Work organisation and innovation in Ireland - Case study: Kirchhoff Automotive Ireland
Kirchhoff Automotive Ireland, located in Letterkenny, County Donegal, is part of the Kirchhoff Group, a privately owned company headquartered in Germany. It has several divisions including an automotive division that produces single car parts to complete chassis. The operation in Ireland is one of 29 worldwide production sites making stamped metal automotive parts and has been in existence for some 30 years. Customers include car manufacturers BMW, Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen. Two main work organisation innovations took place at this company. The first was the setting up of a works improvement committee, KISC (the Kirchhoff Ireland Steering Committee), in 2009. The second was the adoption in 2011 by the plant of a group lean methodology, KAPS (Kirchhoff Automotive Production System). This case study concentrates on KISC as it is the innovation owned by the site, but it refers to the arrival of KAPS as this has significantly affected the work of KISC.