Kübler Production System

Methods for success



The Kübler production system helps visualising goals, actively implemented methods and connections of the order-delivery process. It shows the main pillars that contribute to the continuous increase of the customer benefits and employee satisfaction.
The system is further developed step by step within the framework of the Kaizen integration (Kaizen = continuous improvement).



Structure of the Kübler production system

Kübler Produktionssystem


Manufacturing principles

  • We realise safe and simple manufacturing processes.
  • Wherever appropriate, we strive for one-piece-flow manufacturing.
  • Our operating means are easy AND safe to use and they suit for the planned production volumes.
  • We ensure the qualification of our employees.
  • We are trained to detect waste and we reduce it.
  • We master our manufacturing processes.
  • All our employees are continuously working on improvements.
  • Our thinking and actions are process-oriented.
  • The tasks, competence, powers and responsibilities are defined.
  • We master the cost-effective manufacture of variants.
  • Preventive maintenance is very important to us.
  • We continuously increase the productivity and therefore remain competitive, with secure jobs.


Logistic principles

  • Material is constantly available for the production.
  • We operate according to the FiFo principle (First in First out).
  • We optimise the stocks all along the supply chain, focussing on the stock turnover.
  • We involve suppliers in the order-delivery process, no matter whether they are located close to us or far away.
  • We compensate exchange risks with global procurement.
  • We consistently improve our delivery capacity.
  • The necessary stocks have a low value added share.
  • We systematically develop further our suppliers.
  • We maintain long-term partnerships.
  • We comply with the "6R" of logistics: the right quantity, the right objects, the right place, the right moment, the right quality, the right price.


Quality principles

  • The necessary information is always available where it is required.
  • Every employee is responsible for the quality of the results of his work.
  • Every employee has the responsibility and the authority to stop the production in case of quality problems.
  • Whoever detects a quality problem makes sure it is eliminated, either eliminating it on his own or seeking assistance.
  • We remedy defects by eliminating their cause and not their symptoms.
  • We prioritise avoiding defects rather than inspections, e. g. risk analysis (FMEA) and elimination of potential defects (Poka Yoke) rather than automated inspection and manual inspection.
  • We use measured data as the basis for corrective and improvement actions.
  • We increasingly carry out in-process product qualifications and durability tests.


Kübler Kaizen Culture

Kaizen means: "Continuous improvement in small steps".
The Kübler Kaizen Culture creates the framework for this improvement. It is our philosophy.
The goal is to have everybody work to improve continuously the systems, processes and products.

  • This philosophy was developed in Japan
  • Start of the Kübler Kaizen Culture: 2009
  • Kaizen structure:
    • 3K team
    • Kaizen responsible
    • Kaizen coordinator / implementer
    • Employees


Waste = eliminate the muda (waste class 1)

There are 8 types of waste - "8 wastes" is a method for eliminating waste.
Eliminate waste means increase the added value!
Goal: everybody is actively involved in increasing the competitiveness.

The 8 wastes:
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Transportation
  • Unnecessary work processes
  • Inventories of any kind
  • Unnecessary motions
  • Defects, rework
  • Unused creativity
  1. Identify + record the waste
  2. Look for the cause with the team (5W)
  3. Define actions from this and implement them
  4. Check the efficiency
  5. Measure and communicate the successes


Workplace organisation: the 5S method

5S-Methode "5S" is the method for optimising workplaces and areas.
Waste is eliminated already in advance, before it occurs!
Goal: restructuring and standardising workplaces through the 5 steps!

  • Seiri - Sorting, getting rid of all unnecessary things
    Rooms, cupboards, drawers, tables and shelves
  • Seiton - Cleaning, setting in order, marking
    Clean all items remaining, find and mark the optimal place
  • Seiso - Keeping the workplace clean
    Set up a cleaning plan / checklist. Clean the workplace and find deficiencies. Cleaning = checking, finding the cause of the dirt
  • Seiketsu - Standardising
    Define 5S standards for the area. Identification, labelling, marking, Kanban
  • Shitsuke - Self-discipline
    Continuous improvement of the standards. Support, action plans, audits


Identifying the causes: the 5W method

5W-Methode "5W" is a method for identifying causes. If only the symptoms are addressed, deviations and waste will reappear.
Goal: find the causes and initiate sustained improvement.

  • Why did the machine stop?
    ..., because the fuse blew due to overload!
  • Why was the machine overloaded?
    ..., because the bearing was not properly lubricated!
  • Why was the bearing not properly lubricated?
    ..., because the oil pump was not operating correctly!
  • Why was the oil pump not operating correctly?
    ..., because its shaft bearing was worn out!
  • Why was the shaft bearing worn out?
    ..., because dirt penetrated the system!

The team installed a filter and had the machine repaired!
Another question would also make sense. Why did the dirt appear?...


Problem solving using the PDCA approach

The PDCA approach helps solving problems.
Goal: solve challenges efficiently and effectively using PDCA.

  1. Record the symptom of the challenge
  2. Record the current situation
  3. Describe the ideal situation, then the target situation
  4. Find the obstacles, then the causes
  5. Set up a solution hypothesis
  6. Plan an experiment
  1. Record the expected result (figures - data - facts)
  2. Carry out the experiment


One piece flow - the OPF method

OPF is a manufacturing alternative that, if implemented properly, generates very little waste.
Goals: improve the quality, increase the productivity, the flexibility, the added value.

  • In a pure OPF, an operator carries out successively all the operations, e.g. to manufacture a product. There are therefore only few inventories and almost no waiting time.
  • Deviations can be detected and eliminated faster!
  • The operator learns from his experience and can improve the whole of the operations, processes / products continuously.
  • OPF makes work easier and more interesting for the operator.
OPF principles
  • Pick-up principle
  • Line balancing
  • Team work
  • One piece flow
Prerequisites for OPF
  • Standardisation
  • Set-up time reduction
  • Balanced processes
  • High qualification


The Kanban principle

Definition Kanban = Information or Card.
Kanban is a self-regulated control loop for material replenishment.
Goals: organisation of waste-free replenishment

  • Check the possibility to use Kanban for the parts (ABC/XYZ analysis)
  • Define the Kanban type, calculate and standardise the circuit
    (e. g. mark the storage places and the card, define Kanban rules)
  • Train and qualify the involved staff
Kanban types at Kübler
  • e-Kanban
  • i-Kanban
  • Container Kanban
  • Info card Kanban
Prerequisites for Kanban
  • Regular consumption
  • Standard parts (for special parts, a commitment to purchase by the customer makes sense)
  • Compliance with the rules and standards
  • Clear assignments (task, competences, powers and responsibilities)


Cause-and-effect-diagram (Ishikawa)

The effect, e. g. a machine stoppage, is mostly due to several causes (defects).
This finding led to the cause-and-effect diagram. (Japan / Karoru Ishikawa 1950).
It helps to find, visualise and prioritise the causes in case of complex interactions.
Goals: sustained problem solving and/or goal achievement.

  1. Define the key persons
  2. Record the effect — problem or goal
  3. Define the main fields for the analysis, e. g. man, machine, milieu = surrounding and environment,...
  4. Display the cause-and-effect diagram at the location of the action
  5. Record the known causes, main and secondary causes (use the 5W analysis)
  6. Weight — prioritise the main causes
  7. Find a solution, implement it and check its efficiency — Use the PDCA approach
  8. Success communication — celebrate the successes


Supermarket principle

Parts are stored in a buffer storage close to the downstream process. Only when parts are taken, a signal is sent to the upstream process. This is the pulse triggering the replenishing (pull principle). Regulation mostly occurs through Kanban. This principle is called the supermarket principle.



  • Link different areas
  • Increase the availability
  • Replenishing regulation with little waste
  • Self-regulation
  • FiFo principle – The parts stored first are used first


KVM – Kübler Visual Management

Kübler Visual Management Transparency and clarity about the goals and the current situation are deeply rooted in our improvement culture. With the KVM method, we carry this philosophy from the Management up to the operator working at the support or value adding process. One of the main orientations, with highest priority, is the continuous increase of the customer benefits and the constant improvement of the working environment of the employees.

KVM - Control loops in the logistic and in the production:

  1. Daily visualisation of the key figures and comparison with the targets
  2. At least twice a week, "island control" control loop
  3. At least once a week, "Gemba (factory floor) visit" control loop
  4. Monthly controlling by the Management


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