Turbo Leadership Systems

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April 15, 2008 Issue 168 To our clients and friends
Break Time

Tim, head machine tender for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 7B of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

"In session 4 of the LDL, I committed to be five times more enthusiastic about the goal I chose in the first LDL session – reducing the number and length of Wet End breaks on Paper Machine #5.

I began by discussing my goal at crew meetings. It has been a delicate subject in the past, often resulting in conflict between crew members. I pointed out the frustration we all experience when a Wet End break lasts too long, and the extra work it creates for everyone. I reminded the crew of the extra time we have to spend in extreme heat, sweating and thirsting while we work. We talked about how the sheet sticks to the dryer cans when they get too hot, without the sheet to carry the heat away. Some of the younger crew members didn’t understand that the longer it takes to get the sheet back on, the more the condition worsens.

We discussed different ways each of us could contribute to shortening the length of time it takes to recover from a Wet End break:

  • Positions of each crew member, the importance of being in the right place at the right time.
  • Timely response to Wet End breaks, making it a priority to promptly assume respective positions on the machine.
  • Leaving loose paper broke on the floor and on the dryer frame until the sheet has been rethreaded (unless it obstructs the threading path of the tail or becomes a threat to the integrity of the rope run).

I’ve had several discussions on an individual basis with crew members and bring it up again at crew meetings to remind everyone of our goal. I have found that by bringing up the Pay Off” aspect, crew members become more involved. We talked about the Pay Off”:

  • Less – Blowing sheet wraps from the dryer cans
  • Less – Time spent working in the extreme heat conditions
  • Less – Pulling hot broke from the back of the dryers

  • Less – Crawling around the steam pipes/ valves and equipment in the heat
  • Less – Hauling heavy air hoses/lances from one end of the machine to the other
  • Less – Chance of damaging equipment
  • Less – Frustration

An example of increased crew involvement occurred the other day. The machine tender pointed out that the Wet End break alarm is not very audible and doesn’t get the crew’s attention. He suggested that we install a horn or tie the break detector into the backtender’s call bell. It was encouraging to see this crew member demonstrate interest and think about how he could contribute to the success of our goal. His suggestion was brought up to the machine owner and the electrical department is now installing an effective alarm.

To make this a measurable goal, I’ve collected data from September to February to help establish the average time it takes our crew to recover from a typical Wet End break. This is challenging because our database collects all types of downtime – not specific to any crew or type of break. I have resorted to using the HMT log sheets for our crew and have omitted breaks containing breakdowns, blade changes, etc. I’ve determined that the average break time has been 18.38 minutes. My new goal by the end of the next 3-week period is to reduce the average break time to 13 minutes, and I am five times more enthusiastic about making this happen!

The lesson I learned from this experience is I can get people involved and believing in a common goal when I display five times more enthusiasm. The action I call you to take is to encourage others by sharing your vision five times more enthusiastically so they will envision the benefits of accomplishing the goal.

The benefit you will gain is support for your goal, and you will develop a strong team spirit that comes from achieving something you believe in."