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Peter Handlinger

Peter Handlinger: Establish a daily pattern production schedule to sequence your presses

By Peter Handlinger, - Last updated: samedi, octobre 6, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

There is a huge difference between the typical “assembly” line production and the manufacturing environment. We are all guilty, to some extent or another, of trying to replicate the ‘sequential production’ paradigm into a world that experiences ‘non-sequential’ work loadings – a world of high product variability, short runs and shared resources. Herewith some ideas for you to consider.

1.       Close the feedback loop by linking your output requirements (i.e. your customer) with your input. Use the available forecasts to determine your plant loadings and establish a daily pattern production schedule. Use your existing layout as the basis for your planning – at least initially! Purpose of this is to get stability in the planning and execution phase. But, more importantly, you will also discover where your shortcomings lie as you execute your plan. This includes determining your levels of WIP & FG and where you would like to see them. WIP is directly determined from the reliability of your suppliers and your internal process (scrap, uptime …). FG levels would include customer requirements (in effect this is an informal review of you by your customer) and the dispatch discipline.

2.       One will need to create, where possible, the best approximation to flow (use your high running volume products as a start). In order to avoid high initial Capex expenditure use your daily production schedule to sequence your presses. Other than the obvious reasons relating to creating flow (e.g. reduction in process leadtime) the key benefit of this relates to early detection of missing and faulty parts (e.g. splits). Early detection = early resolution (subject to management’s intent to solve problems at root cause level ….).

3.       Within each process create the required standardisation – and make sure that this is adhered to (here I include the safety and 4S aspects). This will be a challenge to your supervision and management and may require some strong initial intervention from your side. Attempting to solve problems at root cause level without some form of standardisation in place is difficult – not impossible but difficult. Consider the following: Before going into a problem solving exercise ask yourself the following questions – 1. Is there a standard in place? 2. Does everyone know about the standard? 3. Are your people trained to execute the standard? 4. Is it being adhered to? If your answer is no to anyone of these then perhaps you need to focus your attention on standardisation as opposed to laminated SOP’s.

4.       Process improvements are an ongoing exercise given an executable plan – cf items 1 & 2 above. Use the various improvement tools and techniques that are readily available (e.g SMED activities).

5.       Given the above items, the final ingredient is effective Production Control – without this in place you will not get long lasting solutions. The role of Production Control is threefold –

a.       set and manage the execution of a feasible plan,

b.      ensure that the operations are balanced (or heijunka if you prefer), and

c.       co-ordinate improvement strategies based on actual performance.

Build this capacity urgently within your business. I cannot emphasise this point strongly enough.

6.       People make things – not machines. Ensure that ALL your levels of management know how to do the basics well (as opposed to knowing a little bit about of lots of things).

In terms of sequence of events – items 1,2 & 5 are closely related. Start with these – i.e. have a plan. Items 3 & 6 together would be next on the agenda. If you can do these two clusters simultaneously all the better but be careful of attempting to change the world in one go. Once you are approaching stability (i.e. the number of “surprises” per day has been reduced) then start ratcheting up the standard using the various improvement tools. Hope this helps.

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