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The manufacturing environment is quite complex with a large number of processes involved, combined with teams of individuals, possibly across multiple shifts and different functions. To ensure that the various processes are on track, there are a number of measures applied. These are possibly reviewed at various intervals to ensure that they are on track.  If management of these measures is not frequent and ongoing then there will definitely be a steady decline in results.

To effectively manage a manufacturing facility a number of different approaches can be taken.  The results achieved will be proportional to three factors, namely:

  • Information – that identifies current losses
  • Focus – the amount of time spent understanding and formulating decisions
  • Actions – that target resolution of the underlying losses

Therefore I.F. you ACT you get RESULTS whereby (Information x Focus) x Actions = Results

Regular performance management reviews (up to 24 hours) need to take place to focus on reacting to what is happening and ensuring that the team and engineers are focusing on the current biggest issues.  The strategic reviews, usually weekly, are about targeting continuous and incremental improvements, identifying trends and patterns and tackling root cause and cause of cause issues.

The management of performance is reliant on good quality data to identify the greatest losses and possible solutions.  The measures that enable identification of the greatest losses are:

1. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and The Six Big Losses (Breakdowns, Planned downtime, Minor stops, Speed, Quality in process, Quality on start up)

2. Machine downtime – split down by major stops and minor stops, Mean time between failure (MTBF) and individual equipment faults

3. Waste (quality losses) by machine area

This data could be collected manually and put into Excel (or similar), however the ultimate, is to have electronically collected pinpoint accurate data that is available in real time, from each machine.  This data can then be analysed and displayed on the shop floor, in team meeting rooms, in fact anywhere in the manufacturing facility.  A tool that does this extremely well is the XL800 System.

Decisions and resource planning that lead to action that are based on good quality data will yield results, whereas if based on perception, there is not necessarily a link between action and performance improvement. When this approach is followed habitually, and built into the daily routine combined with utilising quality data and taking action on issues identified, resolving them in a timely way, performance maintenance and improvement is almost guaranteed.

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