Beyond the Basics: Training Within Industry (TWI) and Lean Manufacturing in the Age of AI

Beyond the Basics: Training Within Industry (TWI) and Lean Manufacturing in the Age of AI

The manufacturing landscape is constantly evolving, presenting challenges such as the skills gap, rapid technological advancements, and the pressing need for ongoing enhancement. In today's competitive environment, prioritizing workforce development and continuous improvement is essential to maintaining a strategic advantage.

This is where Training Within Industry (TWI) comes in. Training Within Industry (TWI) has a long history of significantly enhancing workforce capabilities. TWI equips supervisors with structured methods to effectively train employees, foster positive relationships at work, and improve job processes in a systematic manner. Despite its origins in the 1950s, the core principles of TWI remain highly relevant and beneficial in today's manufacturing environments. They continue to offer significant advantages in terms of productivity and operational efficiency.

But how can manufacturers adapt TWI in today’s digital era? In this article, we'll cover the fundamentals of TWI, explain its importance, and provide insights on how you can ensure that your workforce is equipped to meet today’s challenges and drive future success by leveraging AI powered tools. 

What is Training Within Industry ? 

Training Within Industry (TWI), is a methodology integral to Lean Production aimed at standardizing work processes and training procedures. It comprises four key components designed to enhance organizational performance as well as the quality and productivity of its workforce. TWI's structured approach provides a framework for continuous improvement and efficient skill development across various levels of an organization. TWI's core principles remain relevant and impactful in today's manufacturing landscape. 

TWI Core components

Training Within Industry (TWI) encompasses four key elements. These elements aim to improve skills, ensure safety, and provide the stability needed to drive workplace efficiency. 

  1. Job Instruction (JI) This component focuses on training supervisors and experienced workers to effectively pass on their knowledge and skills to less experienced colleagues. It emphasizes the importance of breaking down tasks into manageable steps and clearly instructing each step to ensure consistent, high-quality task completion. 

Job Instruction Poster

A Job Instruction Poster can hereby serve as a visual aid, showing the critical steps needed to train employees consistently and efficiently. This tool is designed to equip supervisors with the necessary skills to train employees quickly and effectively, ensuring that tasks are performed correctly, safely, and conscientiously.

  1. Job Methods (JM): The goal of this component is to enhance productivity by analyzing and simplifying job processes. It teaches supervisors and workers how to identify and eliminate unnecessary steps, helping to streamline operations and minimize waste.

  1. Job Relations (JR): This component is about establishing and reinforcing interpersonal connections among employees. It provides supervisors with instruction on effective conflict management and teamwork, thereby fostering a collaborative and motivated workforce. Furthermore, this stage seeks to optimize the potential of employees by capitalizing on their distinctive qualities, expertise, and abilities.

  1. Job Safety (JS): Although introduced later in the program, this Job safety is crucial for maintaining a work environment. It emphasizes the implementation and upkeep of safety protocols to reduce risks and promote safety at work.

To quickly summarize, the strength of Training Within Industry (TWI) lies in its emphasis on building a shared knowledge base. This acquired knowledge is then used to create a continuous cycle of learning and improvement within the organization

Benefits of well implemented of TWI

  1. Standardized work processes & training methods: 

Inconsistent work practices can have a destructive effect on both quality and efficiency.  TWI addresses this issue directly by promoting the implementation of standardized work procedures.  These procedures guarantee consistent and proficient task execution, which in turn leads to fewer human errors and ultimately, improved product quality.

Additionally, standardized training methods guarantee all workers receive the same high-quality education. This eliminates errors caused by knowledge gaps and ensures every supervisor can effectively train their team. The result? A uniform level of knowledge across the organization.

  1. Reduced Training Time: 

TWI offers a structured approach for training, to effectively enable employees to acquire necessary skills. This results in a quicker and more efficient onboarding process, which is particularly critical when employing seasonal workers, ensuring they are prepared and productive in minimal time.

  1. Improved Workplace safety:

TWI leads to a safer workplace through better-trained employees. Combined with standardized work procedures, the risk of human error is significantly reduced. This translates to a safer work environment for everyone.

  1. Higher Adaptability:  

The manufacturing sector is undergoing constant transformation due to technological advances and evolving consumer demands. TWI equips supervisors with the analytical and process improvement expertise needed to swiftly adapt and maintain a competitive edge. Furthermore, the streamlined training approach of TWI enables workers to quickly learn and master new essential skills, enhancing overall productivity and responsiveness.

  1. Improved Relationships / Employee Engagement: 

High employee turnover is disruptive and expensive. TWI fosters a more positive work environment by promoting stronger communication and leadership skills among supervisors. This leads to enhanced collaboration, higher employee engagement, and potentially reduced turnover rates.

Additionally, TWI promotes visibility of employee competencies. This creates better working relationships as managers gain a clearer picture of individual skill sets. Everyone performs tasks they're well-equipped for, leading to increased job satisfaction.

  1. Reduced Cost: 

TWI offers significant cost savings by improving efficiency, reducing waste, and minimizing errors. Onboarding and training costs are also significantly reduced due to the streamlined approach.

How can AI enable better TWI and Lean Manufacturing?

Today's manufacturers are confronted with a complex landscape, characterized by a shortage of workers, evolving customer demands, and rapidly changing product lines. In order to meet the demands of a constantly evolving market, it is essential to have a workforce that is able to adapt quickly and agile production processes. The solution is the digitization of all aspects of factory management , including Training Within Industry (TWI). While digitization has been a game-changer, manufacturers now require the added power of AI-based solutions. Faced with staffing limitations and time constraints, proactive solutions that seamlessly integrate into daily factory operations are needed.

AI-powered digital worker platforms, such as Stryza, can be instrumental in modernizing and implementing TWI in a digital format. Stryza addresses the talent crisis by leveraging cutting-edge technologies. Our platform employs graph databases, generative AI, and process mining to create context-sensitive workflows and personalized training programs. This empowers frontline workers to become experts, thereby boosting productivity and efficiency.

But how does AI boost TWI in a digital manufacturing environment? Let's explore how Stryza utilizes TWI principles in the next section...

  1. Job Instructions (JI): The Job Instruction (JI) component of TWI is crucial for transferring knowledge from supervisors and experienced workers to new hires. Digital worker platforms like Stryza can significantly enhance this process by making knowledge transfer seamless and engaging.

With Stryza, you can create clear, step-by-step work instructions that employ a combination of images, videos and interactive elements to break down complex tasks into easy-to-understand instructions. These work instructions can even be generated by our integrative AI, allowing you to create professional work instructions in no time. Sometimes it can be difficult for industry experts to translate their years of knowledge into easy-to-understand steps. Stryza's integrated AI tools help generate easy-to-understand and effective learning instructions, resulting in significant time savings and better learning materials and outcomes. 

These instructions are easily accessible to employees anytime, anywhere from their mobile devices or workstations. This eliminates the need for paper manuals and ensures everyone has access to the latest information. In addition, steps can be edited any time if needed, ensuring flexibility to constantly changing demands.

Creating Job Instructions with Stryza

  1. Job Methods (JM): The Job Methods (JM) component of TWI teaches employees to analyze and evaluate the efficiency of work routines. The goal is to detect possible improvements faster and more effectively. Stryza simplifies this process by providing a streamlined representation of work instructions.

Simplified Visualization: The digital interface allows employees to easily visualize and dissect each step of their tasks, making it easier to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.

Faster Detection of Improvements: By engaging intensively with the production process through our platform, employees can spot opportunities for enhancements more rapidly.

Standardization of Processes: Our platform facilitates the standardization of work processes by ensuring that all employees follow the same optimized instructions, leading to more consistent and predictable outcomes.

Data collection of processes: In the age of data, capturing valuable insights from your processes is crucial. AI-powered employee platforms like Stryza are becoming essential tools for this task. Stryza goes beyond simply collecting process data. Its intelligent system analyzes this data to reveal hidden potential. This allows you to identify areas for improvement in production while also uncovering opportunities to optimize your training programs.

Picture A: Managing Shifts and Workers within Stryza 

Picture B: The 'logic map' feature within the Stryza application provides a clear overview of the current production process, making it easier to identify areas for improvement.

  1. Job-Relations (JR): 

Job Relations in TWI focuses on building positive employee relationships, resolving conflicts, and fostering a cooperative work environment. A digital worker platform like Stryza enhances communication among workers, shifts, and departments, providing easy access to well-documented processes, tasks, and best practices. This fosters a collaborative and transparent environment. The platform's ability to categorize employees into groups simplifies management and task delegation, ensuring clear responsibilities aligned with each worker's specific knowledge and skills.

The Kanban Board view provides a structured overview of tasks and their statuses, which streamlines communication among different shifts, supervisors, and employees. This setup ensures clarity and efficiency in managing workflows across the team.

The feedback form facilitates prompt reporting of incidents and enables the collection of data regarding areas of the production process that require improvement (Job Methods). This tool enhances the communication and analytical capabilities within the production environment.

  1. Job Safety (JS)

Job Safety emphasizes the importance of maintaining a safe work environment through standardized instructions and protocols. With Stryza standardized training materials, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures are stored digitally and can be readily accessed during machinery setups or any operational changes. This ensures that all employees are consistently informed and compliant with the latest safety standards. Additionally, the system integrates reminders and warning signs within tasks to reinforce safety awareness continually.

For instance, displaying warning symbols during tasks can significantly enhance safety by providing real-time alerts and precautions.

TWI for Manufacturing Companies in a Nutshell

In today's rapidly evolving manufacturing environment, a highly skilled and adaptable workforce is of critical importance. TWI (Training Within Industry) provides a structured framework to achieve this goal, but implementing it effectively can be time-consuming. In this context, AI-powered digital worker platforms like Stryza can be a valuable addition.

Stryza streamlines the TWI process, enabling faster and more efficient skill development for your workforce.  Stryza provides supervisors with clear, interactive job instructions and enhanced communication tools, fostering a collaborative learning environment.  The result is a more efficient, adaptable, and future-proof manufacturing operation.

Interested in exploring how a digital worker solution can transform your factory operations? Learn more about Stryza by booking your free demo meeting today! Book a Demo here:

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