HTI Plastics - A Culture Of Training

HTI Plastics - A Culture Of Training

David Jacobs - Training Manager at HTI Plastics

By: David Jacobs - Training Manager

At HTI Plastics, we strive to create a culture of training for our employees. By offering the right training to all our employees, our company can continue to offer our customers the best quality products.

HTI Plastics has also invested a lot of time in the training and implementation of TWI training guidelines, and 5S.

One of our most recent trainings was focused on the appropriate dressing for each work zones in our facility. These training sessions had a number of end-goals:

-          Making sure our new employees know the right way to dress for each work area

-          Giving our long-time employees a refresher, to make sure they continue to do it correctly

-          We want to ensure our employees’ safety

-          This helps our facility to continue to follow the FDA guideline to prevent contamination of products or equipment

-          We want to guarantee our customers they will be receiving the best quality products


TWI Training

TWI or Training Within Industry Service is a program that was developed during World War II by the United States Government.  The United States recognized a need to train a lot of non-skilled labor in a short amount of time with limited resources.  Because most of the United States workforce in all areas of manufacturing were oversees in combat there was a huge vacuum to fill those employees with positions.  The people that were left here in the United States to fill those positions were women and men that were deemed not fit for Military Service.  Keep in mind that not only was the United States replacing their workforce, but also would be rapidly ramping up the needs for the US military.  The TWI Service recruited leaders and assembled staff from different industries to answer a simple question: “What can we do to make more people productively useful?” 

The industries collected, developed and standardize methods that answered that one simple question.  Three notable methods known as “J” programs were developed:  Job Instruction Training (JI), Job Methods Training (JM), and Job Relations Training (JR). TWI trainers then trained people within the industries who would, in turn, train other people within their industries.

The TWI Service reported that from 1941 – 1945, tracking 600 different organizations the following statistics:

Increase Production –                     86%

Reduced training time –                100%

Reduced Labor Hours -                   88%

Reduced Scrap -                                55%

Reduced Grievances -                     100%

How is TWI implemented at HTI Plastics?

At HTI we implement TWI training guidelines, that allow our employees to receive a hands-on learning experience through examples, repetition, and practice.

Training Within Industry, also referred to as just TWI, is a dynamic program of hands-on learning and practice, where supervisors, team leaders, and anyone who directs the work of others can teach essential skills to others in their organization. Implementing brings numerous benefits to a company:

  • Generate cooperation and positive employee relations
  • Teach supervisors how to quickly and correctly train employees
  • Establish and maintain standardized work
  • Improve training methods
  • Solve problems efficiently and effectively
  • Create a safe work environment

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is the process of eliminating waste from the manufacturing process. In this case, waste can be any activity that does not add value to our customers. To eliminate waste, Lean Manufacturing standardizes work and processes, it uses systematic problem solving to continuously improve, creates a Learning culture.

Before an organization can try to find a solution to their waste problems, first and foremost, it is important to identify the cause of waste we are facing. The typical causes of waste can be abbreviated as TIMWOOD:

  • Transport, Packaging
  • Inventory, buffer
  • Movement
  • Waiting times
  • Over-processing (Manufacturing)
  • Over Production
  • Defects (Errors)

After the problems have been identified, an organization can move on to understanding what the goals and how they can be measured, then we need to identify the possible root cause of the problems, and finally, we need to Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) until the goal is met. 

How is TWI currently being applied at HTI Plastics?

At HTI we use the Job Instruction Training J program to train all our employees.  We have developed a Train the Trainer program which each of our designated trainers attend TWI Training to learn the methods that we expect them to use while training.  In addition to our Trainers, we also train our Operators, Lead Operators, Supervisors, Support personnel, as well as our Management team the TWI concepts.  We want to ensure that all our employees know the standards that HTI Training should be conducted.


What is 5S?

5S stands for Sort, Stabilize, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. This is a method of organizing a workplace’s organization. It allows companies to create a safe, clean, well-organized, and high-performance workplace. 5S organization allows individuals to shave off time from making certain decisions and makes their jobs easier.

How is 5S being applied at HTI?

HTI is always researching, developing ways to continuously improve.  Before a process, method, procedure or policy can be improved you must have a standard point or benchmark to start.  5S allows us to go through each item methodically and make small adjustments, we like to label them experiments, before evaluating the results and deciding to use them for our new standard or to pitch them and go back to our original benchmark.

We started the 5S Journey in the Spring of 2019 in our Assembly area.  We have hosted several 5S events across our production floor and close to hosting our last.  Of course, these events only help us create that standard or benchmark for those areas.  In any of the areas that we have completed, we are also in the Sustaining step of 5S.  We frequently conduct audits to make sure we are holding ourselves to the standards that were originally developed.  Some of the other steps and processes we are implementing are GEMBA boards, KANBAN systems and periodically learning from other organizations on how they implement and manage their 5S and Lean systems.

HTI’s Culture of Training, and its Importance.

We train our employees efficiently to make them experts in their jobs. We also make sure to document all our training and keep them as references for the future. This prevents some employees being trained differently than others, or any deviations in future training of new employees. Each project or improvement is followed up with “After Action Reviews.”

Every employee creates, adds, and delivers value to the customer. For employees to accomplish this, it is important for them to truly understand the purpose of the tasks they perform, and why they need to complete it the way they were trained to do so. If we don’t explain to each employee the reasons for how they are capable of creating, they will not perform the task at their most optimal capacity.