Calculating and designing with MTM

Perfect Processes at Henkel

Michel Arnold, Head of Production Preparation, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Heidelberg
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Henkel in Heidelberg started to introduce MTM at the beginning of 2011. After introducing MTM training for employees and the TiCon© software, a start was made on describing the processes and establishing process building blocks. You can discover more in the following article.

People around the globe rely on Henkel brands and technologies. The company, which was founded in 1876, has leading brands and technologies in its three business divisions: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics/Toiletries and Adhesive Technologies. Henkel has captured leading market positions in consumer and industrial business sectors with its well-known brands like Persil, Schwarzkopf or Loctite. Eighty percent of the approx. 48,000 employees work outside Germany. Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business division is the world’s market leader for adhesives, sealing compounds and surface technology for consumers or tradespeople and industrial applications. Henkel offers a variety of applications in order to meet the needs of these varying target groups. Henkel started to design and assess its processes with MTM at its Heidelberg business location at the beginning of 2011.

About 600 people work at Henkel’s Heidelberg business site – about 400 of them in the production department. The production preparation section is managed by three employees and forms part of Henkel’s industrial engineering department. Their tasks involve work station and work system design and all the activities linked to time management, including:

• Drawing up calculations and MTM building blocks
• Process descriptions and preparing working plans
• Developing standards
• Instructing employees using the described methods
• Holding training sessions in MTM.

Henkel at Heidelberg started to introduce MTM at the beginning of 2011. The initiator was branch manager, Rolf Knoerzer, who has brought knowledge about MTM to the site. Prior to this, the company had done its calculation work using the classic REFA time management system. The production preparation department was set up in October 2010 in order to introduce and spread MTM methods. After training employees and introducing the TiCon© software, a start was made on describing processes and drawing up process building blocks. They form the basis for the calculation work.

There are now about 650 building blocks for various application levels. The 100 most important items (80 percent of volumes) in the “Extrusion” pilot project will have been covered both from calculation and work design points of view this year. Managers also have their eye on logistics processes at the factory and they are due to be described in terms of building blocks in order to measure how many workers are needed in different departments.

Practical internal MTM training

All the employees in the production preparation department are MTM practitioners – and one of them is a trained instructor. The first 25 employees have received MTM training in the extrusion pilot area with 15 single screw extruders, where about 100 formulations covering almost 1000 semi and finished products are processed. The practical part of the training focused on the packaging processes at Henkel – e.g. handling cartons, making parts available and designing the work stations in order to save costs and focus on ergonomics.

The company is not only offering short training sessions, but also MTM-1 courses with a certificate at the end for IE plant engineers and operating managers, like shift managers and team leaders. This makes the MTM knowledge available across a wide spectrum, increases acceptance levels and helps to introduce the system.

The first positive results have already appeared with regard to manufacturing costs, but also in the work design, productivity and quality areas. Managers believed it was particularly important to show employees that MTM is not just a fashionable trend at Henkel and that they do not have to work more – just more intelligently – to achieve higher output levels. The ergonomics at the work stations has been improved, for example. MTM is part of the continuous improvement process as a lean management component in conjunction with TPM, SMED, 5S and SixSigma.

Pilot project successfully completed

Compounding materials based on synthetic rubber are converted into molded parts in the profile extrusion pilot area. This produces individual rolls, flat or round profiles and short trimmed parts, which are then packed into various containers. The process involves the following stages:

• Supplying the basic material (synthetic rubber, PVC in powder form, chalk, softening agents, oils and a wide variety of additives)
• Using the formulation to mix a pre-product (semi-finished) in the batch area
• Intermediate storage of the pre-products
• Producing the final product at the following departments (extrusion into strips, placed in cans, cartridges or containers)
• Packaging in units (consumer units) ready for dispatch including labeling and palleting in line with customer orders.

Well-known manufacturers of industrial goods are supplied with products from the general industry department. The building industry division provides various products for compounding, protection against moisture and adhesion. Henkel products are found in cars – in the form of windscreen glues, for example. Robots now provide windscreens with an adhesive bead on assembly lines and they are then glued into place.

Other Henkel products in cars include PVC-based underfloor protection, complete seam welds, noise insulation materials or corrosion protection at cable ducts and screw connections. There are also intelligent adhesives, so-called structural adhesives, which harden at higher temperatures and reinforce the structure of metal parts so that they guarantee higher levels of passenger safety by behaving differently in a crash situation (see photo 3).

Positive effects on quality and costs

The initiator and promoter of the introduction and use of MTM at the Heidelberg site, Rolf Knoerzer, Vice President Operations & Supply Chain AT Europe, has clear ideas about its use and benefits: “I’ve been familiar with MTM for a long time and know that we can use it to design and assess our processes in an excellent way. We don’t just stabilize the production process, but also positively affect quality and costs. Quality to satisfy our customers is our primary focus. It’s our aim to have no customer complaints, but still take costs into account,” Knoerzer says. “We’ll analyze, assess and design all the work stations with MTM in 2011 and 2012 – even the machine-powered processes, where manual work has to be done too. We’ve already seen a positive effect on costs. The standardized processes have also become more stable and we’ve been able to increase quality levels. After a successful pilot project here at the Heidelberg site, we’ll identify the results achieved through standardization and transfer them to other factories within my sphere of responsibility.”


The production preparation department at Henkel has successfully used MTM as a productivity management tool in the pilot project. General introduction is already in the planning stage and offers an excellent opportunity to increase productivity in the future. MTM used in conjunction with other methods is supporting lean management at Henkel in the long term.

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