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Continuous Improvement Implementation– Actions Leaders Must Take to Change the Plant Culture.

googlesearch

Recently, I conducted a Google search to see what information I could find regarding the implementation of continuous improvement.  My query yielded 3.75 million hits on this topic.  Most of the websites and blogs I investigated debated if the approach should be top down (meaning lead and driven my leadership) or bottom up (meaning lead and driven by the workers on the factory floor).  In my experience the correct answer is BOTH!  However, one approach should come before the other.  If the factory is to achieve the goal of driving sustainable results while simultaneously driving a culture change, the leadership needs to do just that….LEAD!

However, one must ask “what is really meant by the top down approach anyway?”  Does it mean that the plant manager and the leadership team attend a bunch of Lean training and do some 5S or a pilot project to gain experience before leading the plant?  Well, yes!  But there is a little more that needs to be completed in order to drive the culture change needed to become a continuous improvement factory.  Here is my two cents on what else needs to happen when implementing the “top down approach.”

Obtain Strategic Alignment with Supply Chain Senior Leadership

Every year the factory manager and his team should engage in a process with the senior supply chain leadership to set the strategic direction for the factory and decide key goals and metrics.  The very first thing in ensuring that the Continuous improvement (CI) remains in the forefront of how business is done is to have a commitment to continuous improvement explicitly stated in the verbiage of the strategic goals that are set.  In addition, Continuous improvement should also be noted in the mission of the factory.  Since the mission is used to provide a compass to what is to be achieved and how, employees will feel the commitment from the leadership that Continuous Improvement is extremely important and a true part of the culture.

Leverage the Power to Senior Supply Chain Leadership’s Visits

Okay, let’s have a moment of honesty.  What happens at your plant when the factory manager and his/her team learn that the Supply Chain Director or VP is coming for a visit? ….Panic, chaos and stress or excitement and calmness…. Whatever your response to this question was, you can leverage the visit to drive the culture change top down.  Imagine what would happen if the results of the individual plant TPM/LEAN pillars and the overall continuous improvement audit scores were scheduled to be reviewed by plant and senior leadership together.   What if senior leadership held the plant leadership to an expectation of reviewing all continuous improvement projects and results related to driving the strategic goals of the plant?  How far would that go in changing the plant culture to one of full support of being not just a plant that does continuous improvement but a continuous improvement plant?  What would happen if senior leadership took the time to reward individuals for delivering goals via CI and success was truly celebrated?  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

Tie Continuous Improvement Goals to the Performance Ratings of the Plant Leadership Team

At the end of the day, every person in the plant needs to have clarity as to, “what’s in it for me?”  Fortunately, most companies have a system already established to help provide the answer to that specific question.  We will call it the individual work plan (IWP for short).  In most companies the IWP is created for each member of the plant’s supervisory and management team with the direction of the plant leadership.  This document contains the metrics for the individual employee’s success and is reviewed at least twice a year.  Though most factories do a good job of linking the metrics for the factory’s strategic goals, the metrics for CI related performance are often left out.  Imagine, what would happen if the goals for the each of the pillars and CI audit were reflected in the IWP’s of the managers that respectively have ownership for those pillars?  What if the delivery of the plant’s overall CI audit score and the saving target from CI projects was explicitly stated and reviewed on the IWP of the factory manager?  What would that do towards changing the culture and empowering the top down implementation approach?

Support the Continuous Improvement Department: Staffing, Budget, and Tools

How many of you CI managers feel operate as an army of one or maybe two, if you’re lucky?  Do you often have to negotiate with either the quality, operations, or maintenance manager to get funding for everything from people to pencils?  Are you  still using paper based system to do simple yet important tasks like defect tagging or basic machine root cause analysis?   What would happen if the CI department had staffing based on the support needed to training, coach, and audit the strategic areas targeted for continuous improvement?  What would happen if the CI department had its own budget to support training and the purchasing of robust CI tools? How much more successful would the CI department be in supporting the plant to reach its goals?

Summary

My experience as a CI practitioner has lead me to the conclusion that the success of CI in a factory has more to do with the people than anything else.  The people must be part of a culture that seeks to eliminate losses and drive efficiency.  However, most people have a natural resistance to change.  This is why it’s absolutely critical for the leadership of the factory to do more than just agree that CI is the right thing to do.  They must integrate CI into the mission, measures, goals, and review structure of the plant.  Finally, factory leadership must also provide support to the CI department in the form of money, labor, training, and tools to ensure the success of the department and the factory itself.

About the Author

pta2017

 

Patrick T Anderson  is a leader and practitioner of Continuous Improvement in manufacturing with over 18 years of extensive experience.  During this time, he has trained, coached, and audited hundreds of people on Lean Methodology and led teams to deliver millions in hard savings to the companies he has served.  Patrick is the founder of OpExApps, INC. in which he has taken his passion for programming technology to develop systems to make the application of continuous improvement simpler and more efficient.  Patrick is an alumnus of Florida A&M University and Xavier University, from which he obtained his B.S. Chemical Engineering and MBA degrees respectively.  

*Note:  Sign up to learn more about the tools that OpExApps, Inc. are providing to the manufacturing industry by visiting www.opexapps.com

Why 5G is Truly the Foundation of Successful Root Cause Analysis and How It Can Help Your Facility?

The first time I ever participated on a root cause analysis team (RCA), the team and I gathered in a room and debated about what happened and how to solve the problem for two hours.  Have you ever been involved in a similar situation?

This meeting resulted in us returning again the next day because we discovered that every solution we thought of was ineffective.  Unfortunately, based on the evidence that we found about the machine failure once we visited the production floor our hypothesis about the root causes of the failure were invalid.

From that experience I learned that you cannot find the root cause with collaborative hypothesis and logic alone.  You must investigate and verify.  Then I thought to myself, “Hey! This is TPM! I know I’m not the first one to come to this conclusion! I wonder if there is a step process methodology for the basis of problem solving?” Well, as it has been stated in another popular book that I like to read…the Bible, “seek and ye shall find.”  My search lead me to finding the 5G theory.

5G.png

Gemba

The first “G” is called the Gemba.  The gemba is the location where the incident actually occurred…..at the SOURCE of the problem, which may not be where the majority of the losses occurred.  It is critical that your team start by collectively going to the gemba to start your investigation.  It is especially important for the members of the team that have the most experience and/or management to lead this effort.  Everyone needs to have the same perspective and knowledge of the current equipment areas that are being investigated.  During the visit to the Gemba the remaining 4 “G” should be considered by your team.

Genbutsu

The second “G” is known as Genbutsu.  While at the gemba, your team should examine the equipment parts and materials that were involved in the equipment failure.  In most cases, the part may have been removed and replaced before the team has gathered.  Therefore, your team has to be sure to keep the failed part handy to perform a sort of mechanical autopsy to see if you can find any clues as to how the part failed.

Genjitsu

The third “G” is Genjitsu.  For this step, your team must gather all the data available about the process, equipment and materials before and after the equipment failure.   This data will play a key part in linking facts behind the evidence that the team sees and what really happened.  Data sources should include variable control data from the line event data system as well as testimonials from the technicians that were operating the line during the time of the incident.

Genri

The fourth “G” represents Genri.  Having the theory of operation available while your team is gathering data about the equipment is key in being able to reference the correct movement of the equipment, the correct conditions, and required control variable settings.  This will help your team clearly see “how the equipment is different from ideal condition?”  Typically, your  team member that is a representative of the maintenance department takes the lead in utilizing the theory of operation as their expertise is very well suited to also verify that the contents of the document itself are still valid.  

Gensoku

The fifth “G” is Gensoku.  There is a chance that the equipment didn’t just fail because it reached its design life or because it was poorly manufactured.  Due to this fact the team must also have knowledge of the operating procedures that govern the actions of the machine operator and verify that “Man” actions did not lead to the equipment failure.  You should reference your company’s Standard Operating Procedures, One Point Lessons, Standard Work Instructions or similar procedural documentations while investigating the operators or mechanics involved with the equipment leading up to its failure.

Summary

Utilizing the “5G Principles” truly took my ability to lead a team during an RCA to another level.  The use of 5G in combination with access to a robust root cause analysis tool allowed me to drive many issues to root cause and execute sustainable and systematic solutions.  As a result, the process became more stable and working on the line became just a little less chaotic and stressful.

About the Author

pta2017

Patrick T Anderson  is a leader and practitioner of Continuous Improvement in manufacturing with over 18 years of experience.  During this time, he has trained, coached, and audited hundreds of people on Lean Methodology and led teams to deliver millions in hard savings to the companies he has served.  Patrick is the founder of OpExApps, Inc. in which he has turned his passion for programming technology to develop systems to make the application of continuous improvement simpler and more efficient.  Patrick is an alumnus of Florida A&M University and Xavier University, from which he obtained his B.S. Chemical Engineering and MBA degrees respectively.  

*Do you want to increase your line efficiency by a minimum of 10%?  Sign up to become a Beta Tester for OpExApps, Inc. and get a free 30 Day Trial of Our Root Cause Analysis and Defect Tagging web applications for your team.

Learn How to Determine Which Metrics are Critical to The Success of Your Factory in 4 Steps

If you have spent time as a manager in manufacturing, then you know that there is no shortage of data.  In fact, there are usually numerous ways for that data to be analyzed and calculated into metrics.  But how do we know which metrics are the right ones to focus on?  Which metrics will really be impactful to driving the bottom line of the factory?  More importantly how do we measure our individual contributions or that of the teams we lead and routinely communicate these results to illustrate our factory’s success?  The answers to these questions can be achieved with a process called “cascading KPI’s” or “CK” for short. In the following sections, I’ll explain a four step approach that you can begin to use today.

ck4s

Cascading KPI Step 1

 

Step 1 of the CK process happens after the factory leadership has gained alignment on the strategic goals of the plant with regards to its role in the supply chain.  Questions like “ Should OEE, Efficiency, Productivity, Performance, etc. vs Cost or Output Reliability vs Total Plant Waste.” should be sorted out.  These decisions should be used as a compass as the leadership team creates the factory’s operational master plan.  The output of this step is to have a clear answer stating which of the PDQCDSM KPI metrics the leadership team will focus on to drive a step change of improvement via the plant’s Continuous Improvement function. These metrics will be known as your Key KPI’s and will also be your most lagging indicators (meaning that they will not be actionable at a tactical level).  Note: Step change improvement means that you have to meet the stretch goal, like your job depends on it……because it probably does or at least your bonus anyway ☺.

Cascading KPI Step 2

 

In Step 2, the task is to identify the primary factors or sub metrics that are having the most negative impact on the Key KPI’s.  Performing a loss analysis using a minimum of 6 months of historical data for each KPI will identify which sub metrics need to be improved and which process or equipment are associated with these losses.  The illustration below shows an example of a typical machine loss analysis linking minor stops (a primary sub metric of the Performance KPI) to the indexer equipment on line 7.  

lta

After the loss analysis, the sub-measures that have been identified are linked to the KPI flowing from lagging to leading.  Lagging means that the metric isn’t directly actionable, happens over time, or is a composite result. Leading means the metric is directly actionable and has an immediate change based on individual actions. This is what is referred to as cascading the KPI’s. It is also best to note at which level in the factory the metrics will be evaluated (Plant, Department, Line, or equipment).  The metrics should flow and demonstrate an f(x) relationship in which it is clear that improved metrics for individual actions on the equipment drive improved metrics for the line, for the department, and ultimately for the plant.

The picture below illustrates the cascading of the Performance and Quality KPI’s.  Continuous Improvement methodology dictates how work is done by the individual.  Therefore, continuous improvement metrics are linked to KPI’s at the tactical level. In the example below it shows how the metrics for CIL completion and defect tagging are linked to driving plant OEE.

ckpi

Cascading KPI’s Step 3

triggertarget

Step 3 targets, triggers and glide paths are set for each of the metrics.  The targets define what the goal is for success.  This is typically denoted on the metric’s graph by a black line and it resembles a level indicator.  The trigger defines the point to which the level of loss, as measured by the metric, gives cause for a root cause analysis to be performed.  The glide path shows the expected level of increase performance that is expected over time in order to reach the metric’s goal for the year.  Glide paths are typically utilized on strategic metrics in which the goal is achieved over a significant time span such as KPI’s or some PPI’s.  

Cascading KPI Step 4

In Step 4, boards are used to visually display all of the graphs for each of the metrics so that they can be easily reviewed by the plant employees and used as visual aids during operational review meetings.  By this method, every employee can be aware of the plants performance based on its key KPI’s.

mor

Summary

The Cascading KPI’s process combines the use to strategic alignment, loss analysis, and visual controls to determine and identify the metrics that are most critical in driving a step change level of performance in the factory.  Because of the lagging to leading, strategic to tactical, f(x) relationship of the metrics, clarity is given to link how measured actions at the team level impact the plant’s KPI’s.  It is recommended that the metrics be reviewed quarterly as the plant gradually reaches its KPI targets.  If a goal is achieved ahead of the glide path and sustainable, performing another loss analysis will reveal the next area to focus on continuous improvement efforts.

About the Author

pta2017

Patrick T Anderson  is a leader and practitioner of Continuous Improvement in manufacturing with over 18 years of extensive experience.  During this time, he has trained, coached, and audited hundreds of people on Lean Methodology and led teams to deliver millions in hard savings to the companies he has served.  Patrick is the founder of OpExApps, INC. in which he has taken his passion for programming technology to develop systems to make the application of continuous improvement simpler and more efficient.  Patrick is an alumnus of Florida A&M University and Xavier University, from which he obtained his B.S. Chemical Engineering and MBA degrees respectively.  

*Note: Do you want the ability to close out 100% of your defect tags 100% of the time with less stress and more efficiency?  If so, sign up to be a Beta Tester for OpExApps, Inc. at www.opexapps.com today.

Getting Back to the Basics

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? Exactly! As my daughter would say, “It looks like a hot mess!!” Oh yeah!  By the way, this equipment is has broken down. Which has resulted in 3hrs of down time and counting.  And I should also note that each minute of non-production has a premium loss of about $700/min for this nice little sold out business.  Now if you are in charge of this little “jewel of manufacturing” you are probably getting a lot of unwanted attention from your boss.  And you need to figure out not only how to get the equipment back on line, but how to make sure this situation never happens again.  So, what should be your first step? Of course!  You should form a kaizen team to do a three month black belt project, Right?! WRONG!!  Your first step is to get the mess under control by restoring the equipment to basic condition and completing the require mechanical repairs.  What does it mean to restore the equipment back to basic condition?…….Good question!  Let me break it down for you. (pun intended. Lol!)

Basic machine condition is the expected good state of repair that equipment should possess in order to produce quality parts in a timely manner.[1]  Typically, when people think of restoring basic equipment conditions, they think of simply cleaning the equipment.  However, to do this effectively requires a little more than that.  The true value comes when there is an understanding of the equipment placement and control variable settings that keep the equipment running as designed.  In the application of TPM, the Theory of Operation is the tool that is uses to capture this level of detail and truly define basic conditions for your equipment.  In the next section we will explore the details of the Theory of Operation and it is value.

Theory of Operation

The theory of operation is a tool that is used to define basic conditions by answering 3 critical questions at the transformation points on a piece of equipment.  Note: (The transformation point is the place where the equipment changes or has action on the product/material passing through it).  These questions are referenced to a diagram or picture of the equipment to provide visual support in explaining the equipment characteristics.  The questions are as follows:

What is the Idea Sequence of the Movement? This question requires an explanation as to how the product/material is moving through the equipment

  1. What is the Idea Sequence of the Movement? This question requires an explanation as to how the product/material is moving through the equipment
  2. What are the required conditions for each movement? This question requires an explanation as to the position of the equipment and its overall physical state as the product/ material moves through it.  This information specific and quantitativeUSE NUMBERS OR VISUAL CONTROLS to denote the correct position. DO NOT use words like appropriate, adequate, general, etc to describe these settings.
  3. What are the Operating Settings? This question requires an explanation of the control settings of the equipment as the product/material moves through it. Again, make this information specific and quantitativeDO NOT use words like appropriate, adequate, general, etc to describe these settings.

The answer to these question is obtained by using a combination of the equipment vendor records and the experience to the people the operate and maintain the equipment.

Click the picture below to access and example of a Theory of Operation on OpExApps.com

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-2-11-11-pm

The Theory of operation tool should be use for the follow 2 activities primarily:

  1. To focus the activity of defining Cleaning, Inspection, and Lubrication (CIL)[2] These standards will give details on how to keep the equipment in basic condition.  The standards are then to be paired with an activity schedule so that the CIL task can be managed by the Line AM team.  The Theory of Operation, CIL standards, and AM [3] Calendar are 3 key deliverables during the restorative steps of the equipment’s AM journey.
  2. To answer the question of “How the equipment differs from ideal state or basic condition?”, when executing the 5W2H tool of a root cause analysis or Kaizen.

Now that the basic conditions have been defined and you have created your CIL standards and AM calendar there is one more key component to ensure that the basic conditions are sustained……You Guested It! Now you need a robust defect tagging system.

Defect Tagging

During the course of completing the activities per the AM calendar the team will inevitably find that the equipment is now longer in basic condition per the CIL standards.  The tagging system is a way to systematically prioritize and restore the basic conditions in a timely fashion.  A robust tagging system should have the following characteristics:

  1. Be instantly accessible at the point of defect.
  2. The ability to be completed in less that 30 secs with minimal data entry required.
  3. The ability to capture pictures as a way to provide detail on about the defect and its resolution.
  4. The ability to communicate the defect information instantaneously and track it to completion.
  5. Automatic linkage to a tag register which shows the status of each tag
  6. Automatic calculation of all of the key tagging metrics as defined by TPM methodology

Luck for you, OpExApps,INC has created a tag management system that does all of this and it can be accessed from your phone.  Click on the link below to access the http://www.opexapps.com/website; where you can find demos of the Tag Management System and a system for Root Cause Analysis.

Click pic below!!!

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-2-11-30-pm

Summary

In summary, the restoration of the equipment back to its basic conditions is the first preventative action that should be taken following an equipment breakdown.  The Theory of Operations is a tool that is used to defined the equipment’s position and control variable settings as the equipment transforms the product.  In order to sustain these conditions, CIL standards need to be defined and a schedule needs to be provided to the team to define when the CIL activities are to be completed.  Finally, a robust defect tag management system is needed to ensure any defects against the standards will be fixed in a timely manner.

About the Author

pta2017

Patrick T Anderson  is a leader and practitioner of Continuous Improvement in manufacturing with over 18 years of extensive experience.  During this time, he has trained, coached, and audited hundreds of people on Lean methodology and led teams to deliver millions in hard savings to the companies he has served.  Patrick is the founder of OpExApps, INC; in which he has taken his passion for programming technology to develop systems to make the application of continuous improvement easier.  Patrick is an alumnus of Florida A&M University and  Xavier University , from which he obtained his B.S. Chemical Engineering and MBA degrees respectively.

*Note: Do you want the ability to close out 100% of your defect tags 100% of the time with less stress and more efficiency?  If so, sign up to be a Beta Tester for OpExApps, Inc. at www.opexapps.com today.

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[1] http://www.toolingu.com/definition-900150-11789-basiccondition.html

[2] https://kaizenrms.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/establish-basic-machine-condition/

[3] http://leanmanufacturingtools.org/438/autonomous-maintenance/