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  • Publication date: 2010
  • Date added: 15 June 2010




Rating: Kinkelder, shorter throughput times and less work in process in the production of buzz saws

Kinkelder, shorter throughput times and less work in process in the production of buzz saws

2010 - Kinkelder BV, in Zevenaar the Netherlands is a company specialized in producing buzz saws for the professional cutting industry. As material for a circular saw, steel sheet is used. From this sheet ‘roundels’ are cut which are then hardened and sharpened. The company exports approximately 95% of its production to countries all over the world. At the production site in Zevenaar 90 employees are employed who make about 250,000 saw blades annually.

Workplace innovation

In close collaboration with the staff of Kinkelder BV Zevenaar a shorter turnaround in the production of circular saws is achieved, as well as less work in progress. The work is organized in a smarter way now. This process took place in cooperation with TNO.

Reduction of cycle time, of work in progress and of changeover times as well as reduction of warehouse stock.

Together with TNO the company has chosen an integrated approach that focuses not only on technique. They choose to work with TNO since this institution also focuses on employees and asks for their contribution explicitly. At the start, all employees followed an introductory course. In two sessions the basics are explained. With simple exercises, the participants experienced the effects of the dosed issuing of orders, the changing of the production sequence, the optimizing of the order flow and the reduction of internal transport. Then each department formed teams including production associates, schedulers and management. By involving employees, the project gets more support and staff feel the need for a change. The workplace innovation becomes an idea of the people themselves.
The staff analyzed the operational process step by step and they looked for solutions for any problems. Accompanied by TNO the teams made order completion schedules, measured residence times, identified bottlenecks and started improvement actions. They also designed a new layout for the production floor. And external suppliers play a role in the project, they should also contribute to the reduction of overall lead.

As a first step, a number of relatively simple improvements were introduced, such as the providing of tools that make the operations more easily and more ergonomically. By far the most reduction in throughput time is achieved by dosing the input of the production orders. Originally orders were released to manufacturing weekly, resulting in sub optimization at the various working stations and stagnation in the flow. In the current situation, the production orders are dispensed at a daily basis. The mix of the daily production is optimized on the bottleneck machines and sub optimization at working stations is limited. Cooperation between planning and production is important.
The turnaround time for semi-finished product reduced from 15 to 10 days. The amount of work in progress is greatly reduced, the operation is stable  and clearer with less hectic and less regulatory burden.
Encouraged by the results achieved in the production of the intermediate product, the subsequent operations were addressed according to the same method. Again a team was formed and the improvement actions were started. For the foreseeable future, the Lean project will be expanded to other departments and rolled out across the company Kinkelder BV.
Below is a picture of the old situation (left) and the new situation (right). In the old situation, there was an accumulation of orders. 
More information about Kinkelder is available online via
For more information, see ‘Case Descriptions TNO manufacturing industry’; May 25, 2010