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Case Study On Furniture Industry

Sanat Sankrityayan 2015-11-09

Learning to See (Muda, Mura, Muri) to transform the Value Addition we do.

Value Stream Mapping is also known as Learning to See, it is the title of a book where John Shook described about various methods of making Value Stream Maps. As Vedzen Institute, we have been practicing mixed model VSM, and have implemented these ideas in Construction Industry as well, apart from Manufacturing Firms. I am sharing some observations based on my recent implementation for a Factory here in Pune.

Inventory Control was introduced by limiting the purchase of packaging material like Carton Boxes. A unique red-green indication was placed on the Storage Racks to identify the Inventory levels visually. The new Packaging Standards were prepared on a Pictorial SOP Sheet and all  Associates were informed accordingly by pointing to the pictures.

Labelling is an art, whereas many of us take it casually. A Label is like a Home Address for the Material. Would the material have tongues, they would have cried foul. All material should have PEEP i.e. Place for Everything, Everything in Place. We labelled the details of the materials kept on the racks, and also created a Reference point for the complete Storage.

In this factory, the follow up on the progress of the Project is done by Quality Control Executive. QC is involved into the progress of the projects because QC is the last activity of the Production Chain, where all the material reaches for Inspection. We changed the scenario here, by making the PULL Concepts a policy for production. Pull Principles say that if the successor process is not ready, the predecessor process should not be willing to produce and push to the next station, thereby jamming up the flow.

All the Production Planning for the day is done by deciding the Demand Rate of the Orders. It is called Takt Time Production Planning. The factory now begins the day by scheduling their machine running time. Otherwise, machines are given the dictum of running for all the hours, overproducing things that we do not require that day. Flexibility of the orders is a customer –oriented decision, and flexibility must be built into the system to cater to the changing demand rates. This was a major achievement. The credit goes to the Production Head – as learning and coaching is the prime responsibility of the Leader.

We missed out on few things, like a training on Paradigm could have really helped the people. However, the stories that were shared by the people during the morning and evening newsletter sessions, did the trick. The departmental paradigms were broken and a uniform team got created. I think the people come close faster when they have solved a commonly shared problem, together.

Apart from these, with the Value Stream Map – Current State in place, we could find out gaps in communication between the processes. We implemented some ideas on the go, like Red Tag Area, Cleaning Stations, Segregated Dust Bins, and Monitoring through Record to Report Formats etc. These were done during the five day workshop. The Future State is an imaginative phase, and it is on the way!!

Several exploratory ideas have been pollinated in the group at the factory, like

1. Changing EOQ to Kanban-based Replenishment Order Quantity

2. Changeover Methods for Product to Product

3. Identifying Bottleneck Process over Bottleneck Machine

4. Online Inspection to be enabled by coaching Associates on self-check

5. Practising Mixed Model Planning

At the end of the day, the participants shared their feelings!! Watch Video!


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