First, the part of the value stream where the process analysis must be made should be determined. Concentrating on a one process and carrying out experiments on it will give us the opportunity to review, recalculate and take things forward. Before starting the process analysis, here are the general shop floor behaviours that need to be maintained. One needs to be approach the process analysis always via the team leader (if the process analysis is at a production line then it should be the line leader). Introduce and explain the things that you are going to do there (don’t disturb while they are busy working). Clarify to them that you are observing the work process not them. Show any notes of the data that you have recorded. Perhaps one can help them instead of standing there and simply watch. The message should be that we are all working for the same goal. Process analysis and grasping current situation.
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Step-1: The first step is to find out on what pace the line is running and also the customer demand Customer demand/ Customer Takt: Customer Takt is an important measure to find out at what rate the customer actually wants the product in a process. Below you can see the formula for the Customer Takt time. Customer Takt time = (Effective operating time per shift)/(Average customer requirement per shift) Here the ‘Effective operating time’ is calculated by subtracting the time for pauses, meetings, planned downtime (doesn’t include changeover time) & maintenances form the total time available. By determining the customer takt we exactly understand at what rate we need to produce in order to deliver customer. Most of the companies review their takt time to manage demand.
Planned cycle time: Planned cycle time is the actual rate that the line should be producing. It is calculated by deducting the changeover times and also other losses such as downtimes, scrap & rework times.
Step-2: Next step is to observe the process, by mapping all the flow. One needs to observe all the sub processes and record the timings. The more times the time is recorded, the more accurate the data can be.
Step-3: Next step is to check the machine capability. We should be able to determine whether the machines can support our current Planned cycle time or even we can check the possibilities for the improving the production rate. Hence, we need to make sure that the machine cycle time is always equal or less than the Planned cycle time.
Step-4: Next step is to check the process stability, if the process is not stable all the improvements that were made doesn’t show the desired results. This has to be addressed early because, unstable processes will create variation, causes extra efforts and extra costs. So, one of the goal here is to make processes stable and lean. The stability of each process can be checked by recording the cycle times for many iterations.
Step-5: In the end, we can calculate the actual number of operators required when the process is running stable without any problems. Over staffing not only increases the production costs (by employing more work force than required), It can also disturb the process cycle creating more wastes. However, if we operate the process with the actual requirement, we should to be able to find a way to respond quickly in case of problems.
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