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To build and sustain a continuous improvement culture

All manufacturing companies have the same objectives on the path to success;

1. Increase their revenue,
2. Reduce the costs of goods.

To increase revenue, the factory should improve customer satisfaction via;

- Quality improvement,
- Agility,
- Reducing delivery times,
- Being sustainable.

To reduce costs, the factory should eliminate all losses related to;

- Quality,
- Time,
- Raw Materials,
- Energy etc.

If there are clarified losses; this situation points to a great opportunity for the factory by emphasizing the potential areas of improvement.

In the improvement/cost reduction path, there are some manufacturing performance KPIs to be measured and improved; like OEE and availability, performance and quality ratios; MTBF, MTTR. The detailed KPIs to be measured and improved upon in the manufacturing plant are handled by the ISO 22400 standard which we will discuss soon in another article.

To work effectively, it is quite important to accurately determine the losses. Clarifing the loss, analyzing the amount, occurance time, occurance conditions, and related possible parameters of the losses, helps to determine the root causes to be eliminated via Kobetsu - Kaizen activities which we will also discuss in another article.

Nowadays, conditions are changing continuously and quickly. It is impossible to expect the improved result to remain as in an optimum position for a long time. There will always be a better solution to be reached.

The factory should build and keep the culture of continuous improvement to reach operational excellence.

Most of us understand this and try our best to implement it. However, the difficulty is at maintaining continuous cultural transformation efforts.

For a successful transformation; the goals and targets should be clear and distributed to everybody responsible; necessary empowerments should be determined, planned and implemented regularly. Most of the time, implementation and sustainability is much more difficult from the starting operations.

For a successful implementation, all the goals should be front of mind continuously and the actual situation should be comparable with the target to direct responsibilities to the necessary actions.

'All the goals' term contains the goals of responsibilities at the factory beginning from operator up to the CEO. Each responsible level should have the ability to check the difference between the actual situation-target situation and be directed with what to do easily and immediately.

Nowadays, this is quite easy with the help of smart manufacturing approximation. Smart Manufacturing enables the factory to set the goals, to determine the abilities and needs, to determine the losses and the reasons for these losses.

The most important advantage of the smart manufacturing is, it's immediate, online, real time directions. Factory management may take necessary actions to be excellent, before the preparation of reports. A factory can be managed by looking ahead via online tools; instead of looking behind via reports.