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JCB Heavy Products (Case Study)

JCB Heavy Products manufacture excavators between 7 and 50 tonne capacity and had seen significant increases in global sales since the introduction of their current range which provides, by their own admission, “the best excavator we have ever built”. To supply these new demands a new plant in PUNE, India was built in 2006 with the remainder being supplied from the UK manufacturing facility. Despite significant increases in production and productivity, such is the success of the new range that the original facility reached a capacity ceiling in the old land-locked plant in Uttoxeter. As a result, a new purpose built facility was planned for start-up in September 2008. The plant would not only have greater capacity but also presented the opportunity to fully embrace the JCB Production System – a Lean Manufacturing approach.

JCB identified the need for additional resource to ensure that the new Ł40m plant start-up could be a success as well as doing the ‘day job’. TML’s start-up specialists were asked to produce a fully resourced plan for JCB with the project team being made up a mix of JCB and TML personnel. The TML Team members had all been through new plant / products launches before and were all from Lean Manufacturing backgrounds in Manufacturing, Logistics, Programme Management and General Management.

Despite the extremely tight timing, the plant started up on time with macro and micro-management of the many facets of the project. TML provide the flexible resource and customer focussed service that their reputation has been built on, resulting in a satisfied customer and a world class manufactory.

John Gill, Managing Director at JCB Heavy Products explains the benefits of using TML:
“TML provided a flexible solution which was on schedule and above our expectations. The quality of the interim staff and their ability to provide people with just the right skill-set at just the right time was excellent. The service was professional and the team clearly understood the demands of our business. The difference between the old and new plants is outstanding, I’m proud to say we now have the best excavator plant in the world”.

This extensive programme provided JCB with a targeted interim solution. The many aspects of the project included strategic, tactical and operational support. The culture change was accelerated by TML’s input as was the practical application of the JCB Production System.

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