Engineering techniques for improving production management

There are many analysis and studies in the field of operations in which we have great experience.

Before tackling a new investment project, a new activity or the improvement of an already existing one, it is necessary to perform a technical - economic analysis to evaluate its feasibility, and eventually, the expected profitability.

The elaboration of lay-outs, considering the different alternatives and limited exclusively by the "true hard" boundary conditions, is paramount for the efficiency of the operations.

Work methods are tied to the lay-outs. Productivity may be improved by questioning them in themselves or according to previous analysis of the physical disposition of the lines or machines.

  Lean Manufacturing and Theory of Constraints

Both lines of thinking, although originally developed under different contexts and times, are currently coincident in most of the practical situations, playing a complementary role in others.

In our applications we consider both of them simultaneously as a complete body of knowledge, using elements from each one according to the situation. By means of such a combination we reach to solutions which satisfy the goals of both authors (Ohno and Goldratt)

  Key performance indicators

We put great emphasis in the design of indicators. To measure and to compare, so much be against standards as against historical values, is essential to define future courses of action. We deeply believe in Lord Kelvin's expression "it is not possible to say anything of that which cannot be measured", and we are consistent with it.

But caution should be exerted when defining the indicators, since not all of them (actually few of them) are conducive to the goal of the company. And there are others that are simply ignored when, in fact, they should actually be strictly followed. If the indicators are not aligned with the goal of the company, following them may be misleading and even worse than not having them at all.

  Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)

SMED is a collection of techniques to succeed in reducing the changeover times of dies and molds. In turn, smaller production lots can be efficiently programmed, without a significant loss of productive time and resources. It is then possible to change the way in which production is programmed, from “make to stock” to “make to order”, thereby significantly lowering the stock of final products.

From the above, it follows that it is impossible to successfully establish a Lean Manufacturing system unless SMED techniques are put in place, at least in the capacity constraint resources

Our contribution consists of the training and facilitation of participative groups providing them, in addition, with guides and criteria extracted from our experience

  Training courses: Available seminars

  • Theory of Constraints practice
  • Application of Lean Manufacturing and TOC in production practice
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies)
  • Key performance indicators