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Member spotlight: Royal Canadian Mint invests in LEAN

Published by CME Manitoba on January 08, 2018

As Canada emerged as a nation in its own right, its need for coinage increased. A Canadian branch of the Royal Mint was first proposed in 1890 and later opened in Ottawa, on January 2, 1908. In 1931, Canada achieved greater independence from Britain and the Royal Mint’s Canadian operations were transformed into the Royal Canadian Mint. Coin demand rose in tandem with the rapid growth of Canada’s commerce and population and in 1976, the Mint opened its Winnipeg facility to manufacture all of Canada’s circulation coins, as well help foreign countries manufacture their own high quality coins.

With nearly 50 years as a Canadian Crown Corporation; however, the market at home and abroad continues to change. Rising global competition for coin production, the environmental impact of manufacturing and the evolution of alternative forms of electronic payments continue to shape the future of circulation coins.

As a leader in global coinage production, the Mint is responding to these pressures with an eye to the future. LEAN will allow the Winnipeg operation to respond with flexibility and agility to the demands of the new marketplace.

By taking advantage of the learning and sharing opportunities afforded through CME Manitoba’s consortia, the Mint has introduced key concepts like Visual Management and One Piece Flow. The Mint is fortunate to have 30 CME-trained LEAN Yellowbelts, 5 Greenbelts and 2 Blackbelts on staff that are positioned to help steer the organization on course. With the support of CME through LEAN Kaizens and coaching, and Mint employee participation at CME sponsored Learning Workshops and Consortia Plant Tours, the Mint is further building a culture of employee engagement and continuous improvement.

The Mint has seen a substantial decrease in Work in Process in the areas where LEAN tools have been implemented, which has led to real improvements in quality, cost and delivery.

Despite a rapidly changing marketplace and 21st century demands – for the Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg plant – the future looks bright as a newly minted coin.

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