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February 14, 2012

Overall equipment effectiveness key to TPM success

By Rodney Reddic February 14, 2012
Bottles coming out of the manufacturing process

Image by D W S via Flickr

In today’s manufacturing arena equipment reliability is paramount, thus we are seeing more and more companies trying to implement Total Productivity Manufacturing (TPM).   TPM is not a program that can be implemented over night and takes commitment at all levels of the organization to be successful.  One major indicator of a successful TPM program is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).  This OEE number can be challenging to obtain for most companies and involves six major areas of equipment losses:  Setups and Adjustments, Breakdowns, Idling and Minor Stoppages, Start-ups, running at Reduce Speed, Defects and Rework.

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February 9, 2012

Factory Tour 101

By Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2012

As a kid, I was never really into wondering how stuff was made or where it came from (which I probably why I’m in marketing & not manufacturing, but I digress) – I’d like to blame myHow It's Made lack of curiosity on my parents and after reading about the Top 10 Cool U.S. Factory Tours, I may have a pretty good case against them.

Our family vacations were always fun, exotic and a mixture of stress/rest so I can’t blame my parents too much… I did have amazing vactions! Now, I’m on the look-out for more than beautiful beaches! Working with TMAC has opened my eyes to how “stuff” is made  and even though I’ve been on a handful of plant tours (all of which were ah-mazing!) since I started here - it seems like a great way to spend some down-time too.

Do you…

Have a sweet tooth? Visit the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California!

Have a need for speed? Visit the Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky!

Are you…

A country boy (or girl)? See the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois and experience equipment past and present!

Baseball fans, Artists, Aviators and Dentisits Coca-Cola Addicts can each experience their favorite brands from behind the scenes. Don’t see anything that peaks your interest? Check out the Watch It Made in the USA website for their suggestions and if you decide you’d rather not brave the crowds – you can always tune in to the Science Channel and catch up on episodes of “How It’s Made“!

What are your favorite factories to tour?

February 7, 2012

ISO Excited!

By rhernandez February 7, 2012
Quality Control 4

Image via Flickr

What are the benefits of running your business systematically?

  1. Setting goals and establishing a culture of customer satisfaction and continual improvement enables an organization to maintain and grow.
  2. Working with employees and gaining consensus of the best way to conduct different processes (procedures) and activities (work instructions) ensures buy in, efficiency and productivity.
  3. Documenting best practices ensures consistency (all perform processes and activities in the same, accepted best way) and continuity (both current and future employees perform processes and activities in the same, accepted best way).
  4. Monitoring and measuring processes to prevent problems from occurring and taking long term corrective actions when problems do occur leads to increased productivity and profitability.
  5. Effectively training and enabling employees ensures highly qualified and motivated employees and results in higher productivity, increased customer satisfaction and improved profitability.

The ISO family of standards (ISO 9001, AS9100, AS9110, ISO 14001, etc.) provides guidelines for conducting and managing business systematically, efficiently and effectively.

February 2, 2012

Coaching To Accelerate Improvement Projects

By ayanez February 2, 2012

There are several elements that can affect the time to complete an Improvement Project (IP). The following is a partial list than can influence the time to finish a project:

  • Project selection that is relevant and linked to corporate goals
  • Type of project (e.g., Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma or Design for Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS))
  • Scope of project
  • Project financial impact
  • Ease of implementation
  • Roles & Responsibilities of Stakeholders
  • Project sponsor support or engagement
  • Training
  • Coaching Green (GB) or Black Belts (BB) candidates
Coach Fitz

Image via Flickr

As GB/BB concludes their training, they are assigned an IP that they would facilitate and take to fruition. Some belts think that Lean Six-Sigma (LSS) is about using as many tools as possible for each phase of the DMAIC methodology. This is where the coach can provide feedback on what tools make sense to use and provide a direction on the next steps.

The coach can also lead the facilitations of the first kaizen events and have the belts participate on the event, and learn from it, so that they can lead such event.

The coach does not need to be an expert on the process but needs to have a vast experience on the DMAIC or DFLSS methodology. The coaching sessions should not be prescriptive, meaning guiding the belt step by step, but rather should be treated like a sounding board where the belt can bounce ideas.

Coaching should take place on a biweekly basis and should last for about one hour. The coaching is more efficient if the belt provide information before each coaching session.

The bottom line is not to overlook coaching sessions.

Do you use coaching in your company? Have you seen a difference in the impact of project completed?

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