How to: Make LEAN Work Part Three

Post by admin on Monday 15th June

V Curve Analysis- Getting Started

LEAN KEITH

So, you’ve been asked to do a bottleneck study and you have an idea of what it is and what to do, but you still need to have a bit more knowledge, some guidance to keep you heading in the right direction.

Well, hopefully this step by step guide will keep you on track.

First of all make sure you have people, at least one person per piece of kit on you manufacturing line, some stop-watches (all synchronised), your tracking documentation and a clear agreement and understanding on your reason codes for machine stops.

The key thing here is to ensure that you involve the line staff in all of your communications so they are fully aware of what is happening. Also, ensure they behave normally and don’t fudge things to work differently to how they normally work on any other given day.

Make sure you have the speed ratings for all of the machines on the line. Try and get these from Engineering, not just what the operators tell you. In my experience these can often different.

Next, get some history on the Line Philosophy so you can better understand why it has been set up the way it has. Additionally, understand what the requirements are from the Planning Department so you have a good alignment of what is needed from a Customer perspective

Now it’s time to plan your day. Choose a day when there are limited change overs or flavour changes so you can get a good look at the run on the line. If these other events do occur then measure the start/stop times as they are handled throughout the line.

What to observe –

  • How well the accumulation tables are working?
    • Are you getting a steady flow into the table upstream from the Constraint machine?
    • Is the accumulation table downstream from the Constraint machine clear or is it backing up all the time during normal operation?
  • How quickly do the machines start back up again from a stop, when it has been Blocked or Starved?
  • Look at the interactions the Line Staff have with the equipment. Are they constantly tweaking to keep the line running?
  • When you have a Blocked or Starved Event, how quickly are the Operators dealing with this?
  • When you have an inherent fault how fast do the Engineers or Line Operatives respond?

Ensure you have someone assigned to the peripheral equipment too – these include inkjet or laserjet coders, Barcode applicators, EOL Barcoders, CheckMat Systems (or other reject systems Mapex, Heuft, etc.), Conveyors and review how the finished goods are removed from the line. FLT, AGV, Conveyoring, etc. all play a role in line effectiveness and efficiency.

Your day should last a reasonable period of time, 4 to 8 hours excluding break times. Ensure you have assigned the administration task of data entry to someone so the details of your study can be concluded. This may be the following day so don’t over-commit by saying it can all be done in a day – rushed jobs can sometimes lead to missed opportunities or observations.

Now you have all your data, you can complete your V Curve analysis to the highest standard and work out how to maximise potential efficiency.

For more information on V Curve Analysis and Bottleneck studies call Cimlogic.

Visit here to read part one and two of the How to: Make LEAN Work blogs or to read the Cimlogic Solutions Blogs.

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