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Continuous Improvement Overview. The C.I. Focus. Cycle of Continuous Improvement. Standardize. Implement New Methods. Expose Problems. CI. Solve Problems. Continuous Improvement.

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The C.I. Focus

Cycle of Continuous Improvement


Implement New Methods

Expose Problems


Solve Problems

continuous improvement
Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement is an integral part of successful manufacturing in today’s competitive environment. It can help your company

  • Reduce waste
  • Increase efficiency
  • Improve quality
  • Reduce cost

Continuous Improvement simple definition:

Continuous Improvement is systematically

identifying and eliminating waste,

as quickly as possible, and at the lowest possible cost.

part 1 the outcome of continuous improvement
Part 1: The Outcome of Continuous Improvement
  • Improved Quality at the Process
  • Eliminated Bottlenecks
  • Increased Visual Management
  • Reduced Fluctuation
  • Increased Knowledge
  • Reduced Costs
  • Increased Efficiency

(Doing more with the same


Doing the same with less)

improved quality at the process
Improved Quality at the Process

Continuous Improvement enforces working in-station, to standard operating procedures, as a key factor in achieving quality at the process.

During workshops, opportunities for simple quality confirmations are identified.

Participants learn to always consider the

impact to quality when making changes

to the process.

eliminate bottlenecks
Eliminate Bottlenecks

Bottleneck processes are individual processes or tasks that take more time than other processes and slow production. Continuous Improvement workshops

focus on waste

reduction and

work rebalancing

to eliminate


visual management
Visual Management

Being able to quickly identify and respond to abnormal conditions is critical to managing a manufacturing environment. Visual Management tools are improved to

  • Increase awareness and response
  • Allow for quick return to stable


reduce fluctuation
Reduce Fluctuation

Unstable processes are difficult to staff and manage and inherently create waste in the production environment. Identifying and reducing process fluctuation

  • Reduces overall production time
  • Increases visual management
  • Allows for better allocation of



Increased Knowledge

  • Tools learned during Continuous Improvements:
  • 1. Practical Problem Solving
  • 2. Time Measurement
  • 3. Elemental Wall
  • 4. Ergonomic Checklist
  • 5. Standardized Work
  • Process Stability Checklist
  • 5 S

Reduced Costs

  • Traditional cost - plus approach
  • Add desired profit to costing in order to determine
  • selling price






  • Cost reduction approach
  • Market establishes selling price
  • Desired profit is achieved through
  • reduction of cost.





Increased Efficiency

We Gain Efficiency Through:

  • Process vs. Results
  • Time Measurement
  • Speaking with Data

Increased Efficiency is achieved through:

Process vs Results

  • Results are always historical.
    • Yesterday
    • Last week
    • Last month
  • Improved RESULTS can only be obtained by improving the PROCESS.
  • Process is NOW.

Increased Efficiency is achieved through:

Time Measurement

  • Production processes are completely focused on TIME
    • Takt Time
    • Cycle Time
    • Hours per Vehicle
    • Units per hour

Increased Efficiency is achieved through:

Speaking with Data

  • Don’t assume - Go and see - Observe and measure
    • Analyze Data
    • Make decisions with data
    • Take action based on data
    • Check results with data
part 2 focus on stability
Part 2: Focus on Stability
  • Standardization
  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Ergonomics
  • Lean
  • 5S


  • Best, easiest, safest way known today
  • Basis for training
  • Basis for relentless root cause analysis
  • By standardizing processes, consistent results are produced in Safety, Quality and Efficiency
  • Documentation of know-how

A safe work environment is one of the cornerstones of a successful business.

Continuous Improvement supports the idea that no change should ever be made to a process that has a negative impact on safety!


There are quality standards and expectations demanded of any manufacturing product.

Changes to the process should never decrease the quality of the product provided to the customer!


The ergonomic impact of work should always be examined to see if improvements can be made.

Part presentation that places heavy or awkward parts within proper ergonomic levels

can decrease waste of motion and


Any changes to tools or processes

should be analyzed with a critical eye

towards any impact on ergonomics.


Lean Manufacturing focuses on the identification and elimination of the 7 forms of waste:

  • Overproduction
  • Inventory
  • Unnecessary Motion
  • Transportation
  • Waiting
  • Overprocessing
  • Defects/Repair/Rework





  • SIFT
  • SORT




5S improves organization, visual management, and standardization. The 5S status of an area is assessed in the first CI Workshop to help identify potential problems and 5S should be maintained as improvements are made.

part 3 the continuous improvement workshop
Part 3: The Continuous Improvement Workshop
  • The CI Workshop
  • Team Roles
  • Days 1 - 5
  • Presentation Format
  • Achieving Results: Example
  • Keys to Success
  • Moving Forward

The CI Workshop

  • An activity/event to identify and implement improvements in a designated area
  • A Standard method for Process owners, Supervisors and Engineers to focus and learn about waste elimination methods and activities
  • An organized group of Team Members who identify and eliminate production wastes through Continuous Improvement activities
  • A method for training groups of Team Members on the Continuous Improvement process

C. I. Workshop:Team Roles

  • A group of motivated people with complementary skills and knowledge who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

Team Leader - point of contact, organizes agenda and activity, orchestrates team activities, keeper of all documentation, also a team member

Team Members - contribute fully to the project, share knowledge and expertise, participate in all activities and discussions, carry out assignments

Facilitator/Advisor - provides technical or planning assistance, provides training, focuses on the team’s process (how) rather than product (what), works with team to eventually become self-reliant

the 5 day ci workshop
The 5 Day CI Workshop*

Day 1: Assess the current condition

Identify Opportunities

Develop improvement ideas

  • Focus on one cell or work area – ideally no more

than 1-2 processes per team member

  • Conduct elemental time & cycle time studies
  • Identify waste
  • Develop a strategy & target to reduce waste and

eliminate bottlenecks

* Any required pre-training should be provided prior to workshop kick-off

the 5 day ci workshop27
The 5 Day CI Workshop

Day 2: Simulate Changes

  • Ensure that ideas are viable BEFORE

implementing process changes!

  • Get ideas/opinions of multiple operators
  • Simulate changes and get buy-in / approval on all shifts
the 5 day ci workshop28
The 5 Day CI Workshop

Day 3: Implement Improvements

  • Put changes in place with minimal impact to


  • Team members should be available on line while

changes are being made to help and answer


  • Any required change documentation / approvals should be completed according to company policy
  • Any required process training should be conducted prior to change implementation.
the 5 day ci workshop29
The 5 Day CI Workshop

Day 4: Validate Impact

  • Conduct new time study to validate

reductions in cycle times.

  • Refine changes if necessary
  • Document changes
  • Prepare new line balance
the 5 day ci workshop30
The 5 Day CI Workshop

Day 5: Present Results

  • Materials should be hand written and displayed on flipcharts
  • Display both before and after data
  • Each participant should cover a

portion of the presentation

  • Use simple 5-7 page format
ci workshop presentation format
CI Workshop Presentation Format

Section 1: Workshop location, team members, targets, etc.

Section 2: Initial condition

Section 3: Waste and opportunities identified

Section 4: Highlight improvements made to


Section 5: Results (before and after)

Section 6: Open items

Section 7: Next Steps

achieving results example
Achieving Results: Example

Reduced max cycle time in cell from 48 seconds to 42 seconds

Reduced total cell cycle time from 259 seconds to 221 seconds

Reduced manpower by 1 operator per shift

Increased cell utilization from 77.1% to 88.4%

moving forward
Moving Forward
  • Train more employees in Continuous


  • Build a Continuous Improvement Team.
  • Spread Continuous Improvement to

other production lines or other

areas of the plant.

  • Build a culture of Continuous

Improvement within your



The 5 Day CI Workshop - Keys to success

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Have a vision, communicate it continuously
  • Focus on key process drivers
  • Remove all obstacles to achieve the vision
  • Create short-term victories
  • Don’t declare victory too soon

The 5 Day CI Workshop - Keys to success

Problems are Opportunities

  • Problems are a mountain of opportunities.
  • If no problem is perceived - there can be no improvement.
  • People are rarely the problem - they are the problem-solvers.
  • Processes and systems can only be improved by people recognizing and eliminating problems.

The 5 Day CI Workshop - Keys to success

Non-Judgmental / Non-Blaming

  • Eliminates the search for who to blame
  • Provides system improvement opportunities
  • Allows relentless root cause analysis
  • Increases trust
  • Improves quality of communication
  • Avoids “shoot the messenger” mentality
  • Avoids crisis orientation