Developing Innovation Capability in a Mass Production Factory: The Role of TWI

Presented By:

Mark Dolsen

 Session Abstract:

Auto parts manufacturers in North America are participating in a global industry, where price competition is increasingly difficult.  To combat these pressures, an innovation strategy is prescribed, but a perceived conflict emerges between the high levels of standardization required for operational excellence and the necessary elements of creativity inherent in innovation.

TRQSS sees the TWI Job Programs as essential organizational tools to resolve this conflict.  Having “discovered” the TWI programs after having achieved world class quality levels in finished goods for several years, TRQSS is using TWI to significantly improve training activities, thoroughly understand standardized work, and enhance the role of the supervisor in continuous improvement activity.

In this session, Mark Dolsen will describe how TRQSS came to “discover” TWI, the steps the organization has taken so far (and lessons learned), ad the role TWI plays in developing a capability of innovation in a mass production auto parts factory.

Learning Objectives:

“In this session you will learn…”

  • Standardized work as an antecedent to Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Engagement of production employees through JI
  • Role of TWI in resolving the Standardization/Creativity conflict

About the Facilitator:

Mark Dolsen is President at TRQSS, Inc, a seatbelt manufacturer in Tecumseh, Ontario Canada that is part of the Tokai Rika Group, headquartered in Nagoya, Japan.  A native of Chatham, Ontario Mark’s career in auto parts manufacturing began in 1982 as a co-op engineering student at Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) in Flint, MI.

While working as a Manufacturing Engineer at GM of Canada Trim Plant, Mark was assigned to the business unit supplying seat covers for the vehicles to be produced at the GM/Suzuki joint venture called CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario.  This turned out to be the first step in a lifelong study of Japanese production methods.

In 1990, Mark joined Quality Safety Systems, Co (later renamed TRQSS), as a Section Leader of Production Engineering.  Through a series of progressive leadership roles in engineering and operations management, Mark has acquired a deep knowledge of the Toyota Production System as it is practiced at a Japanese North American auto parts manufacturer.  While doing academic research in 2013 he “discovered” TWI and immediately recognized the significance of the “Job” programs in the development of TPS.

Mark has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University (1987), a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Wayne State University (1990), and is currently working on a PhD.  Mark is a licensed Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario.