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Lean Manufactruing

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  thevillageidiot tvi 12 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #45246

    ADB
    Participant

    I am trying to reduce the cycle time for a very slow process that is basically all done manually.  Where can I find some good info or tips to help out in a labour intensive process that cannot afford to invest a lot of $$ to do things more in the 21st century?

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    #147165

    jtomac01
    Participant

    1st there is a ton of material out there if you search on Lean Mfgr, reduction of waste, etc.
    Step I always use is, pretend you are the widget being transformed through the process, physically walk each and every step of the process (typically with a x-functional team) asking yourself if each step is truly needed & why.  A key to this approach is to mimic exactly what a piece does so you may want to follow a piece or several through this to get an idea.  Area’s I tend to focus on are change-overs (that may be handing from one person to the next, if they have to reposition the widget, that would be an opportunity to improve or reduce time & increase quality) & in between process steps.

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    #147166

    Torrance
    Participant

    ADB – an old but popular analogy for SMED. If you take the example of a pitstop at fomula 1 racing, the time taken to change all the wheels, fill ‘er up, clean the windshields, replace necessary parts of the car takes less than 10 seconds. 
    If you had to do all the things in sequence, it would take much, much longer.
    Without having any real detail about your process, how much of it can be prepared in an alternative line beforehand. Map the process out. Then look at all the steps, how many are not really necessary (you might be surprised) and how many can be done simultaneously by other labour.
    For more detail, look for info on Value Stream Analysis and SMED.

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    #147187

    ADB
    Participant

    I have mapped the process and followed all the steps.  My big problem is the line is only budgeted for 2 people but when an order is needed every spare set of hands comes to get the job done.  In reality every step is essiential, I have however tried to trim down the excess walk time and transfer time.  Compare my process to a Hersheys kisses line all manually.  Inspected manually, wrapped manually, boxed, labeled, palletized, everything is done by hand.  Other then reducing the excess walking time and movement no process can preceed another.  It has to be either done in sequence or one job at a time stockpiled…See my dilemma?  We only run one shift so I cannot justify too much money spent on automation and cannot even find a wrapper to wrap my product.

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    #147188

    Torrance
    Participant

    ADB – seems like a tough one for you……
    Looks like the budget is wrong…. how was this set, was the existing labour time to build each product vs the forecasted qty taken into consideration….(doesn’t seem so – if every time there is an order, you need more than the budgeted 2 people)……not sure the headcount calculation in your budget is correct.
    If on the other hand your order qty has increased since budget was set, you should be able to use more resource through variable cost (i.e. additional heads)
    Can I ask what your product is? Might help us to understand.
    Best regards
    Davy T

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    #147189

    Brit
    Participant

    Short of redesigning the process….
    An additional option is to place cycle times to your individual steps and determine the constraint (i.e., TOC method).  Either redesign the constriant, add resources to it for faster first time yield, or implement a buffer supply.  Once completed, move to the next constraint. 

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    #147190

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    ADB,
    One of the things you have to verify is do you have enough capacity to handle the demand. One easy way of doing is dividing CT (cycle time)by TT (takt time), the result being the number of operators required to respond to the demand.
    Let’s say the demand is 50 boxes per day. TT is 450min (available time) / 50 = 9 min . Let’s suppose that CT for a box is 20 min. Then CT/TT=2.2, so you’ll need 3 operators in order to satisfy the demand.
    Now, if this is not negotiable, my suggestion would be to put a cell in the shipping area where you can perform all the oparations in the same place.
    Hope this helps

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    #147224

    jtomac01
    Participant

    What is your takt time for this product?  What is the variation on the volume and demand?  Sounds to me like you do not have enough stations or people to perform the actions required to meet takt time.  What is more important – Volume or throughput or staying within the financial budget of 2 FTE’s costed across the product?

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    #147931

    Aardvark
    Participant

    I have read a few of the responses.  Most are effectively telling you the same thing.  Lean it out.  I have done this in work centers that are long takts (greater than 1 hour per station). 
    If you have identified the work area that needs improved, I always start with spaghetti diagrams and stacked bar charts to help identify waste. 
    Long processes will often have tools and equipment located poorly requiring too much walk.  This also leads to higher variation since poor locations also allow for multiple methods. 
    As others have suggested look for long set up times, poor or non existant jigs/fixtures, tooling conditions, communication to the employees, and lighting.
    All of these can either be free or cheap and can be performed during kaizen type events.

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    #147934

    villageidiot
    Member

    Please  demonstrate  a  simple  case  study to  explain  TOC?How  to  encompass TOC with Lean-SS?I’m  confused ,thanks

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    #147940

    thevillageidiot tvi
    Member

    First, your confusion appears to be rampant, as you should  exercise a modicum of creativity and not hijack anothers screen name….I have asked many stupid questions and annoyed the forum experts for quite some time to earn that prestigous handle….TVI es mio primo.
    Now to answer your question…Lean encompasses the ideas of TOC in that all process elements or work flow cells should operate at the rate of demand (takt time).  Bottlenecks, or those elements of the process whose cycle time exceeds takt time are ´´leaned out´¨ by reducing all non-value adding elements (7 deadly wastes) so as to alleviate or add additional capacity.  I believe that TOC will advocate attacking the biggest bottleneck first, while lean will make a distinction in the degree of impact….for example, reducing the cycle time of a cell closer to the point of sale and downstream of your largest bottleneck will improve your overall throughput time and actually be felt by the customer in lead time reductions.   But that my only be my opinion…trust but verify. 
    As for a simple example, read ¨The Goal¨ like everybody else…it explains it throughly.
     
    Sincerely,
    The Village Idiot (TVI)

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    #147947

    thevillageidiot tvi
    Member

    ADB,
    Time for some tough love here…you might want to turn your head…this is gonna sting a little…
    By asking such a general and simplistic question, I dont think you have much experience in these matters.  Which means before you squander an opportunity to make real, effective change in your process, go educate yourself.  I reccommend the suite of lean books from the Lean Institute.  Costs about 300 bucks, but well worth it and should answer most of your questions.  The specifics you dont then understand you can  ask the forum. 
    I tell you this because if you return a less than impressive deliverable (read half-ass), you dimish your ability to market the skill set to management in the future and damage your ability to influence the CAP elements, which are critical to your success.
    Good luck.

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