When Simple Ideas Make a Big Difference

Jebsen & Jessen Packaging’s winning idea—an adjustable rack for assembly line boxes to improve ergonomics and productivity.
Small but Significant
Innovation is often associated with big ideas, advanced technology, and radical change. But the Japanese think differently. They believe it is kaizen (continuous improvement) that eventually leads to kakushin (innovation) and kaikaku (revolutionary change). While these Japanese terms may be unfamiliar to most, our core value of entrepreneurship, which feeds our hunger to progress and belief that there is always room for improvement, points us in the same direction. 
The challenge for the competition was based on the concept of karakuri kaizen, or continuous improvement, using mechanical machines instead of electrical or computer-controlled devices. Participants were tasked to devise simple, easilyimplemented automation to solve an existing issue without investing in more expensive systems—which aligns with our core value of prudence.
From Idea to Reality
For the challenge, our team comprising Manufacturing Engineer Lim Sai Keong and Senior Maintenance Technician Wan Zulfikar bin Wan Lateh, focused on improving the first step in the assembly process. They sought to improve ergonomics and enhance productivity for operators by building a rack for boxes that would allow operators to adjust its height and incline using a lever. 
“It has been a valuable learning process through trial and error. The most challenging moment was when we realised that our design, despite being theoretically correct, failed to take into consideration the various weight of the parts. We also struggled to solve an alignment issue and were really close to calling it quits, but we persevered with the support of our colleagues and the management team,” said Sai Keong.
The silver award is an encouragement and motivation for the team to keep pursuing continuous improvement at work.