Productivity Tools for Leaner Enterprises.
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Automated Real-Time Production Status Reporting has been identified as an essential element of the autonomation of the Lean Enterprise (this concept called Jidohka is defined in the Toyota Production System or T.P.S.). In particular, it contributes to :
· Avoid producing defective parts that would otherwise generate rework,
· Help lower the level of “water in the river to make rocks (problems) visible” so that rocks must be dealt with immediately, and no longer be tolerated for a while.
· Automate the collection of production data and the records of production downtime status to deal with it in real-time. The objective being to ACT NOW rather than analyze OEE later.
· Provide the Managerial Drive and Focus necessary to facilitate the acquisition of “Lean Thinking” attitude from the operators.
=> When an assembly worker knows that her boss cares about coming down to the shop-floor (Genba) to help each time difficulties arise, this person becomes more likely to provide her highest level of expertise to the problem solving team at work. Dealing with the subject while it is hot dramatically improves morale as well as the effectiveness of the team-work necessary for the organization to operate at very high OEE levels.
· Provide a sound base for OEE tracking with standardized analysis and 5 Why analysis techniques.
· Shorten the PDCA cycle
The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle or the “Deming Wheel” is said to be The Engine of the TPS.
· Improve the understanding of process capabilities in the view to achieve 6 sigma Quality level (3 parts per million)
· And much more ...
The major challenge encountered by organizations who are thinking of using database based reporting techniques in a Lean environment is that they assume “after-the fact” analysis when Lean calls for immediate operation stoppages.
Quantum BE offers a very innovative and powerful “ANDON” type SMS text alert alternative that is cost effective, light to develop, quick to customize and that is easily connectable to the client’s centralized database system (whenever there is one) .
The Quantum Tools use many of the features presented in the “excel-sms’ section of this web-site. If necessary, Quantum BE can also provide stand-alone microprocessor-driven sensors and additional powerful reporting tools (email alerts + wireless reporting to websites + wireless reporting to standard mobile phones by SMS). These tools can be made operational on a client site within a few hours, and their set up does not usually require the involvement of IT staff on the client side (IT personnel are welcome to join the project at any time though, if they have the opportunity and are available…)
Call us for a demo and then click here to
learn more ... and view an example of an Excel-generated web-report
In 2010, only a very limited number of Global Multinational Corporations who claim to have implemented Lean and / or 6 sigma Quality and Cost Reduction methodologies in their operations understand the importance of the Japanese concept called “JIDOHKA”. However, when one refers to the T.P.S. handbooks, (Toyota Production System), it is made very clear that without Jidohka, their can be only very limited benefits derived from JIT implementation, 5S, and other lean Tools. And if companies can nevertheless derive some benefits from the simple implementation of a selection of Lean Tools and techniques, these benefits can only be short lived or limited in scope, as Jidohka is a fundamental Pillar on which 6-sigma level Quality and Cost Control must be able to rely.
We must remember that for Toyota, one of the most important aspects of managing production operations is to make it simple easy and straight-forward for line operators to STOP the production process at any time, should the quality or the process start to move away from the standard (following SPC tracking for example). The concept is called “Andon” in Japanese. Re-starting the line is subsequently the responsibility of middle management and Quality, and an enormous amount of research and sophistication goes into PREVENTING hasted “line restarts”. Poka Yoke systems and Jidohka techniques are extensively used to MAKE SURE that the ROOT CAUSE of the problem has been thoroughly addressed BEFORE the line can be put back in motion. What Toyota hates most is a production equipment that creates defects. The concept of Rework is essentially banned.
In the Western manufacturing world, few companies would truly consider stopping manufacturing at every problem occurrence. We hear “the line would be stopped almost all the time”. And therefore, very few efforts are put into tracking “the plan” in real-time.
At Quantum, we advise to start recording TRUE REAL-TIME activity tracking, and we recommend to involve INSTANTANEOUS text message reporting to middle management as “electronic Andon pulls”. The idea is to make it clear to everybody that management cares about operating the plant within boundaries and with immediate focus to solve shop-floor difficulties as soon as they arise (Genba). Being informed of line status in real-time is therefore of paramount importance to the ultimate success of implementing Lean.
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