Friday, August 26, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
- D - Defects
- O- Overproduction
- W -Waiting
- N - Not utilizing people
- T - Transport
- I - Inspection
- M - Motion
- E - Excess Processing
A Kaizen event is tyically focused on reduction of wastes. Kaizen methods from the House of Lean may be used. Some areas of focus might be as follows
- Work Flow Kaizen - improving workflow through KANBAN or even achieving single piece workflows
- Set Up reductions - Reducing machine setup time.
- Variability reductions - improve processing quality through six sigma tools.
- 5S - Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain
- TPM - improve equipment reliability through total productive maintenance.
Organizations using LEAN have shown that they can:
- Meet Customer Demand consistently
- Reduce environmental emissions and improve safety preformance
- Increase output and production
- Improve quality
- Reduce changeover and setup times
- Obtain more flexible manufacturing systems.
A Kaizen event can be used in almost any circumstance manufacturing or non manufactuirng. Focusing on specific goals these events are short term in nature usually 2-5 days at most. The events are well planned in advance and utilize a cross functional team of employees. Most importantly these events are focused on action and resolving problems quickly. Organizational knowledge is improved throught the use of Kaizen. During the event, employees will document the current state of operations, brainstorm and make recommendations on improvement, utilize the LEAN tools such as 5S and finally they will implement changes and measure the results. Together with management support the Kaizen event team will celebrate the successes.
It's typical for managers only think in one dimension, thinking only that a systems performance can be improved by changes in a single parameter. This is the thinking that traditionally drives one factor at a time (OFAT) experimentation. A typical method of improvement is to change one variable while holding everything else constant. Despite the fact that since grade school we have been taught to change one thing and hold all else constant, this should almost NEVER be done! It is not efficient. Knowledge and opportunity is lost!
A group of (4) process variables: Temperature (T), Recycle (R), Feed (F), Pressure (P)
Individually these can have an effect an a process where the sum of the whole equals the result
T + R + F + P => Output - The output might be yield or production quantity or other variable.
What is often ignored and misunderstood is that factors can work or interact with each other. The following is all the possible interactions that exist in a four variable system.
TR + TF + TP + RF + RP + FP (these are known as two factor interactions)
TRF + TRP + TFP + RFP (these are known as three factor interactions)
TRFP (this is a four factor interaction)
So the total possible sum of all the effects is:
T + R + F + P + TR + TF + TP + RF + RP + FP + TRF + TRP + TFP + RFP + TRFP => Output
Usually only a few interactions may be present in your processes. It is possible but very unlikely to find interactions using OFAT experimentation or studying historical data from your processes. Interactions may have a positive or a Synergistic effect or interactions may have a negative effect on a process.
In all practicality, three and four factor interactions are non-existent. So we ignore them. These cases are few and far between. Don't focus on them. This is explained by the "sparsity of effects principle" which states that most systems are dominated by some main effects and low order interactions. Most high order interactions are negligible. Therefore, synergy exists mostly in the main effects and two-factor interaction.
Typically a process may be defined, where only few main effects and interactions are relevant. For example using the system above we might have.
T + P + F + FP = output
To further illustrate the idea of the FP interaction:
A 1 unit change in F, feed alone may give increased output of 5 units
A 1 unit change in P, pressure, alone may also give an increased output of 2 units.
Both of these are positive effects! This in itself is good. But discovered separately may lead the engineer to conclude that the best course of action is only to increase F, Feed, because it gives the most positive result.
Synergy occurs when a change in feed of 1 unit and a change in pressure of 1 unit results in an output say of 10 units. The combined impact of the change in feed and pressure is synergistic and results in greater output than any of the single. In this case we would say that the FP interaction is synergistic resulting in greater output when these two variables work together!
Finding combination of synergistic interactions within a process is beneficial to increasing performance of a system!
The conclusion is that OFAT movements in a process are unlikely to discover interaction in a process between factors. DOE using planned fractional factorial designs, full factorials and central composite designs can be used to find synergies in your processes.
You can apply these DOE techniques in all fields. If you can vary factors or inputs to a process between two levels - hi and low, on or off then you can design an experiment to make improvement and identify synergy.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
My Vision Statement
- Be Successful, Profitable and Grow!
Those around me know that I am optimistic and choose to seek improvements in everything we do. I would like to see manufacturing flourish and grow in this country. We are active in seeking ways to help improve our competitive situation and develop economically. Despite increasing environmental, labor and energy costs, I believe we have the knowledge and technology for companies to be profitable and succeed here in the United States.
- Develop common sense solutions to enable acheivement of goals.
- Provide education on Theory of Constraints, quality improvements and statistical applications. Optimize processes to improve due date performance, increase throughput and decrease inventories and operational expenses.
- Be a good citizenship through support of Pilots for Patients
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
- People are your number one resource! Be honest and open. Encourage teamwork and reward successes.
- Use "Fitness for Use" as your classic definition for quality. Use statistical methods on value added processes. Use LEAN concepts to eliminate waste or non-value added activity.
- Customers are your key to success. Guide your ship toward them. Deliver on-time and follow-up on all complaints.
- Use Theory of Constraints in your production or throughput planning. Identify the DRUMBEAT and pace all activities accordingly.
- Lastly promote a safe and healthy work environment. Follow regulations and treat the environment with respect. Be Green whenever possible!
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
- The bulldog has the Courage to face new challenges.
- The bulldog has the Stamina to endure.
- The bulldog has the Strength to overcome.
- The bulldog has the Tenacity to persist with determination.
Some people and organizations may be unclear about what needs to be improved. Others lack the qualities necessary to face the challenges. If you do choose to improve, put the Bulldog on your team! Follow a process to improvement and start by defining clear and concise objectives.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
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