5 10, 2017

Cellular Manufacturing with Machines

By | October 5th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

The concept of a Cellular Manufacturing  applies to processes involving machines as well as to manual assembly, with improvement opportunities of the same magnitude but different challenges. Cellular Manufacturing is a set of collocated, physically linked machines performing a common sequence of process steps for a family of items and run by a team of multi skilled operators that controls the release of work to the first step in the sequence. Unlike manual assembly, the work done by machines cannot be rebalanced at will, and the cell’s capacity is limited by that of its bottleneck. 100% utilization of all the machines in a cell is usually impossible, and utilization metrics in this case are more relevant for the cell as a whole than for the machines in it. Cell layouts aim to facilitate the flow of workpieces and the movements of operators while providing the required clearances for maintenance access to the machines. As a result, machines are closely packed and at crooked angles to one another, as opposed the traditional, facilities-driven neat rows.

Cellular Manufacturing with machines can be defined as:

Collocated machines. A set of collocated, physically linked machines. A common sequence of process steps performed on these machines for a family of partsCellular manufcturing

Team of multi skilled operators. A team of multifunction operators circulating between and attending to all the machines, moving, and keeping records.

Autonomous pacing. The team controls the release of work to the first step in the sequence.

Essential features of any manufacturing cell are as follows:

Materials flows: Product units move through a sequence of steps without backtracking or iterations.

Production operators are surrounded by machines. The product units flow around the operator work area, without ever crossing it. Each operator usually attends to more than one machine, and these machines are of different types.

Product size: Products up to a particular size only can be produced inside the cells. Large products are very difficult produce in cells and generally produced on moving lines

Number of operations: The cells in the example perform a handful of operations. Provided each operator performs multiple operations, the concept can be stretched to 20 distinct operations, but not 50 or 100.

Number of operators. The examples have no more than three operators working in a cell. There can be more, but that is rare at least in pure machining or fabrication cells. Where some assembly is involved, there can be as many as eight, or even ten, but a production line with 50 operators is definitely not a cell.

Station layout: The machines are laid out so that the operator workstations of successive machines are as close as possible, and this design goal overrides almost every other consideration.

Density: Machines in cells are much more closely packed than in the classical layouts. Even after allowing for maintenance access from the back of the machines, the conversion of a machine shop into cells typically frees up 30% of the floor space

27 09, 2017

How to make TPM Implementation Plan

By | September 27th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

TPM is about maximising the overall effectiveness of equipment through the people who operate and maintain that equipment. In order to provide the essential link between equipment and people it is essential to identify a clear set of phases and steps which together make up the TPM improvement plan.

There are three phases of the TPM Implementation Plan:

The measurement cycle, which assesses the present effectiveness of the equipment and provides a baseline for the measurement of future improvement.  Only after understanding the current situation of Asset efficiency, right action plan can be generated. Many organisations may not have good data collection system before starting TPM Implementation. This current OEE level must be estimated based on designed capacity vs actual good output every month. After understanding the current approximate level of OEE, a data collection system must be established to measure OEE on a daily basis.  Excel templates can be used to calculate OEE initially and investment in any OEE software must be done only after OEE is fully understood by the shop floor staff and data collection on excel based systems has been stabilised.

Measurement of  6 big OEE losses is very important before TPM implementation can be started. Only after assessment of the losses, right TPM pillars can be chosen for starting TPM implementation

The condition cycle, which establishes the present condition of the equipment and identifies the areas for improvement and future asset care. This cycle covers assessing the current situation of equipments through observations and audits. Each and every component of the equipment is assessed against various parameters to understand the current condition. Next step in condition cycle is to start planning for improvements in equipment based on assessed situation. if planning is done well, lot of time can be saved during repairs and problem correction work

The problem prevention cycle, which moves equipment effectiveness forward along the road to world-class performance. this is most important cycle of TPM implementation and covers establishing a root cause analysis system to continuously work on identification, correction and prevention of all the causes resulting in loss of equipment efficiency


19 09, 2017

Steps of Change Management

By | September 19th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Managing change is most difficult process in any organisation and requires support of external forces and systematic Implementation of steps of change management. Many of improvement initiatives fail because of lack of following steps of change management.  Generally people are used to do things in a certain way, once any new method is introduced, there is resistance which is caused by various fears & some times ego.  Here are steps of managing change in your organisation:

  • Create sense of Urgency: unless a sense of urgency is generated, no one will be serious on change efforts. creating sense of urgency requires identifying gaps between current & desired situation and dealing with initial resistance. Individuals generally resist because of habits, comfort zones, job security fears & ego. Organisational resistance is caused by threat to established power structure, threat to established resource allocation.  To overcome resistance Positive of negative impacts of changing and not changing must be identified and communicated to every one
  • Create Vision of Change: A positive vision of outcome of change must be created and communicated to everyChange Management steps

    one. Positive vision covers benefits to individuals and to organisation if new methods were adopted and how it will everyone become and perform better on their roles. Vision of change should be BOLD, Positive and inspiring.

  • Develop Support Teams: to lead the change, support team must be created of people who have initially given positive response to Sense of urgency and positive vision of change. Role of support team is to help implement change across the organisation
  • Communicate & Train to change paradigms: Regular communication and trainings on changing paradigms with real life examples are key to to sowing seeds of changing the mindset.
  • Empower & Involve:  Involving team members in process of change is key to get buy in. only once people are involved, they will be able to see positive impact of change. Just telling people to follow without involving will always create a negative environment and will result in more resistance.
  • Create Short Team Wins, Reward & Recognise: Efforts of Involved team member must be appreciated and celebrated. More the appreciation of efforts, more will be the increase in adoption of change efforts.
11 09, 2017

What is Corrective & Preventive actions in Root Cause Analysis?

By | September 11th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Corrective & Preventive actions are two most common actions identified as a part of doing a Good Why Why Analysis of 5 why analysis, which is done as part of Root Cause Analysis.

Many users & trainers on Root cause analysis do not understand the real different between corrective and preventive action.

Corrective Action: in most of the cases, what is considered as a Corrective action is actually Immediate Action or Root Cause AnalysisBand-Aid Solution.  For example: If a part is broken, replacing it with a new part is considered as corrective action, which is technically incorrect. Replacing broken part with a new part is actually a Band-Aid Solution and does not require any kind of analysis or problem solving work. Corrective action is action which will element the root cause/s of the problem within a particular equipment or particular area of problem. In simple words, once corrective action is implemented, problem should disappear from selected problem area.

Preventive Action: Preventive action is an action, which will eliminate the problem completely from entire organisation or entire area of operation. Generally corrective action is considered as preventive action, which is technically wrong. Preventive action, once implemented, will eliminate problem completely from entire organisation.

Lets take an example to understand difference between Corrective & Preventive action.  Printing machine in a Flex Printing organisation was breaking very often due to failure of gear on one of the printing roller. After Root cause analysis was done, it was identified that ink mixing with lubricants used was resulting in choking of gear, thus breakdown of the gear. Ink was splashing and getting mixed with the lubricants due to poor viscosity, which was due to no standard present or followed for maintaining ink viscosity. Lack of standard was identified as a root cause, a process was created to ensure if standard is not followed, job can not be started. Implementing the process of following this standard only one machine is called Corrective action. When same action is implemented in all printing machines within organisation, it becomes a preventive action, which will avoid problem completely in whole organisation.

Identification of Corrective & Preventive action requires following systematic process of Root Cause analysis. Using techniques like Brainstorming with team members, understanding & observing problems at Gemba makes it easier to identify Corrective and preventive actions. Each action identified should be based on data and facts, which have been thoroughly verified.

10 08, 2017

How to Implement Lean Manufacturing?

By | August 10th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Lean Manufacturing has become very popular in India & some countries in East Africa. however implementing Lean in right way requires deep understanding of concept and philosophy behind Lean. Most of the consultants and organisation go by the Tool Implementation way, where they select few popular tools like 5S, Cells, Kanban etc and implement. Certainly there will be lot of benefits from implementation of these tools but not in long term. Because lean is not just set of tools, its way of running your business. Lets understand different approaches for Lean Manufacturing Implementation.

  • Kaizen workshops approach
  • Hot Projects approach
  • Plant wide Lean tools Implementation Approach
  • Value stream Model Line approach
  • Hoshin Kanri Approach

Lets us understand Kaizen Workshop approach in detail:Kaizen workshop

One common approach to implement Lean Kaizen is strategy of the one week kaizen event. The kaizen event structure (a.k.a. kaizen workshop, rapid improvement workshop, lean event, rapid improvement event). Kaizen workshops to be conducted are decided based on outcome of an Initial assessment, where current state is analysed, problems & opportunities are identified, Potential savings are calculated and a roadmap for Kaizen workshops is created.

Following are some more details on phases of Kaizen workshop: 

1. Prepare in advance. Two to four weeks of advanced preparation for the workshop to define the scope of the problem, decide on a team, collect data on the current situation, decide what lean tools to use, and make logistic arrangements for the event. In some cases there is advanced purchase of tools, materials, or equipment that cannot be done in the lead time of the one-week workshop.

2. Conduct workshop:

  • Monday: Give an overview of lean Kaizen and teach any special Kaizen tools needed for that week. Begin to collect data on the current process in the afternoon.
  • Tuesday: Complete the current state analysis, collect data, draw a process flow map, draw walk pattern on layout, develop Standardized Work Combination Tables, etc., and develop ideas for the improved state. Perhaps detail the future state by the end of the day (Plan).
  • Wednesday: First pass implementation (Do). It may be in one pilot, to try it first, or full implementation right away. Sometimes this starts by clearing the floor of the current process, painting the floor, then moving equipment back in the new layout.
  • Thursday: Evaluate process (Check), improve (Act), and keep going through Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) until you have a good approach.
  • Friday: Develop a presentation for management. Present to management. Celebrate. (Often the event ends after a lunch celebration.)

Follow-up to the workshop. There are always items that could not be done during the week, which are put together as a homework list sometimes called a “kaizen action plan.” An action plan for what, who, and when is prepared during the one-week workshop, and follow-up is needed to be sure the items get done.

10 08, 2017

Role of Planned Maintenance Team in Autonomous Maintenance

By | August 10th, 2017|Lean Kaizen, TPM|0 Comments

TPM Autonomous Maintenance

Planned Maintenance teams in TPM Program generally consists of team members from maintenance team where is Autonomous maintenance team have more of production team members as objective of autonomous maintenance is to create equipment competent operator. however to train operators to identify & correct abnormalities on their machines, Planned maintenance teams should support them. Following are roles of Planned Maintenance teams in Autonomous Maintenance steps

Autonomous Maintenance Step 1:

  • To explain machine function and mechanical functions and define basic conditions – normal and abnormal
  • Guidance for Identification of cleaning, inspection and lubrication items and Cleaning tools management
  • Abnormality identification training – and teach about red/white tags
  • Teach how to develop One Point lessons
  • Help to dis-cover difficult to access areas
  • Inspection while cleaning –teaching this to operators.
  • Training the operators on moving parts, functional inspection of the rotating mechanisms, to find out abnormalities and making operators judge pass-fail criteria.

Autonomous Maintenance Step 2:

  • Assist and implement countermeasures for sources of contamination by fabricating
  • carrying out trials, installing and improving guards etc. This will include activities such as:
  • Make machine easy to clean, lubricate and tighten – by operator with their involvement.
  • Conducting WHY-WHY analysis of breakdown and if the reason being lack of Autonomous Maintenance activities then fill the skill gap.
  • Prepare localized guards & Arrest leakages
  • Removal of red/pink tags – explain and do.
  • Rectifying the major abnormalities, which cannot be done by operators.
  • To train the operators for developing, with one point lessons.
  • To train operators to conduct daily autonomous maintenance activities safely.
  • Attend to suggestions made by operators in form of countermeasures by AM team that they couldn’t implement themselves.

Autonomous Maintenance Step 3:

  • Preparation of visual control – to make the changes in equipment including auxiliary units so that they are easy to clean, access, inspect and lubricate.(Re-tighten) make the equipment ‘visually controllable’ by operators
  • Decide frequency for Cleaning, lubricating, tightening, making the method to do it and decide who will do what. Then teach that person ‘How’ to do.
  • Provide the right kind of tools near the machine for operator to use. Similarly provide appropriate tools to maintenance for their work
  • Prepare Breakdown sheet on which all breakdowns will be recorded and analysed
  • Correct abnormalities that are identified through inspection.
  • Establish standards for lubrication and monitoring pressure/temperatures
  • Establish standards for cleaning
9 08, 2017

Losses addressed by Kobetsu Kaizen

By | August 9th, 2017|Lean Kaizen, TPM|0 Comments

Kobetsu Kaizen (Focused Improvement) is first Pillar of Total Productive Maintenance is used to address non equipment

TPM: Total Productive Maintenance

related losses and losses which can not be addressed by other pillars. Kobetsu Kaizen means Focused Improvement and uses the approach of Root cause analysis to address the losses. Data on all non equipment related losses is collected and prioritised through Pareto analysis to select the highest loss to be addressed first.

Following is list of various losses addressed by Kobetsu Kaizen:

  • Set-up and Tool change loss (Approach of SMED is used to address this loss)
  • Start-up loss
  • Minor stoppages
  • Reduced speed
  • Management Loss (Lack of material, operators and any other issues which can be resolved by management only)
  • Operating motion loss
  • Line organization loss
  • Measurement and adjustment loss
  • Tools, jigs and consumables loss
  • Yield loss
8 08, 2017

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

By | August 8th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Value stream mapping also known as Material & Information flow mapping in Toyota Motors, is more than a tool to draw pictures that highlight waste. It helps us see linked chains of processes and create Future state of a Lean value steam. Key philosophy of Value stream mapping is how to approach improvement and to improve overall material and information flow.

Value Stream maps also provide a “common language” and understanding so that everyone has the same vision for Lean or Kaizen Implementation. Like a road map, the value stream mapping tool shows the road for the Kaizen or Lean journey, but it is only a guide. It does not detail what you  will find along the way in your Kaizen journey. You must have a thorough understanding of the basic concepts and how to create processes that adhere to them. This is when it is very helpful to have someone who has previously made the journey. They not only know where they’re going, but they can save countless hours otherwise wasted by taking wrong turns!

Some of the common objectives used from value stream mapping are:

  • Short lead-time from customer order to completion and delivery of the product.
  • Connected processes with continuous flow and pull of materials.
  • Simplified information flow within the value stream that comes from internal customers (the following process).
  • A clear awareness of the customer requirement (the “voice of the customer”). In a pull environment, the customer (next operation) dictates what is done and when. The voice of the customer should provide: Required rate (TAKT time), Required volume (quantity), Required model mix and Required sequence of productionValue Stream Mapping
6 08, 2017

Understading use of Kamishibai boards

By | August 6th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Kamishibai Daily Work ManagementKamishibai boards are great tools to help you manage day to day business activities. Whilst computerised task management tools are great, their lack of visibility to everyone away from the computer screen can make it difficult to understand what progress has been made. In their simplest form a Kamishibai board is a red and green ‘T’ card system where the red side of the card shows the task is incomplete and the green side of the card show that the task has been completed. The board always starts with all of the red sides visible and as tasks are completed the cards are turned around. If your management style includes ‘walking the floor’ to find out what is going on, then a Kamishibai board will make your working day a lot easier. As you walk past an area that has one of these boards then you should be able to see a wave of green cards forming. It’s very easy to see one of two things; either that the board is not being used (so you can give the people responsible a nudge), or that progress is being made. There is often a concern with managers that people will turn the cards over prematurely just to give the right impression. This can happen, but thankfully people who do this trip themselves up very easily. One case that is vivid in my memory is the manufacturing company who had a task related to the checking of oil at the start of every shift. The cards were turned over religiously and then the machine seized! It was very easy for the manager to work out who had been trying to fiddle the system… the system was adhered to from that point onwards! A Kamishibai board is simply a card form of your routines of working.

4 08, 2017

How to Conduct Lean Kaizen Event | Kaizen Workshops?

By | August 4th, 2017|Lean Kaizen|0 Comments

Gemba Kaizen WorkshopA Lean or Kaizen Event, also referred to as a Kaizen Workshop, Kaizen Blitz, Breakthrough Kaizen, or Rapid Improvement Event, is a powerful tool for accelerating improvement. It’s a structured team activity designed to remove waste and implement improvements in a defined work area or process, all within a few days.  Kaizen Events are tactical, focusing on how to execute the strategy, utilizing the people closest to the work.

Kaizen Events solve problems quickly and succeed in consistently delivering sustainable results. The approach relies on cross-functional teamwork, implementing improvements in real time, and learning by doing. A familiar Chinese proverb sums up the kaizen philosophy: Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand. The Kaizen Event is characterized by a number of attributes that, when followed, enable teams to consistently outperform established expectations, and make this improvement approach fundamentally different from traditional models. Following are 6 key characteristics of running successful Kaizen events or Kaizen Workshops.

  1. Value stream driven: Linking your Kaizen Events to a future state value stream map and implementation plan enables a holistic view of customer value and minimizes the risk of sub-optimization
  2.  Total Employee Involvement:  the primary members on Kaizen Teams are the people who are working the process daily. In most settings, the people doing the work know what needs to change, but traditional improvement processes have not provided them with the proper platform to participate in actualizing their ideas. Encouraging teams to seek the wisdom of ten rather than the knowledge of one promotes inclusive decision making and, as a result, more innovative and sustainable solutions. An important aspect of the kaizen philosophy is to use measurable objectives and a learn-do model to develop teamwork and build an improvement skillset in your front-line workers, which further increases organizational flexibility and responsiveness to changing demands.
  3. Cross Functional Teamwork:  Kaizen Events leverage the power of involving upstream suppliers, downstream customers, and subject matter experts, as well as objective “outside eyes” in problem solving.  Leveraging the perspectives and experience of a cross-functional team has many benefits. First, it dissolves interpersonal and interdepartmental tension that may exist prior to a Kaizen Event, in large part because individuals and departments don’t understand one another’s needs and don’t regularly solve problems together. Working on a defined problem provides everyone with a full understanding of how the process works and what the true needs are. From here, the team generates the best solutions, strengthening working relationships in the process
  4. Short duration: Kaizen Events usually last for two to five days. While this may seem like a long time to sequester people from their normal duties, it’s actually a short time period when compared with the length of time the defined process problems have typically existed and will likely continue to exist without the Kaizen Event. Also, the amount of work that’s accomplished and the learning that occurs in only two to five days far exceeds that which is experienced in most traditional improvement activities and training programs

  5. Waste elimination: Kaizen Events place greater emphasis on eliminating non-value adding activities than improving speed in performing value-adding (VA) activities. You want to eliminate the eight wastes embedded in the work sequence that are causing the greatest pain and that will produce the most immediate results. This does not mean that implementing improvements to accelerate VA activities is off limits—it just means that optimizing value-added work is not the primary focus for Kaizen Events

  6. Built-in sustainability: Change is difficult, and to achieve sustainability, we must confront our human tendency of returning to the way we’ve always done things. Kaizen Events address this issue in several ways: 1) thorough current state analysis and clear improvement objectives; 2) total employee involvement; 3) real-time leadership and peer buy-in regarding changes; and 4) the development and execution of a solid Sustainability Plan



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