, but also to improve the level of partnership between companies and to develop the improvement skills capability within each company.

Overview of Activity Structure

Description of skills to profitability link

Return on Stakeholders’ Investment

Industry Forum’s Seven Measures of QCD Competitiveness


Delivery Schedule Achievement
Before: 84.0% After: 97.1%
People Productivity
Before: 32 pipes per hour After: 41 pipes per hour
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (DB75 Pipe Bender)
Before: 52.0% After: 67.0%

Financial Benefits

The Productivity Improvement reduced the cost of overtime and other disruptions by over £11,000 per annum. The additional flexibility and capacity created has allowed the company to bid, successfully, for additional business.

Upskilling for Sustained Continuous Improvement

Following the conclusion of the Supply Chain activity, Maxpower nominated 9 internal candidates who are currently completing their NVQ Level 3 Business Improvement Techniques to sustain and spread the Lean Tools through the organisation.


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