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Lean as a process improvement tool for infrastructure maintenance

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  1. Lean as a process improvement tool for infrastructure maintenance Presentation by John Amoore EFRTC Paris 4 October 2012

  2. Part One Selection of the most appropriate method for process improvement

  3. Improving business performance Companies facing increasing competition or other external pressures frequently implement established methods for improving business performance Three of the most commonly applied tools are: • Six Sigma • Theory of constraints • Lean

  4. Why has Automain selected Lean rather than another or a combination of all three Although there are similar characteristics in these techniques, key defining differences are • Six Sigma (6s) • problem-focused, with a view that process variation is waste. Improved performance through statistical methods (SPC) • Theory of Constraints (ToC) • Understanding the weakest link (bottleneck) in the process chain • Lean • Elimination of all forms of waste – over processing, time, resources etc These methods may be combined into an integrated system LSS-ToC

  5. Why Lean is preferred There are good reasons for selecting Lean for railway maintenance. • Six sigma equates to 3.4 defectives per million and is ideal in situations where there is an abundance of data, mathematical tools are appropriate and there is little process variability • ToC is concerned with improving the system constraint in a total system approach • Lean uses a visualisation approach to reduce waste and minimise the total elapsed time for a process

  6. Value stream map and added value • The value-stream map of the service we provide (infrastructure capacity at lowest LCC) includes value-added and non-value-added activities • Value-added processes are those that meet three criteria • the customer is willing to pay for it • our action physically changes the infrastructure we work on or contributes to its life • it is done right the first time • Adding value is another way of saying generating revenue (capacity). If it doesn’t generate revenue then it must add cost, not value Some internet services add value at almost no cost

  7. process cycle efficiency (PCE) PCE = Value-Added Time / Total Elapsed Time • A Lean process produces a PCE of 25 percent or more. Most business processes are not Lean. One of the main goals of Lean is to increase process velocity. Improving PCE achieves that goal by eliminating non-value-added activities from the process. • As IMs migrate towards predictive maintenance, process velocity needs to improve

  8. maintenance process Enter on Plan possession Return to normal service reduced opportunity for waste reduced possession LEAN LEAN+INNOVATION Lean plus innovation delivers greatest benefit

  9. Six Sigma or Lean Thinking LEAN THINKING SIX SIGMA Non value added is waste VIEW OF WASTE Variation is waste • Define • Measure • Analyse • Improve • Control • Identify Value • Define Value Stream • Determine Flow • Define Pull • Improve Process APPLICATION Statistics tool set Visualization TOOLS FOCUS Problem focused Process flow focused

  10. Lean and process variation Will LEAN work where there is process variation? • Let us examine a generic value stream map for making almost any Pizza. • The map may be a standard format having different parameters for ingredients, cooking temperature and cooking time • BUT IT WILL STILL IDENTIFY PROCESS WASTE FOR ALL PIZZAS ………..however

  11. Lean and process variation ……..but may produce a disappointing chocolate pudding A value stream map will identify process waste for thick and thin base pizzas and hundreds of sizes and toppings Stock check ingred ients Dispose and reorder Prioritise orders Preheat oven Form Pizza dough Apply topping To order use dusted peel to apply pizza to stone Bake pizza checking after 5 mins Remove pizza when baked Serve pizza to customer

  12. Part Two Process improvement in AutoMain

  13. The approach o to undertake Structured Observations of the maintenance process o to map out the maintenance and planning processes during Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshops, quantification of key parameters wherever possible (the duration of the task, the manpower required, the probability of each step occurring right first time etc.) o to produce a Hand Off Diagram Lean provides an opportunity to re-connect management with what is happening at ground level

  14. Structured Observations Key timings and observations were recorded, and the utilisation of time was subsequently broken down into 5 generic tasks: o confirmation = confirming granting of possession o waiting = waiting for equipment to arrive o communication = phone calls and creation of documentation o tamping = carrying out the tamping activity o transportation = moving of tamping equipment to location This information was then presented in graphical format, along with a summary of the observations made during the course of the visit.

  15. Value Stream Mapping (VSM) Workshops the planning process is of equal (if not greater) importance: o maintenance needs to be carefully planned to avoid waste – the overall maintenance process will only be efficient if the right machine and staff are sent to the right location at the right time o the move towards predictive maintenance – it is therefore important that the maintenance planning process can react sufficiently quickly to cope with this It was therefore considered important to map out not only a typical maintenance possession, but also the planning process leading up to that possession

  16. Findings – Structured Observations • Shift utilisation (how the tamping crews spent their time) • confirmation 6% to 15% • waiting 7% to 25% • communication 1% to 10% • transportation 17% to 21% • tamping 42% to 50% • a recording run prior to tamping accounted for 9% of the Network Rail possession • the SNCF, Trafikverket and ProRail maintenance was targeted at specific locations within the possession, whereas the Network Rail and DB maintenance was undertaken on a continuous length of track • the number of concurrent processes was different between administrations which potentially increases productivity at the cost of extra manpower and possibility of conflicts

  17. 59% of the Possession spent on Non Value Added tasks Objective: Identify the reasons – Why? Possession Utilisation

  18. Concerns and Improvement Ideas collected from all AutoMain Tamping Experts Tamping Process – Value Stream Map

  19. Hand-Off Diagram

  20. Value Stream Map completed for all 5 Automain Partner Organisations Strukton - Sweden Total 394 Improvement opportunities identified Network Rail Strukton - Holland Deutschbahn SNCF Tamping Process – Value Stream Map

  21. IN: Ideas Recorded • OUT: • Categorisation • Evaluation • Project Stream Definition Tamping Process – Opportunities Stratified

  22. Causation Factors Why – 59% Non Value Added Tasks Stratified 7 High Level Project Streams Identified 1. Planning Systems Development - Largest Opportunity Key Point: Opportunities are identified: But- Improvements can only be realised through Implementation 2. Data Systems Development 3. Standard Operations Procedures 7 main ‘Streams’ for development 4. Training and Communications 5. Technical Development 6. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) 7. Problem & Countermeasure Systems Tamping Process – Project Stream Definition

  23. Visualisation of Results

  24. Ideas and suggestions – VSM Workshops • It was suggested that frequent track recording using in-service vehicles would provide the rate of deterioration information necessary to support a more responsive maintenance planning process. But others suggested that trend analysis based on the measurements currently made by dedicated track recording trains is sufficient to predict when maintenance will be required • planners have a great deal of skill and experience, it was highlighted that there are no specific software tools available to support decisions for aligning requirements and resources

  25. Ideas and suggestions – VSM Workshops • It was further suggested that maintaining track to a very high quality could reduce the overall deterioration rates. By contrast, more than one workshop suggested that a significant proportion of tamping actually makes track quality worse (as much as 25%). This is a further case for decision support tools

  26. Opportunities for Lean Approaches o there was a low level of standardisation in terms of infrastructure design (e.g. variable sleeper types and spacing) which further complicates the planning process o there is considerable potential to improve the overall Life Cycle Cost through improvements in the planning stage and decision support tools

  27. Conclusions The following comments do not apply to all IMs as a number of these practices are already in use by some companies • There is scope to reduce the duration of possessions by employing best practice such as using data from track recording cars to calculate vertical and lateral alignment corrections, having multi-skilled staff, and enabling adjacent lines to remain open to bi-directional traffic during maintenance. • Technological developments that could further enhance productivity include multi-functional high output machines capable of recording and working in either direction, and which minimise set up times on site • There is scope to improve the planning of track maintenance, and this appears to have even greater potential to reduce overall possession times than improvements to the actual maintenance processes and technology

  28. Conclusions • Tamping targets based on track lengths maintained may result in unnecessary maintenance activity • Longevity and quality of the maintenance may be more appropriate • Predictive maintenance based on rate of change of track geometry and other condition data requires a more reactive approach with a shorter interval between planning and implementation • Such a targeted approach could increase ballast life, minimise possessions and reduce costs

  29. Conclusions • Lean thinking is an appropriate tool for investigating process improvement for railway infrastructure maintenance • Process variation may be accommodated providing that mapping is performed by a team having the necessary knowledge to fully understand the differences, and we do not confuse pizza with chocolate pudding • Some IMs involved in this project are extending the implementation of Lean thinking into other maintenance activities

  30. Thank you