Lean Manufacturing and production processes
|| This methodology allows you to analyze all the activities of the production process and break them down into two categories: those that contribute to the creation of added value and those that do not. This classification makes it possible to apply a Lean Manufacturing system changing the business plan objectives into specific actions for continuous improvement in order to reduce waste, mainly in the manufacturing and delivering steps.
Seven types of waste, called 7s or Seven Wastes, have been identified. They are:
When production does not reflect the demand, producing items not required by the market, the company produces a waste because it has to bear the additional costs of production/management of unsold goods.
When the process is not under control these costs may significantly affect the bottom line. The entrepreneur, to eliminate or reduce the level of overproduction, has to be able to obtain an adequate organizational structure and high flexibility in the management of the production process.
IT tools suitable for your needs can be summarized in the following areas:
- supporting the production process at various stages of the supply chain (such as the management of an electronic kanban, automatic notification to suppliers of materials to be ordered...);
- monitoring, in real time, of the most relevant parameters (level of obsolescence, the rotation indices of the materials, the average time of supply, the improvements achieved in time...);
- providing timely information for the development of the production plan, on the basis of customer orders, what, how and when to produce.
Loss of time, waiting and delays
Each time an operator or a piece of equipment remains unproductive the company produces a waste. Among the most frequent causes of these downtimes are the delays in delivery of materials, breaks, or sudden stops of machinery and equipment.
The problems may be due to:
- bad programming of production resources;
- lack of information about materials (incorrect pick lists, unavailability due to non-delivery by the supplier, loss, non-compliance and unreported rework, etc.);
- lack of information about the next activity to be performed (awaiting assignment or awaiting instructions) for the resolution of problems in the manufacturing process (microstops, stops).
Often the company is only partially aware of the existence of these inefficiencies, but is not able to supply precise data, especially in quantitative terms.
With the help of specific applications you can achieve the following goals:
- programming the machines in order to optimize their saturation taking into account the availability of operators, with their skills, materials and tools to be used;
- tracking the availability and location of the materials, taking into account any recovery cycle;
- creating a production program for each department, equipment, operator, associated with all the tasks involved in the execution of the work;
- monitoring plant operations through a direct connection that allows you to record stops and microstops and associate its causal.
We have developed a software platform able to manage, in a centralized manner, the information relating to the production.
Each time that a semi-finished or finished product is transported from one area to another it is likely to be damaged, lost or spoiled.
Transportation don’t generate added value for the customer and it has to be eliminated or minimized. It can often be impossible to work without the transportation. That’s why it becomes essential to support the organization's work by providing precise sequences in picking materials and the adoption of equipment that optimize internal transportation.
Through specific IT functions it is possible to provide operators with information on picking sequences, to track the movement of materials, the time taken and the operators involved. Continuous monitoring of the information will help you understand why you need a transport to optimize the path, the frequency and verify the suitability of the equipment and procedures used.
With the use of our platform jpiano®, that kind of information is recorded on a central database and is available to qualified stations.
All the movements of corporate resources (materials and workers) that do not make the case for the creation of added value are a waste.
In this case it is necessary to distinguish the direct activities (producing value) from the unproductive activities of movements. These movements can be divided mainly into:
- displacements due to non-optimized layout or for the presence of over-sized structures;
- actions unproductive, due to non-ergonomic planning of jobs.
In such situations it can be important to know the impact of the time spent in unproductive actions compared to the time taken for the direct activities.
Our solutions allow you to scan, with a relatively low operational impact, the time spent in direct / indirect activities and to link them to specific micro-activities, orders, contracts.
In those processes, poorly designed, which use outdated technology and too high or low-skilled manpower there is a high generation of waste.
In such cases it proves to be extremely useful:
- knowing the indices of productivity of the process;
- providing the information necessary for planning and conducting activities;
- properly handling unforeseen situations (blocks, suspension and variations in delivery dates)
Our control systems of production, known as MES (Manufacturing Execution System) are customized to meet the customer’s needs, and are particularly useful for the management of the production process.
Excessive stocks of raw materials, materials being treated or finished products are potential wastes since they may be cause of damage or become obsolete even before being used.
To eliminate such waste is essential to adopt a policy of efficient supply to the various families of materials and equip themselves with suitable software tools that support it.
Through our platform jpiano® we are able to develop specific solutions to support the different material management strategies.
Any flaw or defect in a product makes the customer to reject it. The effort and resources (materials, operators, equipment...) used to deliver it are a waste for the company.
In order to improve you have to be able to measure and therefore to know the incidence of the total amount of waste produced and the related reasons.
In cases where it is essential to carry out monitoring activities or self-control you can support the staff for providing all the necessary information and updated information about the tests to be performed, acquire, if possible automatically, control data and view the results. These features allow you to improve operational efficiency and, at the same time, be associated with each micro-activity, order, order information on the audits carried out and the results.
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