Del Monte: Lean & Six Sigma Implementation

Introduction of Lean Manufacturing & Six Sigma Methodologies, Project & Opportunities allocation. The Del monte company is one of the world leading companies in the production of fresh fruit, fruit juice and fruit cans based on mainly tropical fruits.

Del Monte has recognized the large potential of the introduction of Lean & Six Sigma methodologies and has designed together with ATS a roadmap for its worldwide implementation through all their plants. The primary objective for the Lean & Six Sigma methodology introduction is to create awareness and provide practical tools to be used to drive a continuous improvement process.

A major driver was to transfer the awareness and knowledge of the improvement tools into focused (prioritized) action plans to achieve major process improvements delivering major cost savings. The behavioral aspect of this change was covered throughout the training and awareness sessions.

As first step in the introduction of the Lean & Six Sigma methodologies, Del Monte has decided to train the auditing team and their local operational people. ATS has provided a world-class training followed by initial consultancy sessions in order to form the teams and identify the first improvement opportunities and define a number of projects.

The training was provided at their plantation in Thika (Kenya), where Del Monte also has one of their Canning and Juice production plants. The Dubai auditing team also came over in order to join this training.

A key part of the training was the different field sessions that covered the whole production process from Plantation & Harvesting to the Filling & Packaging and Canning lines.

Prior to the Lean & Six Sigma training & consultancy, an awareness session on Lean/Six Sigma was held with the complete management team (20 participants) in order to explain what it means and what is required from the management (and organization) to implement the continuous improvement processes and deliver the real benefits.

From this point onwards “continuous improvement team” was trained in the Lean & Six Sigma methodology and tools. By reaching different training milestones, all items handled were analyzed from a practical point of view through brainstorm sessions. The objective was to find “parallelisms” or “correlations” to Del Monte’s processes enabling the teams to allocate/prioritize opportunities and improvement projects.

Different improvement projects and improvement opportunities were identified and improvement projects were launched: Six Sigma projects related to “Pineapple size variability analysis”, “Improvement of the CIP (Clean in Place) processes”, “Ratio of Energy Consumption”, Machine Breakdown analysis and TPM introduction starting in the “Filling & Packaging” and the “Canning” lines, etc.

In the words of Del Monte: “ATS has opened our eyes to a complete new set of improvement tools and the enormous “motivational shot” given to our team will bring us closer to reach “World-Class Manufacturing Excellence”.


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