Spaghetti Plot – Visualize the process inefficiencies caused by layout

Spaghetti Plot is a method of viewing observations to visualize possible flows through systems. Flows depicted in this way appear like noodles, hence the coining of this term Spaghetti Plot.
This method of statistics was first used to track routing through factories. Visualizing flow in this way can cut inefficiency within the flow of a system. In regards to animal populations and weather buoys drifting through the ocean, they are drawn to study distribution and migration patterns. Within meteorology, these diagrams can help determine confidence in a specific weather forecast, as well as positions and intensities of high and low pressure systems. They are composed of deterministic forecasts from atmospheric models or their various ensemble members. Within medicine, they can illustrate the effects of drugs on patients during drug trials.
Spaghetti plot is one of the main tools used to lean the system especially focusing on the layouts in the shop-floor. In process flow, focus should be on the number of touch points. Spaghetti plot gives a visual indication of the inefficiencies in the system caused by the layouts and flow. The aim is to focus on reducing the number of touch points and travel time in the process by optimizing the layout.
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Originally posted 2013-09-29 16:44:00.

Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is key to reducing production lot sizes and thereby improving flow (Mura). The phrase “single minute” does not mean that all changeover and startups should take only one minute, but that they should take less than 10 minutes (in other words, “single-digit minute”). Closely associated is a yet more difficult concept, One-Touch Exchange of Die, (OTED), which says changeover can and should take less than 100 seconds. A Die is a tool used in manufacturing. However SMED’s utility of is not limited to manufacturing

The concept arose in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Shigeo Shingo was consulting to a variety of companies including Toyota, and was contemplating their inability to eliminate bottlenecks at car body-moulding presses. The bottlenecks were caused by long tool changeover times which drove up production lot sizes. The economic lot size is calculated from the ratio of actual production time and the ‘change-over’ time; the time taken to stop production of a product and start production of the same, or another, product. If change-over takes a long time then the lost production due to change-overs drives up the cost of the actual production itself. This can be seen from the table below where the change-over and processing time per unit are held constant whilst the lot size is changed. The Operation time is the unit processing time with the overhead of the change-over included. The Ratio is the percentage increase in effective operating time caused by the change-over. SMED is the key to manufacturing flexibility.

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Originally posted 2013-09-29 16:42:00.

Seven wastes in Service industry

The original seven wastes (Muda (Japanese term)) were defined by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System. These wastes have been often redefined to better fit new organisations, industries, or external pressures. The effect of the waste is visible in a manufacturing industry. Adopting the Seven wastes in Service industry  is really difficult as the flow and the loss due to these wastes is invisible and mostly incidental.

One redefinition of these wastes for service operations by Bicheno and Holweg (2009) is as follows:

1. Delay on the part of customers waiting for service, for delivery, in queues, for response, not arriving as promised. The customer’s time may seem free to the provider, but when she takes custom elsewhere the pain begins.
2. Duplication. Having to re-enter data, repeat details on forms, copy information across, answer queries from several sources within the same organisation.
3. Unnecessary Movement. Queuing several times, lack of one-stop, poor ergonomics in the service encounter.
4. Unclear communication, and the wastes of seeking clarification, confusion over product or service use, wasting time finding a location that may result in misuse or duplication.
5. Incorrect inventory. Being out-of-stock, unable to get exactly what was required, substitute products or services.
6. An opportunity lost to retain or win customers, a failure to establish rapport, ignoring customers, unfriendliness, and rudeness.
7. Errors in the service transaction, product defects in the product-service bundle, lost or damaged goods.
These Seven wastes in Service industry  if recognised, will help the organiational transoformantion extremely easy.
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Originally posted 2013-09-29 16:41:00.

What is Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a Lean tool, to visualize the various steps and their contribution to the overall process.
Value
When a product or service has been perceived or appraised to fulfill a need or desire–as defined by the customer–the product or service may be said to have value or worth. Components of value may include quality, utility, functionality, capacity, aesthetics, timeliness or availability, price, etc.
Value Stream

All the activities (both value-added and non-value added) required within an organization to deliver a specific service; “everything that goes into” creating and delivering the “value” to the end-customer.
Process Map
A visual representation of the sequential flow of a process. Used as a tool in problem solving, this technique makes opportunities for improvement.
Value Stream Mapping A graphical representation of all tasks and activities needed to transform input materials and information into an output. 
Value Stream Analysis – The identification of all the specific activities occurring along the value stream, represented pictorially in a value stream map; see waste, unevenness, and overburden, size the opportunity, share a vision, communicate visually, permission to change, predict results
Non Value Added (NVA) – 
Those process steps in a Value Stream that take time, resources or space, but do not transform or shape the product or service to meet the needs of the customer 
Value Added Activity – An activity can qualify to be value adding, if the customer cares, perceptable change and first time right.
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Originally posted 2012-08-26 08:06:00.

What is Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)

Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) is a 4-5 day process utilizing a team based methodology to apply the lean tools for seeing waste and making immediate improvement. The focus in a Rapid Improvement event is to work on the set up time or the Changeover time.
Set-up Time
Work required to change over a machine or process from one item or operation to the next item or operation; can be divided into two types:
1. Internal: set-up work that can be done only when the machine is not actively engaged in production OR
2. External: set-up work that can be done concurrently with the machine or process performing production duties
Changeover Time
As used in manufacturing, the time from when the last “good” piece comes off of a machine until the first “good” piece of the next product is made on that machine. Includes warm up, first piece inspection and adjustments. 
The set up time and change over time are two of the biggest challenges to maintain a continuous flow of the work. this is one of lean tools effectively used by General Electric (GE)
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Originally posted 2012-08-26 07:50:00.

De-bottlenecking process and improving throughput

De-bottlenecking is  one of the very good lean tools focus on reducing cycle time and improving throughput. One of the important toll used is to study the bottlenecks in the system and improving throughput. A systemic approach is taken in studying, analyzing and acting on the bottlencks. A similar approach is taken in the theory of constraints also.

Bottleneck- Definition

The place in the value stream that negatively affects throughput; as a resource capacity limitation, a bottleneck will not allow a system to meet the demand of the customer.

De-bottlenecking:

De-bottlenecking essentially involves studying the bottleneck in the system and Improving the throughput rate of the process by working on optimizing the utilization of the bottleneck. 

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Originally posted 2012-08-26 07:33:00.

Cellularization or Cellular Manufacturing

In lean Manufacturing, Cellurization or Cellular Manufacturing is used to great affect. These are the Quality control tools used for cycle time reduction and set up time reduction.

Cellular Manufacturing
An approach in which manufacturing work centers (cells) have the total capabilities needed to produce an item or group of similar items; contrasts to setting up work centers on the basis of similar equipment or capabilities, in which case items must move among multiple work centers before they are completed. Each work center is capable of producing from start to finish of a product. Since very little movement is involved, this will help in optimizing the cycle time. 

Cellularization
Grouping machines or processes that are connected by work sequence in a pattern that supports flow production. Her the focus is on flow of the work, where there is very little movement of the work in the shop floor. Looking at a cycle time point of view the improved flow will certainly help in faster production. 
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Originally posted 2012-08-26 07:44:00.