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Posts Tagged ‘problem solving techniques’

TPM Principles & Application

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Back in 2009, KCTS starting blogging about Total Productive Maintenance which has been a core system within KCTS since it started in 1998.

Read it again below:

TPM Principles & Application

What is it?

TPM means Total Productive Maintenance. TPM is about involving everyone in creating and sustaining the necessary standards in their own areas. The standards must continually challenge the organisation to get better results as fast as possible.

A number of techniques are used to get the involvement and change in standards which are needed to deliver better results.

The techniques are often shown as a “TPM Temple”. This demonstrates that the techniques all aim to reduce Losses & Wastes, often measured by OEE, and apply to any organisation no matter the structure or products. Each technique has a number of Key Steps which need to be done to get the involvement and change in standards which are needed to deliver better results. The techniques focused upon within this programme are:

•    Focused Improvement, also called Continuous Improvement or Kaizen
•    Autonomous Maintenance
•    Professional Maintenance, also called Condition Based & Planned Maintenance
•    5S, also called Workplace Organisation
•    TPM Loss & Waste programme including OEE, Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Other techniques which may be applied as part of TPM are:
•    Safety, Health & Environment, reducing accidents, illness & emissions
•    Training & Education, improving consistency and delivery of knowledge
•    Early Management, improving the way new products and process are introduced
•    Quality Maintenance, reducing quality problems
•    TPM in Administration, involving people who work in offices and helping change standards in the offices to deliver better results

TPM aims to reduce losses to ZERO. This can be an extremely tough target for some losses, but ultimately satisfying for the people where the losses occur when achieved.

When to use it?

Identification of the type of problem can help work out the plan on how to solve it. Autonomous Maintenance and Professional Maintenance can eliminate sporadic problems by getting reliability back into the process, the area or the activities. Quality Maintenance will improve reliability of the process further to reduce quality defects. Other parts of TPM that can eliminate chronic problems include Focused Improvement, 5S Workplace Organisation and Training & Education.

What does it achieve?

Ownership of problems is only possible when people within the area, or activity, where the problem occurs can be involved in its elimination. TPM focuses people on creating and updating standards to share learning and tackle common problems. TPM delivers results faster than tackling problems in an unstructured way.

TPM aims to reduce losses to ZERO.

Key steps:

1.    Visit the area, or observe the activity, and investigate the problem
2.    If the problem relates to Safety, Illness or Emissions, select Safety, Health & Environment techniques to eliminate the problem.
3.    If the problem occurs regularly, every shift or every day or every week the problem is Chronic
4.    Select Focused Improvement, 5S or Training & Education when there are Chronic problems
5.    If the problem occurs regularly, every month or every year or every few years the problem is Sporadic
6.    Select Autonomous Maintenance and Professional Maintenance or Quality Maintenance as an improvement tool when there are Sporadic problems.
7.    Visit the area, or observe the activity, and check the problem has been eliminated

Variations:

•    Most people do not mind changing, but most people mind being changed. The way that people are involved is crucial and standards must be written by those who work within the area, or activity. These standards must be communicated and reviewed by the other people who also work within the area, or activity.

16 Major Losses – revisited

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Written By: Cordell Hensley – KCTS Consultant

The Value of Information

In a blog posted back in July we talked about why businesses should record data. “The main purpose of recording factory losses is to understand where we are losing time, speed, quality and ultimately money. This allows us to focus our (limited) resources by identifying the big problems across the manufacturing elements of our factory and profit centres”. Is that enough though? Do we always get it right?

I was recently working with a client who called us in to help them sort out their problems with machine availability. The site had a good data collection system in place (or so we thought) and their data was telling them that their biggest problem was with breakdowns. We agreed to develop an internal planned maintenance system but during the first visit, after trying to figure out their specific data recording and reporting system I realised that breakdowns were NOT their biggest problem.

The site had been recording breakdowns, changeovers, cleaning time and unplanned production, but there was no data recording for minor stoppages. Effectively the site captured the easy data, and assumed the rest of the time was productive. In fact there was a large gap between what the machines produced when they ran and what they should have produced given the amount of time that they ran.

For example, if they were supposed to produce 1000 units per hour, and only produced 800, the remaining time was unaccounted for unless there was an actual breakdown. When we dug further we found that breakdowns were not the biggest problem, minor stoppages were.

The company had losses of around 10% due to breakdowns, and over 15% due to minor stoppages. Of course we still set up their maintenance system as requested, they still wanted to reduce the 10% of downtime losses, but we also introduced an improved data collection system to capture the details of where these minor stoppages were occurring so we could begin to tackle these issues

Recording data will help you identify your losses and focus your efforts in the right area; however, this is only the case if you record the right data! Think about what information you need – does your data collection provide the right information? Is it at the right level of detail?

Data is just data until we convert it into information – but if we aren’t looking for the right information, then we won’t be recording the right data.

Problem Solving

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Written By: Malcolm Newman – KCTS Consultant

Delivery: On Time and In Full: But At What Cost?

New Product Introduction: Delivery Crisis was a Major Threat to Business.

I have just spent three days helping out a client with a serious delivery crisis due to the introduction of several new products for a major customer. They are a medium sized component manufacturer with a good reputation, experienced team of people and a range of technologies.

I will not go into how they got into the situation but it was the usual production headache; design, late changes, equipment, tools and methods are …. Well let’s say for this particular component they just don’t work! “The customer has launched the product and demand is better than plan;” said Plant Manager David. “I just have to deliver!’. But at what cost!”

When I arrived the team had been working all hours trying to get parts out the door. They had an agreed minimum quality sample. The customer needed 400 per day but Kev, one of the best operators could make only 1 piece every 2 minutes and only 60% were good enough, nobody else could do the job. Roughly speaking he needed to work 22 hours a day!

This was over and above the regular busy schedule of the normal business. The team; managers, engineers and operators were exhausted.

This is where the consultant has the advantage. Focused on the single issue with no axe to grind I could see the issues clearly. First action was to draft a plan. A plan that would stabilise the situation to keep the customer satisfied, return the operation to normality and save the team from certain failure and personal breakdown.

In these situations I find the solution lies in foundation tools. Standardisation, Standard Operating Procedures and Systematic Training work effectively to achieve the necessary results. We needed to develop a Standard Operation and then train people to the same skill as Kev – he is good but not superhuman.

To carry out a detail task analysis, draft SOP, test and verify them with any team is a challenge; with a team that is at breaking point working against the clock you have to be confident of your plan and processes.

Within the first day I had enough detail to start training an operator from the next shift, building their skill and confidence to be close to Kev’s quality. A second operator was trained so now we were starting to see progress; enough for the exhausted managers to go home and get some sleep.

By the following day we had two operators on all three shifts able to work to the quality standard and the reject rate was improving as their skill developed.

Now the parts were flowing to the customer so everyone was a bit more relaxed.

With the situation stabilised I could start on the improvement work. The current method worked but at a high cost. Now that everyone was a little calmer I could use the team to eliminate waste and get the process flowing. Within 2 days we had developed the methods and standardised procedures to be better than the original cost estimates.

Before I left I reflected with David who was still badly bruised by the experience. They had the tools and procedures in place and used them regularly. Why when under pressure do we throw away the procedures that ultimately save us? He still has a great deal to do in understanding the root cause of this crisis and putting in countermeasures to avoid a repeat; but that is another story.

Until the next time!

Short Interval Control

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
Written By: Lee Oxton

Last week we spent 4 days onsite at a client location where we introduced one of our problem solving techniques called Short Interval Control (SIC).

Short Interval Control is all about reducing the time it takes to react to problems that may occur on the shop floor and therefore holding people accountable to the actions they agree to.

Through the monitoring of any given indicator we can highlight highs and lows, which would otherwise have been ‘greyed out’ by averaging, using short intervals of say; weekly, daily or even hourly periods. This helps to accelerate learning and improve performance.

An important part of the process is the activity board which we use to assist with the explanation of the problem. The activity board would show the performance through the shift so far and a very brief summary of the key problems.

For each problem actions are agreed and prioritised, and the top 3 are completed in the next 2 hours with any other actions that have been agreed being complete or monitored within the same shift.

Problems that cannot be resolved by the team are escalated to their management to help be resolved.

The positive impact of introducing Short Interval control to our client has been excellent, with immediate effects seen on the weekly figures. Giveaway has reduced by 1.5% and OEE increased by up to 10% on their target lines.

 

 

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