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The Best Practices of Industrial Engineering

 

Lean Production Lean Development Lean Workplace - 5S
Value Stream Mapping
SMED
Simple-Minute Exchange of Die
Lean Administration
Teamwork Maintenance Systems Cost Calculation
Quality Management Tools
FMEA and Global 8D
Improvement Systems Simulation
Quality Improvement Safe Workplace Removing Constraints
and Restrictions

 

The "lean” approach utilises the tools for searching and eliminating wastages. The "Six Sigma” approach utilises tools for searching and removing the process variability. The last is the TOC approach (Theory of Constraints) which possesses tools for searching and removing the constraints (bottlenecks). Each of these processes contains a whole range of the best practices which can be implemented. 

One of the key problems we face in the company is the misunderstanding of differences in implementing the methods of the aforementioned approaches. The methods are implemented without any conception; the priority of the solution is often aimed at unimportant processes which have only a minimal influence in the context of the whole value stream. The implementation of these methods is missing any system – a certain elaborated sequence of the implementation steps when the next step cannot start without completing the previous one. 


Try to consider the following ideas:
  • You are solving a lot of projects; however, you are missing any strategy for their realisation (what is more important to solve at the beginning, what in the later phases). 
  • Is your investigating team missing experience with leading projects? Would you like to bring up your own professionals?
  • You often encounter an answer like "it’s impossible” and you want to change this situation by utilising our experience? 
  • Do you need to bring the latest knowledge to your solutions from the line of business you are working in?

The Way to Making Your Decision

It is possible to achieve several advantages through an appropriate implementation of the aforementioned methods: 
  • Benchmarking of successfulness through their implementation – the possibility to compare ourselves with similar companies as well as with the world class companies.
  • To improve selected indicators in the manufacturing or non-manufacturing areas immediately. Within approximately 6 months an improvement of the indicators on the corporation-wide level (in dependence on the implemented method and the extent of the implementation).
  • It is a way of improving the process productivity by minimal financial means compared to many times higher investments to technology or equipment. This approach is able to support or disprove radical improvement attempts and innovations (investments to machines, changes of the product manufacturing processes, etc.).  
  • The influence on the corporate culture due to participation of the teams in the improvement processes across all the company levels. 

The implementation of these elements is connected also with the change of the way of thinking or a new view. This can be defined as follows: 

Old icons

A new view

We reduce the costs – we save

We increase the throughput – saving is compulsory

Let’s look for redundant employees and fire them

Let’s look for and develop talents as well as work for them

Let’s improve the existing products and processes – once we will achieve the limit

Let’s innovate and create new products and processes

Let’s invest to the latest technology

Let’s invest to the best people

Customer is the king

Customer is our partner

Let’s reduce capacities when there are no orders

Let’s look for new opportunities and create new markets


Procedure

The creation of a compact concept of a change resembles construction of a house. The pillars cannot stand without a stable foundation and the roof without any roof frame. The method implementation in the individual steps is tailor-made for the needs of our customers.  


The foundations are built through a suitable combination of the best methods which can be utilised in any type of industry. The pillars solve two key areas of each company:
  1. Increasing the effectiveness of technique
  2. Increasing productivity, quality and safety of workplaces 
Both areas are specific according to the company’s production character. For the material of the pillars to be really strong, we realise regular inspections and audits during their construction. The roof frame consists of elements which assign tasks, assess and develop the human potential of the enterprise. Laying the roof is the final phase of building a comprehensive manufacturing system. 


Collaboration during creating a manufacturing system can start in three ways:

  • The customers have already realised something but they would like to discuss the solution and to define how to continue
  • The customers have a clear idea about the realisation – i.e. they know what they want to solve, where they want to solve it and what it will bring to them but he has not sufficient knowledge or capacity
  • The customers feel a need to change something but they do not know how to realise it.

1. The first step is a telephone call or a meeting in person (we prefer this form of collaboration) where they make the assignment more accurate. The schedule of a kick-off meeting has usually the following structure:
    1. Introduction of our company (who we are and what we are dealing with)
    2. Introduction of the problem – what will be the subject of the assignment
    3. Presentation of the customer’s company – understanding the processes in connection the problem being solved
    4. Presenting the first ideas how to solve the problem.

2. After the kick-off meeting the phase of preparing the offer for collaboration follows – it takes a week, as a rule. In the offer we will quantify the extent of our collaboration and the price for the whole programme. A list of references in the given area and a short presentation of typical outputs of such an assignment is also part of our offer.

3.
If our offer is accepted the realisation phase continues – here we utilise the DMAIC methodology. 
  • The output of the first phase (D – define) is the project assignment (the so called project charter) which describes all project parameters including the quantification of the potential benefits. The time schedule of the solution is the second output of this phase. 
  • After approving the project parameters the measurement phase follows (M – measure). During this phase we measure the current state – i.e. which parameters the process shows today (e.g. time, distance, finance, etc.). The form of the data collection varies and depends on the problem being solved (snapshots, value stream maps, process diagrams, etc.). 
  • The outputs are analysed during the next step (A – analysis). The facts we achieved, transferred to diagrams or tables are the outputs of this analytical phase. Based on these results we define the measures for improving the current state (I – improve). The Catalogue of Measures is a typical output of this project phase and it is divided into three parts as follows: 
    • Immediate measures without investments
    • Measures in a horizon of three months, requiring lower investments
    • Measures in a horizon from three months to one year, requiring higher investment. After approving the Catalogue of Changes by the team members the realisation can start.
4. The final realisation phase aims at maintaining the changes realised (C – control). That is why the inspection days are organised. During these inspections we analyse deviations of the plan from reality. The inspection plan is usually completed by an escalation plan for solving non-standard situation which can appear during the project realisation. 

References

The references are introduced independently by individual methods. 
 
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