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Continuous Improvement Overview

The C.I. Focus

Cycle of Continuous Improvement

Expose Problems

Solve Problems

Implement New Methods

Continuous Improvement
Continuous Improvement is an integral part of successful manufacturing in todays 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

Improved Quality at the Process Eliminated Bottlenecks Increased Visual Management Reduced Fluctuation Increased Knowledge Reduced Costs Increased Efficiency
(Doing more with the same or Doing the same with less)

Improved Quality at the Process

Continuous Improvement enforces working instation, 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
Bottleneck processes are individual processes or tasks that take more time than other processes and slow production. Continuous Improvement workshops 60 focus on waste 48 reduction and 50 Takt Time work rebalancing 40 35 33 to eliminate 30 bottlenecks.
20 10 0 1 2 3

Cycle Time (sec)

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 conditions

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 resources

Increased Knowledge
Tools learned during Continuous Improvements: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Practical Problem Solving Time Measurement Elemental Wall Ergonomic Checklist Standardized Work Process Stability Checklist 5S


Reduced Costs
Traditional cost - plus approach
PROFIT 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. MARKET PRICE 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
Dont 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

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 fatigue.
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

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

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 teams process (how) rather than product (what), works with team to eventually become self-reliant

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 26

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 Workshop

Day 3: Implement Improvements
Put changes in place with minimal impact to production.

Team members should be available on line while changes are being made to help and answer questions.
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 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 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

Section 1: Workshop location, team members, targets, etc. Section 2: Initial condition Section 3: Waste and opportunities identified

Section 4: Highlight improvements made to process

Section 5: Results (before and after)

Section 6: Open items

Section 7: Next Steps

Achieving Results: Example

Balance Table - Before
60 50 40 30 21 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 Work Station 5 6 Cycle Time Target Takt Time 7 46 33 48 35 31 45 60 50 40 32 30 20 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 Work Station 5 6 Cycle Time Target Takt Time 7 38 41 42 34 36

Balance Table - After


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
Train more employees in Continuous Improvement. 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 organization.

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 Dont 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