MTM – Work design productive and safe

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH: Facts and Figures instead of a Gut Feeling

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH manufactures stoves and ceramic hobs at its business site in Traunreut. One element in the quality assurance procedure involves visual inspections of the ovens in the stoves to discover any flaws in the enamel finish. This takes place at just one inspection point during all three shifts. The corporation needed to reduce the current cycle time of 13.5 seconds to no more than 12 seconds and therefore increase the number of items per hour. The goal was also to continue managing with just one checking point – i. e. one employee per shift. Klaus Einsiedler, Head of Enameling Surface Technology, provided the objective evidence that this is feasible by using the MTM process building block system for visual inspections. The analysis tool is ideally suited to assess inspection activities that depend on human assessment and decision skills.

“I wanted some objective evidence”

The demands placed on the inspection point are high. The employee has to examine a different stove every 13.5 seconds and has just seven seconds to complete the actual checking procedure. During this time, he or she needs to closely assess a particular number of potential flaw areas and make a decision: Is the unit OK, should it be rejected or is additional work required? If the latter is the case, the errors still need to be categorized and documented. The employee and even Klaus Einsiedler assumed that the planned cycle time of twelve seconds was feasible. But the section manager said, “an assumption is not enough for me to form the basis for extra work. I wanted some objective evidence”. As there are no experts on the subject of visual inspections at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in Traunreut, the company decided to seek help from outside – and discovered that Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH could provide assistance.

Planned cycle time backed up by an analysis
The project involved clarifying how much work was involved in the inspection process – i. e. the time required for an employee to check a particular area with a particular size – the so-called inspection area – according to particular criteria. The result was that the planned cycle time of twelve seconds, including the feed-in and removal procedures, is enough! It also meets the goal of managing with just one inspection point. “However, what we’ll do is relieve the employee by means of a colleague working in the vicinity every 20 minutes”, says the section manager. “The employee who isn’t standing at the inspection point can use some recovery time or time for personal needs or look after the reworking of faulty parts. This solution also provides greater variety for what is the exhausting work of visually inspecting units. A second checking point is due to be introduced to enable the company to remain flexible if the number of items rises significantly or if volumes in orders increase at short notice. “However, we’ll generally only use one”, says Einsiedler.

MTM application: design information inclusive
The verification of the planned cycle time was not the only result of the project. The MTM application also provides additional benefits. The MTM visual inspection analysis tool

  • makes the inspection procedures more transparent, plannable and reproducible,
  • includes issues related to the design of the inspection or testing point (posture, field of vision, lighting)
  • provides help with resolving work organization issues like the duration and frequency of inspection jobs, reducing tiredness or relaxing the eye muscles,
  • offers support for selecting tools and encourages targeted working instructions.

“We’ve particularly improved the ergonomics at the inspection point, we’ve optimized the lighting and attached noise or visual protection to reduce the effects from the surrounding area that could impair the inspection procedure”, says Einsiedler, describing the improvements. However, he believes the greatest benefit of the project is that it was possible to guarantee the assumed result with facts and figures – “this has ensured that the works managers and the works council are all on board too.”

If you have any further questions about the issue of visual inspections with MTM, please contact:
Klaus Einsiedler, Head of Enameling Surface Technology, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH Traunreut, email:
Ralf Jaehnke, Head of Department, Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH,

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