LEAN management at Primo Finland OY

Better delivery service and a more flexible production line – these are the results of a year-long LEAN project at Primo Power & Lighting in Finland.

Better delivery service and a more flexible production line – these are the results of a year-long LEAN project at Primo Power & Lighting in Finland. Primo Power & Lighting produces extruded plastic profiles for the international power and electronics business, and the product applications are almost countless.

There are hardly any electronics products in the world that do not somehow use extruded profiles - just to name a few examples, Primo delivers profiles to the lightning industry such as PC light covers & special led light covers with high diffusion, cable ducts, antenna covers and various profiles for the electrical power industry.

Acting as a distributor in a worldwide business, Primo is up against worldwide competition – and being at the top of the game requires effort into the smallest details. Improving operations will invariably reduce lead times and increase efficiency in production. At Primo in Finland, a year-long improvement project is now nearing completion.

Years of improvement give tangible results

“It’s taken some years,” says Hannu Inki, production manager at Primo Finland and responsible for the LEAN project in Primo Power & Lighting, “but now we can truly say that our customer service is world-class.”

In cooperation with customers, Primo Power & Lighting has worked at improving every single process all the way from the customer’s order to final distribution. The project has involved everyone from R&D, production, logistics, sales and the customer service.

“LEAN production requires that everybody has a clear role and a clear goal – in our case, always to give the best possible service to the customer,” Hannu Inki explains.

Among the improvements that have been made, closer cooperation with the customers is essential. “We get access to the ERP systems of our customers, so that we can follow their sales and react promptly when changes in production are needed,” Mr. Inki explains.

“In our production line, we’ve been constantly developing our output – it’s all about delivering the right product to the customer at the right time, but it’s also about making the work place better, cleaner and safer. We’ve done that by implementing the basic principles of LEAN, also known as 5S, in our production line and by constantly training our line operators.” 

By using a concept called TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), the LEAN team has managed to improve the dependability and utilisation of Primo’s manufacturing machines. And by implementing standardised packaging materials and by working with suppliers to improve the supply of raw materials, further production advantages are being won, such as better utilization of transport capacity and production flow.

Keep on improving

“It’s a lot of things to do all at once, but we’ve managed to increase value to our customers, to the workers and to our company,” Hannu Inki says. “And that’s great. But we are not finished. We never are. In our business, the rule is:  Keep improving - otherwise you’re out. So we’ll just carry on getting better at production and customer service, now and in the future.”

About Primo 

Headquartered in Copenhagen, the Danish group has sales and production activities at 11 locations in Europe and China. The group currently has 980 employees and a turnover of 205 million EUR (per 31.12.2022). The company was founded and owned by the Grunnet family and, since its beginning in 1959, has specialised in designing and producing customer-specific profile solutions in plastic.