Methods like Lean, PDCA, Kaizen, 5S, Shop Floor Management, production systems, and continuous improvement systems, as well as many others, serve to achieve process outputs under much more advantageous conditions. These advantageous conditions, which we refer to as increased efficiency, mean:
less human effort
less investment or capital
less consumed material or time
less performed work, as well as fewer managerial structures
…to achieve the same output. And it doesn’t matter whether we measure this output in financial, volume, or any other terms. Similarly, process improvement means benefits not only for management and company owners but also for employees and even end customers. Lastly, a more efficient process is usually also more environmentally friendly, as it consumes fewer resources, regardless of their nature.
Increasing the availability of injection molding for the supplier of pressed components
Customer: Supplier of pressed components for the automotive industry.
Problem/Opportunity: Poor availability of injection molding due to long rebuild times.
Used methods and tools: SMED; 5S; TPM; Ishikawa diagram; Pairwise comparison; Standardization and visualization; DOE – design of experiments
Achieved improvements: Reduction of setup time by 42.4%, decrease in the number of setup personnel by 15%, decrease in Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) by 23.2%, and reduction of Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) by 47.6%.
Reduction of changeover times on assembly lines for the supplier of assembled components
Customer: Supplier of assembled components for the automotive industry
Problem/Opportunity: Non-standard procedures during assembly line changeovers and significant time disparities during line reconfigurations.
Used methods and tools: SMED; Standardization and visualization; 5 x why; Pareto analysis; Regression analysis; FMEA analysis
Achieved improvements: Reduction of setup times by 56.8%, decrease in the number of setters by 10%.
Optimizing production time and cycle times at an electronic component supplier
Customer: Supplier of electronic components for the automotive industry.
Problem/Opportunity: Long production time not corresponding to customer requirements
Used methods and tools: Waste Analysis (VA-BVA-NVA Analysis); Pareto Chart; Process Mapping; Gap Analysis; Cellular Design; MTM – Methods-Time Measurement Analysis
Achieved improvements: Reduction of Manufacturing Lead Time by 20.3%, average reduction of cycle times by 26.6%