Posts tagged ‘organization need’

Lean Manufacturing: Eliminating the 8 Hidden Wastes – Part 7 of 8. The M in DOWNTIME


Motion waste is the unnecessary movement of people, product or equipment that adds no value to a process. Workers walk back and forth from the work area to supply, around unneeded equipment or perform redundant motions that can be eliminated to speed up a process. This can be one of the most frustrating wastes for workers and management. The lost time and production rob most processes of opportunities to function efficiently and make the employees work harder. While most processes are not designed to have motion wastes in them, it is one of the first wastes to creep in and cause disruption.

LOOK FOR excessive walking, moving or handling.

REDUCE BY developing and then examining a spaghetti diagram and Current State and Future State Value Stream Map (VSM) of every process to fully understand operator, equipment or material movement. Implement a Standard Work Practices program and develop an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) record.

A Spaghetti diagram is a simple visual tool to demonstrate the flow of material, flow of information, and flow of money in a process, and is used to expose waste AND opportunity. The word “spaghetti” is descriptive because it describes flow that is not easily understood, cannot easily be followed, or if the flow is literally all over the place. It represents a point of departure, that is, what does the current state look like and what are the exact improvements needed to be made. Put another way, a spaghetti diagram is a visual representation of how bad things really are. Sometimes, through, poor thinking and poor choices, they are not just representations of how things are, but they can be representations of what we have created; sometimes we turn our processes into spaghetti diagrams. Remember, the spaghetti diagram process is not just completing a diagram but using it to fuel decisions that will improve the workplace. Ensure that operators are involved in the activity. In the results, look for large distances and repetitive movements; consider why they are made and what can be done to improve. Optimizing the workplace can only be carried out when its weak points are known.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is documenting an overhead view of a process that looks all the way from the finished product back through a process to the raw materials or request for action (information) which is where most processes start. VSM can help to clearly understand and communicate all of the steps in a process and also allows you to identify those hidden wastes that exist within a process. From the raw materials storage to delivery of a finished product or service, materials flow throughout a process and are handled many people and machines. Information also flows all the way from initial request for a product or service through to the customer reception of the product or service. Historically, most flow charting or mapping processes did not include this crucial element called information flow. VSM not only includes information flow, but also shows how it is intertwined with material flow, machines and manpower.

Standardized Work Practices allow process steps to be decomposed and optimized into simple easy to follow steps that any operator can easily perform. Standardized practices allow operators and workers to perform tasks the same way each time by combining and using all resources effectively such as time, technology, tools on shadow boards and raw materials. By breaking down any process into clearly defined tasks, one can achieve consistency and increase throughput and OEE. These standard tasks or sequence of tasks should be well measured and documented into Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and simpler tasks or standards developed into one point lessons, which form the basis for training new operators in performing a task and as a performance and quality measurement tool.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a method of measuring productivity performance. More specifically, it is a statistical metric to determine how efficiently a machine is running. The four bits of information required to calculate OEE are total staff time and the machine’s efficiency, quality and availability. The result is the value that a machine contributes to the production process. OEE is a globally recognized best practice measure to systematically improve processes for higher efficiencies and better productivity, ultimately leading to lower manufacturing costs and higher profitability. It is frequently used as a key metric in a Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program.

Are Motion Wastes walking away with your customer’s and your company’s profits?

Watch for upcoming articles on Lean Manufacturing and the remaining Hidden Wastes of DOWNTIME…


September 10, 2012 at 8:49 am 5 comments

How Correctly Aligned Leadership Minimizes Risks and Maximizes Performance for Success


At the most basic level, a leader is someone who leads others. A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen. Leaders see a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. Whatever the solution or goal, the leader always has a clear target in mind. This is a big picture sort of thing, not the process improvement that reduces errors by 2%, but the new manufacturing process that completely eliminates the step that caused the errors. It is the new product that makes people say “why didn’t I think of that”.

The company was restructuring the management team and reshaping the geographic sales regions of the Corporation. In May, I was promoted into the newly created position as Director of Operations – West Region, with P&L responsibilities for 4 manufacturing facilities in 3 states, I was charged with making these facilities the best that they could be. My first step was to visit each facility, and in discussion with the respective plant management and staff, review the P&L’s, comparing the most recent results to budget. At this introductory meeting, a comprehensive plan was implemented so that I could monitor the performance of each facility. I had developed these Key Performance Indicators in my most recent VP-Ops position and used them to manage the $70 million budget of the local facility. In March, following the end of the fiscal year in December, during an Executive Committee meeting, the facilities under my responsibilities were recognized for several corporate awards including Best Quality Factory, Most Profitable Factory, Most Safe Factory, Most Efficient Factory, and Most Improved Factory. The KPI program that I developed and used to manage these facilities was also recognized as a Best Practice and rolled out to and implemented by all 8 licensee facilities.

Question: What leadership traits and skills does your organization need to make your company World Class?

February 20, 2012 at 8:02 am 1 comment


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