The manufacturing sector has gone through tremendous changes that have refined the way this sector operated, with an aim of reducing every flaws in the manufacturing process through the removal of inefficient processes and introduction of processes that seeks to maximize the total output. Therefore, there are various terminologies that have been employed to describe in details what Lean and Six Sigma is in the quality improvements and its different areas that need to be covered by companies and organizations that seeks to employ this method of quality improvement and production. These are as describe below;
There are different waste processes that have been identified under which the consumer may not be willing to spend money on certain goods because of the hike in prices as a result of high production costs. These wastes are as a result of overproduction, waiting, transportation, keeping of unnecessary inventory, unnecessary motion or stretching and lastly defects. Therefore, to ensure that customers are charged fair prices, manufacturers have been working on eliminating wastes that are associated with the above factors (EMS Consulting Group).
Single Minute Exchange of Dies, SMED
This is a strategy that is employed by companies to reduce wastes especially in terms of time as one shift from one activity to the other in the manufacturing industry. While the title indicates single minute, the process of changing or moving from one activity to the next is expected to take less than ten minutes and thus ‘single minute’ represents a single digit time frame. This has been found to increase productivity in a variety of product by the same machine framework (Paquette 90).
Value Stream Mapping
This is a strategy that manufacturers use to examine the movement information and materials that enable a manufacturer to get his services and good to the customer. There are various tools that are used in value streaming. These are quality filter mapping, physical structure mapping, demand amplification mapping, and production variety funnel, process activity mapping, supply chain response matrix and decision point analysis. Therefore, Value Stream Mapping helps in monitoring the flow of goods; from raw materials to finished product.
Mistake proofing or Poka-Yoke
This approach in lean manufacturing works by reducing the amount of unnecessary mistakes that appears in the finished products. Therefore, every product must go through a thorough examination to correct any mistake or defect that might have occurred on the product during the process of manufacturing. Similarly, every step is monitored to avoid movement of manufactured goods with defects from moving from one level to another. As a result, manufacturers are able to reduce wastes due to defects and mistakes by a substantial margin.
This is a lean manufacturing component that is utilized in creating a visual workplace, whereby the flow of goods and information is perfected in such a way it is at the right place at the right time. This component comprises of five factors that must be incorporated to Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. This component of Lean manufacturing will require that strategies are formulated to come up with a specific formula that will be followed and sustaining the strategies that have been formulated (Basu 116).
Kanban pull systems
Kanban pull system is a methodology through which the flow of manufacturing processes is maintained in the manufacturing sector. Kanban therefore is a way of using physical signal to trigger manufacture of certain goods that are needed at a particular point in time. For example, if there are two departments, A and B and A manufacture goods that are needed by B, then B may use empty trolleys to signify that the materials manufactured by A are needed and thus trigger A to begin production. This helps to perfect Just in Time, JIT production (Press 50).
Cellular structure is a workplace design model that is aimed at minimization of wastes in an aggressive way, by maximizing the utilization of resources. Work cell are formed here in factories to complete certain tasks in an organized way by managing defects, processes, equipment maintenance, and other issues of manufacturing processes in an efficient way. This process in lean manufacturing helps to enhance the quality and efficiency thus allow manufacturers to practice cost cutting measures (Hansen, Mowen and Guan 566).
WIP, work in process
Work-in-process (WIP) can be defined as the amount of goods or products that are in the process of being processed or are in between different stages of processing. The Work-in-Process inventory is a part of inventory that is in the form of being processed from raw materials to finished materials (Groover 56). This has been found to increase the efficiency of in lean manufacturing by reducing time and resource wasting.
Spaghetti diagrams are a process that uses an unbroken line to outline the course taken and covered by a certain person or object throughout a particular process. This phenomenon is commonly depicted in an entire environment which is under scrutiny such as hospital floor, manufacturing floor, the overall layout of an office, etc. This process exposes the weaknesses that are in a particular production process to enhance efficiency such as through reducing unnecessary distance traveled by goods in the manufacturing process (Chalice 117).
Visual management is the creating of a workplace environment that enables easy identification of specific places that a person may be interested with in this environment. This is done by creation of visual signs that enables a person to identify specific place at the workplace. For example, when one is either a visitor and therefore unfamiliar with a certain environment, there needs to be a sign that directs this person to channels he/she can follow to get to safety in case of an emergency such as fire (Chalice 83).
Process mapping is a way of ensuring that a business or organization is able to make profits and enhance its activities by examining activities that provides a proper guideline on the undertakings of these businesses and organization. Therefore, process mapping determines the mandates of the organization or business, the people responsible and the criteria that is used to measure whether such a business is making any positive progress or not. By doing this, the business or organization is able to focus on the important issues that concerns it and avoid wastage of resources on issues that of no value to the organization (Brue 115).
Project charter is an outline that provides proper guidance to lean manufacturing the objectives that are supposed to be met by a particular project undertaking. There are also other factors that are integrated in the project charter. The project charter document states the reasons why a particular project is being carried out, directions towards attaining a particular solution, identification of the main stakeholders and the constraints and objectives of the project (Breyfogle 22).
Measurement systems analysis, MSA
This is a designed experiment designed in a special way to help to make out the mechanism of disparity in measurements. The process that is used to obtain data and measurements may be fault leading to variation in the end results. Therefore, to guarantee that the integrity of data and measurements is maintained, an appropriate approach must be formulated to correct every flaw in data and measurements. Therefore, Measure Systems Analysis, MSA is used (Mawby 1).
Stakeholder analysis is a strategy or methodology that is used to assess the importance of people, institutions or any group of people that have the capability to influence one’s growth in terms of product establishment in the positive or negative side. Stakeholder analysis is mostly used by quality control teams to ensure that the qualities of products that are delivered on the market are of high quality and competitive. It is used when planning to launch a particular product in the market or when there are plans to make improvements on the quality of one’s products (Chalice 88).
Process capability indices, Cpk and Cp
Every process that is carried out in the manufacturing industry must be tested for different issues that are meant to ensure that the end product is of very high quality. Therefore, process capability indices measure the ability of meeting or attaining certain guidelines or specifications. This therefore was found to contribute greatly to the overall measurement of the ability of products and services of companies to meet the required specification thus eliminating wastes that arise as a result of production chain that doesn’t meet the required specifications (Breyfogle 265).
Comparative analysis (Hypothesis testing, inferential statistics)
Comparative analysis can be described as the process of finding and evaluating the prices of goods and services of a particular business or organization in relation to similar goods and services that are offered by a different business or organization in that particular market. It is also the evaluation of the performance of one company in relation to a similar company in the market. As a result, a company can be able to gauge it strengths and weaknesses and determine places where it can be able to make adjustments.
Design of experiments, DOE
Design of experiments is a methodology that is used to craft any form of information-gathering activities with a present variation. In this case, the analysts has a keen interest on the effect of some kinds of intervention measures or processes on some subject which may comprise of people, a sample of people, animals or plants. There are principles that have been followed before in this process namely; randomization, replication, blocking, orthogonality, and factorial experiments (Design of experiments 22).
FMEA, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, FMEA is a process of analyzing problems that are related to the reliability of a product early enough during the process of development in order to take appropriate measures to rectify any unreliability problems that may occur in this product. Therefore, FMEA determines possible failure modes, their effects on the product and appropriate measures to rectify these flaws. FMEAs include system, design, process, service and software (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis 1107).
These are the charts that are used to track down changes in every manufacturing process, with changes being recorded. These charts enable analysts to track changes and be in a position of identifying problems that may occurs to a certain process thus being able to administer preventive measures to guard against uncontrolled problems on a process. In cases where there is an indication on these charts that a particular process is deviating away from the normal process, the origin of these deviations can easily be detected using control charts (Breyfogle 703).
These are tabulated frequencies that are displayed in form of graph bars. These are usually used when there are different categories of frequencies to be examined over a certain range. These categories of frequencies are usually adjacent to each other for them to qualify as histogram. The probability density that is associated to histograms is usually customized to one in order to have a uniform way of analyzing these frequencies.