One of Premier's most enterprising ideas is the iSuggest in-house employee suggestion scheme to recognise, acknowledge and award innovation. Here, we take you through a detailed and in-depth look at all the various facets of iSuggest, and how the bold move of a bottom-up approach leads to innovation on various levels.
The iSuggest in-house employee suggestion scheme cannot work without the support of two main groups — the employees who give their suggestions and the employees who examine them. Meet the people behind Premier’s in-house employee suggestion scheme. In addition to the Administration, Marketing and Implementation teams, there is also a Core Team, which overseas the programme, takes key decisions on important ideas, and organises regular training sessions to ensure smooth functioning. Seen here is an iSuggest training session in progress, conducted at the factory to understand whether suggestions can be deemed implementable or not.
One of the major problems faced by endurance vehicles on the field and on the production line was turbo leakage. After running continuously for 10 hours, the normal bolts broke and the turbo assembly had to be replaced. A simple suggestion of using Allen bolts instead of the normal ones not only eliminated the problem but also increased the quality of engine and engine life.
The drilling SPM machine used during the machining of cylinder blocks emits fine dust particles, which, when mixed with cutting oil, led to the contaminated oil being discarded. It was Mr. G. B. Chavan who suggested that we do something else. A hands-on machine operator in the auto machining line, he understands how a small difference can make a big impact.
Mr. Chavan suggested using a magnetic conveyor belt, wherein the dust particles can stick to the belt and the oil that is filtered can be free of impurities. This suggestion reduces the usage of fresh oil from three barrels to one. Also, due to the dust particles mixed in the oil, machine maintenance was taking up to two days. Now, with the use of this magnetic conveyor belt, this has been reduced to one day per month, giving the workers one more day of productive work, and also increasing the purity of the oil. This suggestion is currently being implemented in the iSuggest flow of things and is one of the winning suggestions.
In today’s high-waste world, Premier took an eco-friendly leap for its CNC Machines with environment-friendly packaging that is aligned with international packaging standards. Premier has also pioneered the use of alternative resources in packaging heavy machinery. In addition to these noteworthy actions, Mr. Sachin Awate, Assistant Manager – Supply Chain Management, Automotive Division gave the bright idea of reusing scrap material to create wooden boxes for the packaging of windshield glass, boxes that were earlier sourced from outside. His idea has helped the Automotive Division reduce the cost incurred on each box.
Some energy-conservation ideas given by Premier employees:
The AC unit of the CNC gear hobbing machine was equipped with a two-blower design with a 1,000 KW rating. Mr Shaikh suggested replacing it with a single-blower model with the same rating and performance, but at a lower cost.
The PHA 250 STD and EGB machines are gear cutting machines that utilise 24 core cables for connecting the display screen, known as the pendent, and the panel, which is used to input the program. This bulky arrangement reduced the aesthetics of the machine. Mr. Jamadar, a shop floor electrician, suggested that we use input and output connections in the pendent. Thus, by using MCP connector CM68 and CM69, we eliminated the use of the cables, reducing cost and the time taken for assembly and maintenance, as well as improving the aesthetics of the machine.
This suggestion is currently being implemented in the iSuggest flow of things. This is a winning suggestion and has helped Premier save a substantial amount each year.
In March, we asked more than 400 employees for innovative ways to save paper that would benefit the company and the environment.
It was also decided to organise a special ‘filing training’, which would explain to employees the different methods of filing, indexing and organising data. This would make the retrieval of certain documents easier, eliminating the need to take fresh prints. Premier has also employed the use of video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings, helping to conserve resources and minimise the use of paper.
In 2012, when a proposal was initiated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs putting forward the idea of sending a soft copy of the Company Annual Report to its shareholders instead of a hard copy, Premier Ltd. was one of the first companies to reach out to their shareholders to ask them to adopt this paperless plan of action.
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For Stator Ring Fabrication, bevelling by machining of sub-parts such as sectors and pads for welding purpose was initially outsourced by the Engineering Division. After Mr Raut's recommendation, new fixture was manufactured from the waste material for machining of sub-parts. Thus, the Engineering Division stopped outsourcing and increased production by 6 times.
With his technical knowledge and perseverance, Mr. Raut, Manager, Engineering Division managed to save the Company a significant amount of money annually, in addition to saving crucial production time.
He did the following remarkable things:
The Engineering Division, through its innovation, replaced the centre forging material with gas cut material from heavy thickness plates with same mechanical properties.
Another innovation was the replacement of Lincoln Electric with Ador Welding for the total welding consumables requirement.
Both innovations helped save a considerable amount every year.