PROD 1024 Advanced Principles in Lean Manufacturing

Background   

A number of principal lean manufacturing principles should be understood to enable the successful implementation of lean. When the principles are not adequately understood or are applied poorly, they give rise to failure. In some cases, they make the relevant stakeholders become less and less committed to particular processes. The processes in turn become increasingly ineffective (Martin & Osterling, 2014). This paper explores some of the principles as they apply to a company christened Farm Equipment International. The company manufactures agricultural sub-assemblies along with components. It has a lone product family which is considered in this paper: hydraulic control sections. The sections are manufactured in a number of configurations for use in diverse tractors as well as for diverse markets. Usually, the sections are purchased by assemblers of original-equipment tractors as well as those repairing or overhauling tractors that are already in use.

Farm Equipment International offers diverse potential configurations. Given that each of its customers requires unique configurations, different customers make different orders. The sections are made in line with the specific orders made by particular customers. Presently, any given hydraulic control lever goes through the Farm Equipment International factory in 27 days, which is the production lead time (PLT). The PLT and a substantial backlog have compelled Farm Equipment International to give its customers a 60-day lead time quote. Even then, the assemblers, who are customers of the company are unable to predict own precise requirements, or needs, at least two weeks prior to use.

Consequently, the assemblers make common modifications to their orders’ details up to two weeks prior to delivery. Such changes force the expediting of particular batches through the factory. The company’s production control releases the orders placed by customers sequentially, starting with the ones that were placed earlier. The company’s shop floor operators along with supervisors carry out order batching in line with particular configurations to lessen the required changeovers, hence expediting orders.

Door-to-Door Value Stream Map of the Current Process

Any given current-state value stream map (CSVSM) offers managers ample overviews of the whole door-to-door process flow within a given facility. The CSVSM enables the managers make out, as well as prioritize, improvement areas. Before one creates a CSVSM, he or she ought to have previously made out the particular value streams or value stream that should be analyzed. Ideally, one needs some writing materials such as paper and pencil or a computer plus a stop watch. The stop watch may be rather handy in the obtaining of specific time samples (Martin & Osterling, 2014).

Several pieces of information may be picked from every process phase or step. First, one may collect the step’s CT (cycle time), which is the frequency at which a process completes a given phase.  Second, one may collect CO (changeover time), which is the period needed in switching from the production of a specific product to another product. Third, one may determine the uptime for the step (Martin & Osterling, 2014).

Uptime is essentially the percentage of a given tome when a specific process or machine can be availed when demand for it arises. Fourth, one may find it essential to determine the EPE (every part every) information (EPEI). That is essentially information on the sizes of produced batches. Other pieces of information that may be necessary include the operator numbers, product variation numbers, pack sizes, scrap rate, and working time less the provided breaks (Martin & Osterling, 2014).

Customer requirements

Cutting

Painting

Connector assembly

24000 units per month

Order  average = 50

 

5 units per box

Several daily shipments FEI needs orders delivered 60 days before the shipping of finished units

 

  Manual

 

CT= 15s

CO=60 min

Reliability=100%

 

 

Lead time = 2 days Manual process with 6operators

 

Total Work Time per Piece = 195s CO=10 min

 

Future State Design Key Questions

There are eight principal questions that Farm Equipment International and all other organizations operating in line with the principles of lean management should consider when developing particular future-state VSMs (value stream maps). Notably, the VSMs are geared towards highlighting waste and wastage sources and getting rid of them through the implementation of the appropriate future-state value streams (Martin & Osterling, 2014). The answers to the questions help in marking out of the related future state notions or ideas. The notions inform how the future-state VSMs are drawn, using the symbol sets used in the corresponding current-state VSMs.

The questions in relation to Farm Equipment International are:

  1. What is a given hydraulic control section’s Takt Time? Presently, any given hydraulic control lever goes through the Farm Equipment International factory in 27 days, which is the production lead time (PLT). The PLT and a substantial backlog have compelled Farm Equipment International to give its customers a 60-day lead time quote. Notably, the Takt Time relating to a particular product helps one in making out the corresponding capacity for generating the product. It helps guide how resources are allocated.
  2. Does Farm Equipment International make products to stock or make products after getting orders for them? Farm Equipment International offers diverse potential configurations. Given that each of its customers requires unique configurations, different customers make different orders. The sections are made in line with the specific orders made by particular customers. That means that the company has no finished product inventory. Make to stock systems withdraw given products from the ultimate stocks to ready to be delivered to customers.
  3. Where can Farm Equipment International use unbroken flow processing? Unbroken flow means that one piece or product unit is generated at a given time. The unit or piece is conveyed from a given process phase or step to the succeeding one devoid of waiting time between the phases or steps.
  4. Where will Farm Equipment International require to utilize the system typified as a supermarket pull? In any given value steam, there may be areas that do not support unbroken flow. In such areas, batching is critical. The company will need to utilize supermarkets in such areas to ensure that other processes flow persistently.
  5. Where will Farm Equipment International plan its pacemaker, or production, process? Notably, if the company was keen on operating its processes as typical pull systems, it should use a lone scheduling point to ensure the regulation of the whole hydraulic control section product family. The point in that case would be the company’s production pacemaker process. It would regulate the production pace in the whole line.
  6. How will Farm Equipment International level its production mix?  The adoption of a single production shift helps in the minimization of the needed changeovers. Even then, it increases the extant lead time. It helps hide problems with product quality and often gives rise to overproduction.  Instead, parts should be mixed evenly over particular shifts at identified pacemaker processes. That increases the number of the requisite changeovers.
  7. How will Farm Equipment International schedule own pacemaker process? Notably, the release of work instructions should be paced. The finished products at particular pacemakers should be paced as well. Whenever pitch is increased, the succeeding kanban (work increment) is brought in by those handling materials to given pacemaker processes. The finished product increment is shifted to the area hosting finished products.
  8. Does Farm Equipment International require extra process enhancements? Yes, Farm Equipment International requires extra process enhancements. Particularly, the company needs to lessen batch sizes along with CO at every process feeding supermarkets. The company needs to eliminate any unduly long periods needed to shift between given part numbers. The company needs enhancements in uptime, especially with respect to resources that are on-demand. The company needs to get rid of waste to less its cumulative work content within its work cells. That will help the company exceed or at least meet Takt Time. Besides, the company will need to make out within own future-state VSM the points, or areas, where events that are christened kaizen need to happen (Martin & Osterling, 2014).

It is important that Farm Equipment International commences these enhancements through the creation of an enhancement pull rather than pushing its teams (Shook & Rother, 1999). The enhancements will especially shorten the PLT through the company’s shop floor, increase the consistency of how the pacemaker process operates to exceed or at least meet the tack time. The enhancements will help the company respond rather fast to emerging challenges in its production processes. As well, the enhancements will ensure that the company lessens the quantity of hydraulic control sections held in stock if any.

Future State Map

Customer requirements

Cutting

Painting

Connector assembly

24000 units per month

Order  average = 50

 
5 units per box

Several daily shipments

  Manual

 

CT= 7.5s

CO=120 min

Reliability=100%

 

 

Lead time = 1 days Manual process with 12 operators

 

Total Work Time per Piece = 390seconds

CO=20 min

 

Implementation Plan

Action

Objective

Timeline

Use a lone scheduling point to ensure the regulation of the whole hydraulic control section product family
  • Enable the company operate its processes as typical pull systems
  • Regulate the production pace in the whole line
Within a month
Increase work shifts
  • Decrease the extant lead time
  • Reduce the risk of overproduction
  • Ensure that parts are mixed evenly over particular shifts at identified pacemaker processes
Within two months
Lessen batch sizes along with CO at every process feeding supermarkets
  • Decrease the extant lead time

 

Within a month
Eliminate any unduly long periods needed to shift between given part numbers
  • Decrease the extant lead time
Within a month
Enhance uptime, especially with respect to resources that are on-demand
  • Decrease the extant lead time
  • Ensure smooth resource flows
Within a month
Get rid of waste
  • Reduce cumulative work content within work cells
  • Exceed or at least meet Takt Time
Within two months
Make out within own future-state VSM the points, or areas, where events that are christened kaizen need to happen
  • Decrease the extant lead time
  • Reduce cumulative work content within work cells
  • Exceed or at least meet Takt Time
Within two months

 

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