Seven Types of Waste

Flickr © Graham Hellewell

Taiichi Ohno, the architect of the Toyota Production System developed the concept of ‘MUDA’ (無駄) or ‘’Waste’  is applicable equally to both manufacturing and the service sector of the economy. These seven wastes are described below:

Over-Production: This usually happens because of working with oversize batches, long lead times and poor supplier relations. The key element of  JIT is making only the quantity required of any component or product. Sound stock management procedures and production techniques are necessary to ensure that the correct quantities are ordered and made.

(Read also Just In Time Schedule)

Excessive Inventory: Unwanted inventory costs you money – besides, it needs space and packaging. It can also get damaged during transportation and become obsolete. Every piece of product tied up in work in progress or finished goods have a cost and until it is sold that cost have to be borne. So the objective is to carry as little as possible to meet the requirements (see here how one company reduced finished goods inventory by 62.8%).

Waiting Time: Machines that are not compatible and produce at different rates can cause waiting on the production line. So processes become ineffective and add no value – only cost and inconvenience. Instead, the flow of operations should be smooth and continuous. Asprova supports eliminating unnecessary waiting time between processes by synchronizing multiple processes in the schedule.

Unnecessary Motions: It concerns the design of movement within the working environment as resources are wasted when workers have to end, reach or walk distances to do their jobs. It is vital to make sure that every movement is minimized while still performing the required task. So workplace ergonomics assessment should be conducted to design a more efficient environment.

Redundant Transportation: Moving a product between manufacturing processes adds no value, is expensive and can cause damage or product deterioration. So loads should be maximized; goods should be transported to the correct location and not require additional transportation.

Defects: Products should be designed so as to build in quality from the outset through good use of materials and processes. Defects require an organization to instigate post-manufacturing inspection processes with consequent costs and may involve re-working of an item or failure to meet customer service requirements.

In-appropriate Processing: A basic principle of the TPS is doing only what is appropriate. Improper techniques, oversize equipment, working to tolerances that are too tight, perform processes that are not required by the customer’s costs time and money. Hence overly elaborate and expensive equipment is wasteful if simpler machinery could do the job.

Asprova has always strive to go an extra mile by collaborating with their clients to eliminate overproduction and reduce stock-holdings, while minimizing stock-outs.

 

 

Photo Credit: Flickr ©Graham Hellewell

Kaizen Philosophy: Company Competiveness

Kaizen Philosophy: Company Competiveness

Wastes (muda) have all been caused by long production lead time and high levels of inventory. Both of these problems are related directly to each other and if the lead time excels, there is also a lot of inventory built up as well. You’ll understand better if you see the picture of iceberg. It is not an overstatement to say that almost all the costs of a company are hidden behind the problem of these both. Conversely, it can be said that reducing both is the best method of reduction of fix costs and variable costs.

Food and Consumer Goods Industry

Consumer goods are characterized by final value-added products that are disseminated in mass markets. Consumer goods according to marketresearch.com, are also “referred to as household goods and are produced in tremendous volumes not reached by niche market goods, industrial goods, or other products purchased only by industry and businesses.”

Following the degrees of production, this industry represents a big manufacturing sector in the international community that is responsible for the creation and supply of goods that is directed to households. That is, to say, that this industry is REALLY BIG and it requires manufacturers to protect the quality of their goods.

Speed is another factor. Due dates in this industry is totally different from other industries and requires high-speed scheduling.

The solution according to Asprova includes two points: “visualization and reduction of lead time.” By carefully considering the needs of this industry, Asprova found out that “Visualization and reduction of lead time are realized by installing a scheduler with finite capacity”. Schedulers with finite capacity make production schedules as to reduce lead time, considering facilities and workload. Having Scheduling result, production progress, and future schedule accessible for anyone to see realizes visualization”.

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Here’s our SlideShare presentation for you:

The Two Key Solutions to Industrial Machinery and Components Industry Problems

Industry Solution - Machinery

Like in other industries, visualization is one of the two key solutions to the problematic facets of the Industrial Machinery and Components industry. With visualization, monitoring production performance becomes an easy task. According to our recent post,“…good visualization of production operations will give you a better view on how to drive the best performance for the factory…Visualization leads to the maximization of the potentials of the production processes.” It would be easier to adjust or find the due dates, if the schedule is visualized. Visualization can even lessen the time allotted for planning. In Case Study 10, it was noted that the promotion of Visualization contributed to the shortening of the planning cycle and saving money by reducing the planning staff.

On the other hand, the second key solution to the problems of the Industrial Machinery and Components Industry is what field experts call lead time reduction. Lead time, or the delay between the initiation (planning) and execution (action) of a process, can be lessened to achieve greater results. By doing this, you can even reduce the time that the company’s product stays in the inventory.

With Asprova’s help, both of these solutions can be applied to address your Industrial Machinery and Components Industry problems. Lead time reduction and visualization can truly give substantial improvements to any company. Manufacturers featured on most of Asprova’s Case Studies would attest to the fact that it helped them achieve their goals.

Will shortening your lead time and visualizing the production operations of your factory give you a competitive advantage? The answer is an astounding yes! You can start making your company more productive with the help of our production scheduler, which by the way, is being used by more than 52% of Japanese manufacturers.

Here’s your SlideShare for today:

Musical Instrument Manufacturer Reduced Lead Time, Planning and WIP Inventory by 30%

Good Feedback

One of the key factors that anybody would want to look at before trying a product would be feedback. This is one of the reasons why this international musical instrument manufacturer, that has approximately one-fourth market share in the whole world, chose Asprova. The scheduler was known to have provided good service to many other big companies.

Before Asprova, they also tried other software; in fact, they were using SAP as their ERP. But, it was not enough, they needed to incorporate data from outside of SAP’s scope, especially processes which are more complicated and has diverse details. They needed something that is superior and has exceptional scheduling abilities. They searched, and alas, they found our Finite Capacity Scheduling software wherein they were able to easily integrate with SAP. But, here comes something most organizations fear—the shifting stage.

A smooth transition

A good thing that the company experienced with Asprova is the fact that it does not only provide you the product, and then leaves you alone to fend for yourself. It initially provides a trial version where you can first evaluate, and then gives training, so that you could incorporate your actual data with the system and basically let’s you experience a smooth transition. According to the Digital Instruments Division leader in the company, “once you learn the basics, you are able to operate it fairly smoothly.” It also offers great training. “The perfect training system is one of the points that Asprova excelled in” the division leader adds.

A lot more rewards

Aside from the smooth transition, there are a lot of other positive effects that came along with the implementation of Asprova. We’ll cite a few; one of the highlights would be shop floor acceptance—and the compatibility of the product with the how the company operates. Others would be the scheduling time, production lead times, and WIP inventory that were all reduced by about 30%. Lastly, by optimizing setup, machine downtime was reduced and work instructions on paper were completely eliminated.

Achieving Overall Optimization Through Short, Medium and Long Term Planning

While planning is indeed a basic need to each and every company, it is not an easy feat. Let’s take a look at a ship manufacturer who decided to try Asprova and have experienced four reasons to choose our Finite Capacity Scheduler.

Impressive foresight

In this featured company, in order to keep their equipments running, they relied on professional human planners to make schedules. However, they could only do plans that are 1-2 months ahead. Anything further than that, becomes a workload rather than a detailed and carefully considered plan. This changed when they chose to switch to Asprova. The scheduler helped them create plans that cover up to two years and managed 5000 orders, 6-7 target processes, and 30,000 operations.

An error free schedule

Because of a standardized system that comes along with Asprova, there is little to no room for errors in planning. This is a very important factor that helps maintain high efficiency. Asprova prevents process omissions and shows warnings if time constraints will be breached.

Overall optimization and accuracy

Planning for four months to a year ahead is no joke. It requires accuracy and an in-depth understanding that should be used to adjust delivery dates and carefully predict the upcoming workload. The company, instead of using just excel, switched to Asprova because of it can easily produce accuracy in optimization.

More money

Of course, one of the main goals, if not THE main goal, of the company would be to increase their profits. Even when these are not on the list of reasons of Asprova introduction in the company, lead time reduction, improving cash flow, and inventory reduction are perceived as something that will come to them in the long run with the help of Asprova.

 

Speedy action for everything!

A Japanese company manufacturing digital camera, car audio and navigation has been steadily yet vigorously striving to expand their business (like any other company) encountered the need for speed. Their motto: “Speedy action for everything” implied that they really valued time and wanted to progress by reducing whatever they can to save time, and of course, to increase their profit.

This company battled challenges common to every manufacturer out there: uncertainty, frequent change in orders, equipment failures, worker holidays, visualizing orders and product finish time, shortening lead time, inventory reduction, etc.—all of which relates to the fact that there is undoubtedly an urgent need for speed. In line with this, the company also wanted to excel on three related areas:

  • Uniform management from beginning to completion
  • Optimize management system and speed up decision-making
  • Visualization of information in order to promote consensus view for all employees

After careful assessment of their options, they concluded that they need a production scheduler that already holds proven records when it comes to speed and accuracy, and can also help with other related areas in production. They placed their trust then, on Asprova’s high speed scheduling capacity to help them in their journey on this fast-paced industry. And they were not disappointed.

According to the higher-ups of the company, Asprova helped them improve in several key areas: assembling lines, post-processing, visualization – enabling them to clearly see the manufacturing flow, availability of components that can now be confirmed in advance, and other superb speed-related factors.

To read the full case study, please click here.

Accuracy and Quickness in Quoting Due Dates

Handwritten Schedule

A world-renowned home-appliance manufacturer who’s deployed previous version of Asprova (year 2000) decided to go for an upgrade knowing that it would help them in a big way.

Before the upgrade, the company decided to use handwritten methods in scheduling along with the obsolete scheduler. However, it cost them lots of trouble (inefficiency, cost, labor, etc.) and needed a long time before a schedule can be made. Keeping up with this fast-paced industry is really no joke.

With this in mind, the company decided to call on Asprova for an upgrade and was not disappointed, “Through upgrading, Asprova overall became more expressive. With so many items and jobs being carried out in small lots, it is important to understand the entire process visually, and Asprova is very effective in that regard…[we] really appreciate their help in reaching our goal.” says an employee who is known of the situation.

Tool to Make Money

And of course, the upgrade came with the much expected effects. Planning time was reduced from 8 man-days to 2 man-days, production lead time reduced 2 weeks to 1 week, and it became possible to answer the delivery dates more quickly and accurately. The company is now aiming for Asprova to be their “tool to make money” by cutting costs on several areas of their manufacturing.

 

Reduce inventory by 62.8%

Installing Asprova

An auto parts manufacturer,  after discovering how Asprova has been helping a lot of companies make their manufacturing lean, installed it in their mainframe to improve their own processes. Their three main reasons for doing so were:

  • Sharing and general purpose capabilities
  • High-speed scheduling
  • Full scheduling logic

autopartsThese reasons further proved the credibility and reliability of the scheduler even more. Truth to be told, Asprova is widely-used all throughout world renowned companies in  Japan (52.4% market share dominance) and abroad, and is actively used in a wide range of manufacturing areas. Asprova also gives its users a friendly graphical user interface that allows them the ease needed to speed up scheduling processes. Lastly, minimization of set-up times has always been a normal achievement with Asprova, and has been vastly used to eliminate the causes of wastes.

Reaping the Rewards

Objectively speaking, the company experienced the following benefits:

  1. setup time reduction of production planning – they can now prepare detailed plans in time units that pay attention to loads
  2. effectively reduced finished product inventories to 62.8 percent
  3. and, they were able to control progress in real time.

These are just a few of the many merits that can be achieved with Asprova.

Lead time reduction: what are its effects?

Reducing Lead Time

Lead time reduction, was previously discussed in the article Lead Time Reduction and the Limits of MRP published under the umbrella of Production Scheduling Lessons in this site. It is generally known as reducing the latency (or delay) between the initiation and execution of a process. This is a very important feat in production.

A world renowned manufacturer, who launched the first facsimiles for office use,  that was in the expanding phase in their sales, experienced an increase in the high- mix and low-volume production. As demand increases, the need for production processes goes up along with it. The company needed to increase their machines and make production more efficient. They needed a production scheduler to make the processes smoother, and they called for Asprova.

To be more efficient in production, they needed to reduce lead time. If a company needs to reduce inventory, it would be better if they would rather reduce lead time than directly reducing inventory itself. Asprova gave them just the help they needed.

After implementation of this production scheduler, they were able to witness a great reduction in lead time—it was actually cut in half. WIP (Work-in-process) inventory was also reduced by 50%. They improved the efficiency of the whole production process. They even experienced a reduction in delivery delay.