iSixSigma

Mike Chambers

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  • #202779

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    One definition or translation of the Japanese word kaizen is “continuous improvement.” That’s the translation Toyota uses. That means kaizen is an ongoing, almost spontaneous occurrence. Plants practicing kaizen should have dozens or more events each and every day. For best (read sustained) results, kaizens are led by the troops doing the work and not management or engineering.

    Kaizen events should also follow Pareto Principle (80/20) thinking. Let’s spend 20% of the effort and get 80% of the benefit today knowing, if we’re truly practicing kaizen, we’ll be back tomorrow.

    The other thought I would offer is the real (money making) purpose of 5S is make make the life of the employee easier by removing time and distance. That means taking out steps, hassle, paperwork, looking, etc. That type of focus allows the employees to become more productive and the functions they perform more efficient. Moving aged equipment is a good thing and would likely occur anyway but that should not be a goal of a 5S effort. Put differently, moving the equipment may make the area more aesthetically pleasing but probably won’t result in big money savings. On the other hand, especially when focused, an improved and more productive workforce will likely pay big dividends well into the future.

    Glad to discuss …

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    #202316

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Hello Alan,

    I’m thinking we might be over complicating this a bit. To digress a moment, I’m a big fan of Pareto, the Italian philosopher/physicist. One of the things Pareto developed was the 80/20 rule. Examples might be 20% of your customers generate 80% of your business. 20% of the school children give you 80% of the problems in a classroom.

    Where I’m going is Lean follows the 80/20 rule. That is, spend 20% of the effort and get 80% of the benefit. 5 Why is the same. Expend a limited effort (say 20% of what you could versus a multi-functional, multi-shift, multi-disciplined team) and satisfy 80% of the problems.

    Understand 5 Why, like most every other tool, will not solve all problems. But it will solve 80+%. So, rather than getting bogged down in the details, have the operators and mechanics in groups of 2 or more give it a try. This way you will be solving/resolving 80% or more of the problems. Those problems that persist can then be pursued with a more rigorous approach that may utilize another tool like Kepnor-Tregoe or Toyota’s 8 Steps.

    Hope that helps!

    Best regards,

    Mike

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    #202286

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    @mrsandman436,

    Perhaps a different perspective …

    “Lean” is usually driven by kaizens; i.e., an improvement event. These kaizens tend to be quick and usually well less than 5 days. They most often consist of the people doing the work and can be as short as two minutes. As such, it is rare to see someone using tollgates when you’re talking kaizens.

    Tollgates (and even the DMAIC steps) are most often used (effectively I might add) with projects. In particular, with Six Sigma projects. @Straydog did a good job defining them and sharing some of the pros and cons. I agree with him.

    I know there are those who do Lean Six Sigma. I tend to blend the tools myself using what makes sense for a particular job. However, in my opinion, tollgates would detract from some of the big advantages of Lean Kaizens (that is, quick and employee-driven).

    I appreciate others will disagree. Thanks for allowing me to share my two cents. :)

    Best regards,

    Mike

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    #202264

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Hello @myoder2004,

    The most successful approach we have seen is to truly empower the workforce. Teach (and encourage) them to have “2 minute” kaizens to remove hassle and improve their workplace. Insist on written standard work practices and team-wide communications to let others know what they are doing but otherwise let the operators and mechanics run the show. With a supporting recognition system, we have successfully used this approach in a number of plants in a number of industries.

    As for a formal suggestion system, the best I have seen is at Toyota. 40 Years, 20 Million Ideas: The Toyota Suggestion System by Yuzo Yasuda can be pricey and difficult to find but is excellent.

    Hope that helps …

    Best regards,

    Mike

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    #202010

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    @gaishinmfg,

    I agree with @cseider and @Straydog. The subtlety that I would add is any metric should drive improvement. Given that, as a team, select the format/calculation that will help the organization best reduce late deliveries. I’m not one for meetings, but you might canvas the key players individually and bounce ideas off them. When you have a consensus, aggressively drive those late deliveries to 0!

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    #201894

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    It will likely be a challenge finding a template that meets your needs. True scheduling tends to be specific, especially if you try to implement some form of load leveling. Most agree the money is in true scheduling (versus a to-do list of jobs that is often sequenced by just ship date) with firm expectations on changeover times, run speeds, quality, and uptime.

    We use an internally developed Excel worksheet that sequences the jobs to minimize changeover downtime while still meeting ship dates. The programming is fairly straightforward with stacked If/Then statements. VBA macros are used to automate the process and sort optimally or by ship date, etc. Once the jobs are sequenced, expected performance (changeover, speed, uptime, and quality) are inserted. That will then give expected start and end-of-job times. Ultimately, the schedule is linked to current performance in the plant with monitors on the plant floor, conference rooms, smartphones, etc. If a production area is down, behind schedule, or over-producing there are color-coded visuals to drive corrective action. Depending on the complexity of the system and number of production areas, the programming and linking with real-time performance can be done in as little as 3 to 6 weeks.

    Hope that helps …

    Best regards,

    Mike

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    #201877

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Successful Lean involves a long-term respectful, problem-solving culture. Many more fail than are successful. Keep in mind it took Toyota over 30 years to develop their culture before anyone started paying attention to them. Today, Toyota has been at it for well over 60 years and many at Toyota will tell you they are just starting.

    To reinvigorate your effort, you might want to study the Toyota Production System rather than Lean. 40 Years, 20 Million Ideas: The Toyota Suggestion System by Yuzo Yasuda might be a start. Yasuda describes how Toyota used their employees to drive their kaizen/continuous improvement process. Mondren and Ohno have published some good books on TPS but they don’t tell you “how” like Yasuda does. Similarly, Shingo is a great source to learn about tools but not the culture. As for Western authors, Liker does a decent job with his first book The Toyota Way. I personally don’t think Liker’s subsequent books are nearly as helpful. If you’re close to a Toyota plant, take a tour. In addition to Toyota, you might learn about Danaher and Milliken. Unfortunately, there’s not much written on either of the latter systems.

    @sweylie mentioned Sinek’s Start with Why. I like the book as well but I use it more for leadership training. Sinek has a great video on TED that will give you an overview of his thoughts RE starting with why.

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    #201745

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Oooops … one of the posted links have changed. The correct link for Amazon can be found here.

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    #201744

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Robert,

    “Do you know how your system archives this data? Is it some type of proprietary interface that’s part of the machinery? An after market sensor setup?”

    The system (known as Real-Time Production Efficiency Monitoring) archives the data by default at midnight on the last day of the month. The norm is to accumulate it in shared network storage where it can be analyzed by anyone.

    No, the interface is not proprietary. It’s MS Office-based and readily links to PLC’s, data loggers, and Arduino-type devices.

    The sensors can be after market or OEM.

    Let me say I do have a financial interest in this. My company is the one that developed the system back in 2009. Having said that, we have yet to find a more economical way of monitoring a manufacturing process in real-time. It’s incredibly flexible and MS Office can usually be supported in-house. Our book available at Amazon or eBay provides details.

    Given my involvement and the fact I don’t want to hijack this thread, I’m reluctant to post additional details here. If there’s interest, I will post screen shots and answer additional questions in a separate thread.

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    #201739

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Chris is right, especially for a manual system. Keep in mind the purpose of OEE is to drive improvement. To Chris’ point, if the resolution and ease of use is an issue, there will be limited improvement.

    An automatic system that archives historical performance can overcome this. We use a real-time system that is based in MS Excel/Office that has this capability. You could then rank and attack your “bottom 10” bad actors for a given time period.

    Yet another option is to not get bogged down in the details and instead work using a duration that is long enough to wipe out the effects of mix. That may be an hour, shift or day … whatever makes sense.

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    #201725

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Perhaps a cleaner and more readily understood approach is to use the concept of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE is the product of performance (usually speed), availability, and yield. If you’re 100 products per minute versus a best demonstrated of 150, 22 hours of uptime versus 24 hours available, and 95% yield your OEE would be …

    (100/150)(22/24)(0.95) = 0.58

    That means your system is 58% effective versus what it could be. I often describe manufacturing as having 3 knobs: performance, availability, and yield. To the extent I improve any of 3, I improve my efficiency and subsequent product output.

    Hope that helps …

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    #201634

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Keep in mind there are two “TPMs” … the original Total Productive Maintenance and the modernized Total Productive Manufacturing. Total Productive Maintenance blurred the distinction between maintenance and production. In many organizations, there was limited impact beyond those two functions. As a result, most TPMaint implementations failed.

    Total Productive Manufacturing recognizes the entire organization must be involved. JIPM (Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance … the key sponsoring organization for TPMaint) has largely picked up on this and increased their focus, but it’s not universal.

    Another consideration is the use of the term “autonomous maintenance.” Many organizations struggle with adoption from both operators and mechanics. From the operators, I hear words like “if you want me to do maintenance work, pay me like a mechanic.” On the other extreme, there are rumblings of “all you’re trying to do is replace the mechanics with the operators and pay them a lower wage.” There is also the inherent limitation of the words. We usually have to explain what is meant by autonomous … that’s simply an education issue and shouldn’t affect implementation. The limiting term however is using “maintenance.” On the surface, there is no focus on safety, quality, efficiencies, changeovers, timing, etc. Obviously, ideal monitoring checks would be preventive, predictive, and all encompassing. When we’re helping implement TPMfg, we simply refer to the monitoring initiative as Online Checks. Online Checks would then replace the Autonomous Maintenance pillar normally seen.

    Bottom line: depending on your location and level of support, you may want to fine-tune the approach, even to the point of calling it Total Productive Manufacturing.

    Hope that helps!

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    #201283

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    I agree with the earlier comments RE gathering data. Even before that, I would attempt to get better definition of expectations; i.e., a good charter, scope, roles of team members, etc.

    Another point is although it is external customers driving the action, there are likely things that can be done internally to minimize … reducing repeat tickets was previously mentioned. Other possibilities are improved upfront communications RE things like status and enhanced web-based support. Yet another possibility is to work to reduce the impact/duration of each ticket by streamlining internally. You really don’t know what’s possible until you and your team have some … uhmmm … data. :)

    Hope that helps!

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    #201245

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    The pictures are from a real-time production monitoring (OEE) system. The system informs when there are errors about to be made; e.g., over producing in the first graphic. There are similar flags when scheduling; i.e., if a job is going to be late, it will be red on the schedule. As see on the mobile version, there are also alerts for other things like running behind schedule or needing maintenance.

    Hope that helps!

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    #201151

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    @kknvt91

    Kevin, you don’t say, but it is assumed you are in manufacturing. But it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts “universally” is whether the organization is consistently producing more (quantity) or is producing less costly units or services to external customers during a given time-frame. To a purist, just about any other metric developed will have some issue. If you are not sold out, some will even argue “more quantity” has no financial benefit (unless you’re able to eliminate a shift or the like).

    Justification is not easy and tends to approach bureaucratic in many organizations … folks are trying to justify their existence, rather than making the company money. The best of competition tend to have corporate objectives or ideals in a number of key areas. Call them the organization’s “true north” if you want. To the extent a project or event was approved by consensus, implemented in a win-win manner, and moves toward true north, it was successful.

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    #200980

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    Hello Venky,

    What you’re experiencing is known as a “minor stop” … i.e., less than 3 minutes downtime and usually corrected by the operator. The root causes are often tied to misalignment, unsecure fasteners and the like.

    As has been suggested, one way to troubleshoot the problem is to video the action and then slow it down so you can see the problems. I have also had success sketching the system. As you sketch, you will often see areas for additional observation. Whether the observations are the root cause at the moment doesn’t matter as the ultimate goal is to get “everything” working as it should.

    You do not want to do this alone. I have over 30 years experience in plants and wouldn’t touch this by myself. You want at least one operator and at least one mechanic with you.

    Hope that helps!

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