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Lean Training and Kaizen Events lead to Retained Sales and Cost Savings for Aker Solutions


Aker Solutions located in Mobile, Alabama, is the world’s largest umbilical manufacturer serving the offshore oil and gas industry. Aker Solutions is the market leader in subsea umbilicals, which are used to supply necessary controls and chemicals to subsea oil and gas wells, manifolds, and systems requiring remote control.  Aker Solutions engineers and constructs umbilicals that meet specific customer requirements. The systems can withstand high pressures and temperatures, ultra-deep waters, harsh environments and long distances.  In 2019, Aker Solutions celebrated the grand opening of the new Oscilay™ umbilical manufacturing building at the company’s facility in Mobile, Alabama. More than 12 years in the making, Aker Solutions’ proprietary Oscilay technology considerably speeds up the manufacturing process of dynamic power cables. 

The Challenge

The Aker Solutions US team had been given a mandate to achieve 30% in cost savings within the current operating year. It quickly became apparent that to reach the aggressive goal, all levels of the organization would need to understand and demonstrate an awareness of continuous improvement techniques. There would also need to be a team of employees skilled in rapid change techniques like Kaizen.
Over the years, Aker Solutions has enlisted the services of ATN on more than several occasions ranging from continuous improvement for administrative processes to root cause analysis and environmental health and safety support. Aker Solutions wanted to reactivate the lean program and also equip a core team of 20 staff members with the skills to sustain current levels of efficiencies and beyond.  
The Aker Solutions plant in Mobile was issued a cost reduction target from our corporate center in Norway. During the initiation of lean, we set specific goals to reduce costs by 30%.  Our lean initiatives resulted in savings of over 1 MUSD. 
— James Altieri , Subsea US HSSE Manager

MEP's Role

ATN began by providing a lean 101 training to introduce employees to the basic principles of lean manufacturing and to serve as a refresher for those who had prior training. The course offered the employees the opportunity to participate in a simulated factory to see first-hand the applications of lean concepts and their benefits. Next, since kaizen events are the vehicle to implementing lean tools and concepts, ATN provided kaizen facilitator training courses to teach participants the standard Kaizen process used for implementing lean tools, such as quick changeover, 5 S, cellular/layout, and TPM. Once completed, ATN performed five focused kaizen events on-site. 
Aker Solutions has utilized these lean techniques to continuously improve their processes, allowing them to become more efficient and reduce costs. Through continuous improvement and process standardization, new sales were also realized.
Created May 1, 2021, Updated June 7, 2024