Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe exhibitor Makinen specialises in cabin refurbishment, and has worked on tens of thousands of cabins across the cruise and ferry sector, including Celebrity Equinox, Norwegian Getaway, Marella Explorer II, and Celebrity Summit. In this guest article, Makinen explain their cabin refurbishment system, and show why they’re pioneers of LEAN refurbishment.

Makinen – pioneers in LEAN Cabin Refurbishment  

Makinen is a family business founded in Finland in the late 1960s. With offices in Finland, the USA, and China, Makinen provides turnkey refurbishment and newbuilding of cabins and public spaces for luxury cruise ships and vessels operating worldwide. 

In 2012, Makinen started developing LEAN Cabin Refurbishment System with Porsche Consulting and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Makinen was the first refurbishment supplier ever to implement LEAN methods to project execution in the cabin refurbishment. It became an exceptional success: cabin refurbishment output per day elevated from 30 to 200, and while refining, testing, and improving their Lean processes, Makinen discovered numerous other benefits brought on by Lean. 

Roots in manufacturing

Lean is traditionally associated with manufacturing and factory work, as it grew out of Toyota’s operating model in the 1930s. The Toyota model was later defined into Lean principles and a business methodology focusing on value production by waste elimination, process improvement, and continuous learning. In short, Lean is about optimizing every process, task, resource to the fullest and shifting focus to creating value for the customer. Lean methodology is not a new invention, but as Makinen’s pioneer work has demonstrated, its application to new fields of business has brought the traditional cruise ship refurbishment projects to a whole new level. Today, utilizing the refined Makinen LEAN operating model, Makinen has the resources and expertise to modernize even the largest cruise ships’ accommodation areas and consistently deliver the maximum value and quality to our customers.

The LEAN key to successful projects

Refurbishment is often closely tied to major strategic decisions about operations, itineraries, branding, and revenue generation. There is no room for slip-ups in the schedule. If contractors are on time, the ship sails, and revenue generation starts on time. Yet, there are too many stories of canceled launches, massive contractor riding crews, and incomplete facilities. The traditional approach of short-term budgets, design compromises, on-site changes, and last-minute inspections adds layers of risk to the schedule.

Makinen designed their LEAN Approach to change that. The Makinen LEAN Approach breaks down work into small units, removes friction from the workflow, and provides complete transparency and controllability to project execution.

One of the main lean principles is eliminating waste. When we talk about waste, we mean not only the actual trash but everything that is not useful and does not bring value to the customer or contribute positively to the project outcome. You can call waste the most common problems in the dry dock, such as warehousing and deck logistics issues, planning and execution errors, riding crews, idle staff standing in lift and corridor queues, decision making based on lack of data – not to mention faults, claims, and their required resources and costs. 

Want more from Makinen? Read our Q&A here…

In the Makinen LEAN approach, we have carefully planned and fully optimized the use and purpose of every area, resource, and function: everything from financials, streamlined material selection & sourcing to warehousing, logistics, and the constant quality control, so that faulty or unfinished units are never transferred to the next process. The value stream, including raw materials, works, people, products, and data, is monitored, harmonized, and made predictable while removing barriers and waste. Each activity’s duration is planned and adjusted to meet customer demand to ensure a constant workload and performance with no last-minute firefighting. We only produce what is needed, when it is needed, in the amount needed – with no unnecessary queuing and storage (i.e., not based on forecasted demand). We do not deny that errors exist: we have a systematic method to recognize and fix them before they become a problem. Errors are prevented or promptly resolved, and their cost is made transparent. 

The Makinen LEAN execution model entails commitment and a shift of emphasis and resources. The key concepts and tools are highly adaptable to different operating models. Minute-by-minute scheduling means no unnecessary people, tools, or materials in work areas and precise control over the on-site flow. This accuracy leads to a more optimized, sustainable, and safer work environment and less waste overall. 

Key characteristics of a Makinen LEAN Project

  • Up to 200 refurbished high-quality cabins per day
  • Scalable production from light to heavy scope: easily adjustable volume of production and scheduling
  • Project planning within a minute accuracy
  • Eliminates all waste of time and resources
  • Sustainability at the highest possible level
  • A steady flow of ready cabins and instant quality control
  • Increasing efficiency through continuous improvement

Download the full Makinen Buyer’s Guide on LEAN Cabin Refurbishment here.

With our expertise of over 40,000 refurbished cabins within the past five years, we have proven that MAKINEN LEAN approach results in: 

  • Exceptionally well-controlled project cost management
  • Material, logistics, and resources cost savings 
  • Less material and resource waste
  • Fewer project days to completion
  • More completed cabins per day
  • Full schedule transparency – we can monitor project progress with minute accuracy
  • Complete real-time visibility of production quality due to non-stop internal monitoring 
  • Less blocked cabins during drydock 
  • Reduced dry dock time and no delays
  • Minimal claims and contractor riding crew
  • No lost sailing days or cancellations
  • No negative social media sentiment

Makinen is part of a global supplier pool, and we all have to adapt to market conditions constantly. LEAN, transparency, open book, proprietary software, sustainable materials, partnerships, and embedded staff make us an agile and flexible supplier. 

In the refurbishment business, we make an impact by selecting LEAN processes that reduce waste and improve waste management. For our clients, the rewards of the Makinen LEAN Approach are full transparency, efficiency, sustainability, and reduced risk. Successfully completed dry dock projects bring value, strengthen reputation and increase revenue for cruise lines. Choosing Makinen LEAN means being always on time, on quality, and on budget.

Meet Makinen on stand 313 at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe by registering to attend!