The project-based improvement process consists of seven elements. It involves the customer and equipment supplier in a collaborative effort to improve performance for a defined time interval. This process methodology is applied to equipment of strategic importance by incorporating the principles of Leadership, Teams, Project Management, and Six Sigma into a framework using the metric of Overall Equipment Effectiveness to create an implementation plan and execution that achieves double digit percentage improvements. This process works best in an environment of supportive leadership, effective teams, good work place organization, and on-going improvement activities.
The process focuses on four equipment improvement aspects:
Availability: Reduce Breakdowns, Changeover, Adjustments
Performance: Speed, Reduce Idle Time & Minor Stoppages
Quality: Defect Reduction, Functionality, Minimize Rework
Upgrades: Performance, Start-up Impact, Reliability
The process begins with an assessment of the opportunity for improvement based on engineered capacity and current state followed by an evaluation of the manufacturing environment. Successful completion of the assessments and contract agreement begins the process. It is executed as a project over approximately 6 to 9 months involving Leadership, Measurement, and Improvement teams according to the process description.
A Leadership Team drives the overall process, a Measurement Team gathers data and performs analysis, and multiple short-term Teams identify and make improvements. The Organization matrix lists typical team participants and responsibilities. The individual goal-specific Improvement Teams are the core elements of the process. The Improvement Teams provide a high degree of flexibility to allow process tailoring to fit the needs of any situation in terms of resources, equipment accessibility, and urgency. The Leadership Team makes decisions on priority, resources, equipment access, improvement team authority etc. required to facilitate the teams. The Improvement Teams are manned for a specific goal and given two separate event time slots to execute their assignments divided by time to complete required team homework.
The Improvement Process provides a structured approach to dramatically increase the results of any manufacturing process. The initial assessment ensures all parties that the opportunity for improvement is sufficient to warrant the effort and the manufacturing environment can effectively integrate the Process. The benefits yield an enhanced improvement process that delivers double digit improvements in overall equipment effectiveness within a short time frame at minimum expense. A more in-depth description of the process applied to a case study of a blanking operation is available in Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of the book titled