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Chapter 10. Lean Operations: Process Synchronization and Improvement. Introduction. Lean Operations : Perfected by Japanese automaker - Toyota A more efficient process Adopted in USA by the aerospace industry in 1990’s Some turnaround times were lowered by 30-50%
What is an“Ideal Process”?
A process that achieves synchronization at the lowest possible cost
The ability of the process to meet customer demand in terms of their quantity, time, quality and location requirements.
Measured in terms of the total processing costs. Less cost, more efficient!!.
Low Efficiency = High Processing Costs
Defective products, high inventories, delays, stock outs
Lack of Synchronization
Waste: producing inefficiently, producing wrong or defective products, producing in quantities that are too small/large, delivering early/late
Sources of Waste:
The River Analogy: The boat can sail in shallow water (lean operations) if we are able to find ways to remove the imperfections on the river bottom!!!
Long Lead Times
Rigid Work Rules
Henry Ford’s Rouge, Michigan plant
All workstations that perform successive operations on a given product are grouped together to form a “CELL”
Example: Henry Ford’s Assembly Line for the Model T
Physical proximity of cells reduce transportation of low units
Moves small batches of flow units quickly
Encourages teamwork & cross functional skill development
Improved communication between stations
Improves synchronization where each station produces parts only if the next station needs them
Easier to recognize and report problems
Quicker ability to correct defects10.4.1 Improving Process Architecture: Cellular Layouts
Resources cannot be used by other cells
Lose advantage of resource pooling
Worker incentives must be “team” oriented, not individual performance based
Use flexible resources that are cross functional
Peer pressure to control productivity of team members10.4.1 Improving Process Architecture: Cellular Layouts
DISTURB PLANNED FLOW AND DESTROY SYNCHRONIZATION THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS!!
Two requirements to make a pull system work:
DEMAND PULL: Output need triggers production
Material Flow:10.4.2 Improving Information & Material Flow: Demand Pull
[Suppliers must have greater ability and capability to achieve a synchronized pull effectively]
Each station must know HOW MUCH TO PRODUCE AT A TIME
[i.e., if demand is 10000 sedans and 5000 SUVs, the production would call for producing 2 sedans and then 1 SUV, and then repeat the sequence]
Defective flow units increase average flow time and cost!!!
with authority and the means to
identify & correct problems at the local level
Elton Mayo’s “Hawthorne Experiments” at Western Electric showed that:
Research has shown that workers involved in the decision-making process are better motivated and productive
In Companies with Lean Operations:
YOU ARE TREATING THE SUPPLIERS AS PARTNERS
Process Synchronization and Improvement