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For over 30 + years, we here at Searchtec Consulting Group have advised many manufacturing companies who greatly benefitted from our strategic lean thinking philosophy to improve their operations. In sharing our methodologies, we like to introduce you to lean thinking.
The outlook of manufacturing excellence call for managers to spend time on the factory floor among employees to acquire greater understanding of processes through firsthand experience. Here at Searchtec we must have a factory walk through before we start any consulting project; and to further discuss in real time any potential issues.
Policy Deployment refers to the relationship between Strategy, Tactics, and Action, which eliminates waste created by poor communication and multi varying directions. The goals of the policy deployment is to align the Goals and the Tactics with the work Actions done at the factory.
6S is an acronym representing a basic organizational principle of lean manufacturing; that is, keep the work place organized so no one wastes time looking for items, such as tools. The 6S are (1) Sort, which means to get rid of anything unnecessary; (2)Straighten, or organize those items that remain; (3) Shine, or keep the work area clean; (4) Standardize, or set standards in writing for the measures above; (5) Sustain, or keep this process going and (6) Safety, or a commitment to safety in all activities
Bottleneck Analysis refers to the process of identifying the activities in the manufacturing process that is limiting overall throughput and then providing actions to improve the performance of these activities.
Process Control-Continuous Flow
Continuous flow is a type of manufacturing that eliminates delays and or waste, by way of configuring a manufacturing process with very limited barriers between steps.
Just-In-Time (JIT) is a phrase that refers to the production of items based on actual rather than projected customer demand. Products are manufactured and shipped to customer rather than to place these products into inventory.
Continuous Improvement- Kaizen Events
Continuous Improvement or Kaizen program is a process that combines the collective talents of all employees to create an event to find ways for eliminating waste from manufacturing processes. Because continuous improvement is ongoing process, Kaizen event /s are part of our improvement initiatives.
Inventory Management- Kanban
Kanban is a term for “Pull System” and refers to using a signal card system to regulate and to order the goods in the factory.
Performance Indicators- KPI
KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a metrics system that tracks progress toward organizational goals. These measurement systems come in a variety of configurations that are dependent on industry needs and company specific requirements.
Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) provides a system for measuring productivity loss in the manufacturing process as related to utilizing factory equipment. The three loss categories are Availability, Performance, and Quality. The goal is to achieve maximum effectiveness with no machine downtime.
The acronym PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is a work simplification approach to achieving improvement. To Plan is to develop a hypothesis; to Do is to run an experiment; to Check is to evaluate the results; and to Act is to refine the experiment and repeat it.
Error Proofing refers to the incorporation of error detection and to avoid inspection time.
Root Cause Analysis
Problems vs symptoms, is the process of analyzing the production process to determine the root cause of a given problem. By finding the cause of the problem, usually solutions can be offered. The major universal categories of loss in manufacturing efficiencies. They are (1) Breakdowns; (2) Setup/Adjustments; (3) Small Stops; (4) Reduced Speed; (5) Startup Rejects; and (6) Production Rejects. Understanding these categories can help a company convey a plan of action for improvement.
Goals refer to effective objectives that are characterized as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Specific.
Work methods and procedures that are based on best practices and are captured in real time document. For quality management compliance, capturing and documenting standard work is a must requirement in any given manufacturing process.
Production Rhythm-Pace (Takt Time)
Takt Time is simply a production pace (rhythm) that is aligned with customer demand. It is calculated as Planned Production Time/Customer Demand.
Total Productive Maintenance
(TPM) is a proactive and preventive approach to maintenance system, which maximizes equipment operational time. TPM emphasizes the enabling of operators as custodians of their own equipment.
Value Stream Mapping
Value Stream Mapping facilitates a visual representation of production flow. Accordingly maps shows how the current and future state of processes in a way that highlights opportunities for improvement. And also, it exposes waste in the current processes for which to provide a roadmap for future improvements.
A Visual Factory is one where visual controls, displays and indicators are shown to facilitate consistent communication. The objective is to provide employees and managers with access to the same information.