Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #16

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #226 - Look for the signs of a poor preventative maintenance program to find more opportunity.

Indicators of a poor preventative maintenance program:
  • Low equipment utilization due to unscheduled downtime
  • High wait or idle time for machine operators during the downtime
  • High scrap and rejects indicating a quality problem
  • Higher than normal repair costs due to neglect of proper lubrication, inspection, or service
  • Decrease in the expected life of capital investments due to inadequate maintenance

Lean Tip #227 - Preventive Maintenance is the Heart of TPM and the Core of Every Maintenance Strategy

Common reasons preventive maintenance programs fail:
  1. Too easy to use for “fill-in” jobs
  2. Failure to adhere to the schedule
  3. Conflict between emergency and P.M.
  4. Inaccurate time and work estimates
  5. Wrong equipment being maintained
  6. Insufficient detail on P.M sheets
  7. Equipment failure record not available
  8. Lack of monitoring and changing the program

Lean Tip #228 - Material shortage is the single biggest maintenance support function contributing to low productivity.

A shortage of materials is the single biggest maintenance support function contributing to low maintenance productivity.

Typical material–related delays:
  1. Waiting for materials
  2. Travel time to get materials.
  3. Time to transport materials
  4. Time required to identify materials
  5. Time to find substitute materials
  6. Time required to find parts in area stores
  7. Time required to prepare purchase order
  8. Time to process purchase requisitions (approvals, etc.)
  9. Lost time due to:
    1. Other work without materials
    2. Wrong materials planned and delivered
    3. Wrong materials ordered
    4. Materials out of stock

Lean Tip #229 - A good inventory system is essential for a productive maintenance function.

Features of a good maintenance inventory system
  • Tracks balances for all items including issues, reserves and returns
  • Maintains parts listings for equipment
  • Track item repair cost and movement history
  • Cross references spares to substitutes
  • Has the ability to reserve items for jobs
  • Has the ability to notify a requester when items are received for a job
  • Has the ability to generate work order to fabricate or repair an item
  • Has the ability to notify when the item reorder is needed and track to order to receipt
  • Has the ability to track requisitions, purchase orders and special order receipts
  • Has the ability to produce performance reports such as inventory accuracy, turnover and stock outs

Lean Tip #230 - Visual systems play an important role in systematically eliminating losses.

Visual systems play an important role in systematically eliminating losses. Visual systems save time – time to inspect equipment conditions, time to change parts, time to maintain. Visual systems help to make “complex” equipment data and conditions into useable information for everyone who works on and around the equipment.

Lean Tip #231 - Involve operators in routine maintenance of their equipment.

Involving operators in the routine maintenance of their equipment builds on the “sense of ownership” and recognition that skilled maintenance and engineers or technical people generally address the increasingly more complex equipment problems and tasks. Because operators are often much closer to the equipment, more often than engineering, technical or maintenance people, they can quickly and easily detect problems before equipment performance is detected.

Lean Tip #232 - You clean to improve a machine’s performance – not its appearance.

You clean to improve a machine’s performance – not its appearance.
  • Clean to Inspect
  • Inspect to Detect
  • Detect to Correct
A better looking piece of equipment is just a side benefit. Develop standards for cleaning and inspection for all equipment.

Lean Tip # 233 - Strengthen the relationship of your equipment operators and maintenance personnel.

Team work is essential in any Lean culture. To improve the relationship of equipment operators and maintenance personnel take advantage of good times. Those times during which there are no pressing equipment problems or production deadlines are good opportunities for maintenance personnel to thoroughly review equipment with operators. This helps build proactive, positive relationship among coworkers.

Lean Tip #234 - Practice good equipment management principles to improve maintainability.

Practice good equipment management principles to improve maintainability. For example, replace bearings that require ongoing lubrication with sealed bearings. Review data collected during maintenance activities to determine unsatisfactory equipment component lives. Then specify better components for all new equipment you purchase.

Lean Tip #235 - Implementing Lean practices puts additional pressure on process equipment to perform.

In a system where there is excess inventory and many non-value added activities, the excesses tend to hide bottle necks or constraints to smooth production flow. As a result, as companies reduce waste, they find that equipment, maintenance support, and response time can be bottlenecks to the normal production processes. This can be avoided by tracking the overall equipment effectiveness of the process.

Lean Tip #236 – Learning a new skill requires the combination of 3 key elements.

To learn a new skill requires focus on these 3 things:

Method – The pattern or routine to be practiced.

Practice – The learner repeatedly applies a pattern, following guidelines for deliberate practice.

Coaching – Learner receives guidance in practicing the pattern.

“With practice, training, and above all method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment, and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.” – Alfred Binet (1909)

Adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata

Lean Tip #237 – Lean Management is about focusing on how solutions are developed not the solution itself.

Traditional management focuses on solutions:
  • Establish targets
  • Describe solutions
  • Provide incentives
  • Get out of the way and periodically check results
Lean Management focuses on how solutions are developed:
  • Establish targets
  • Develop, via practice with coaching, the capability in people to develop new solutions…
  • …by having people practice a common way of working, like the improvement kata
Which do you think is more effective?

Adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata

Lean Tip #238 – All managers are teachers, and their actions determine company capability.

Whether consciously or not, with their everyday words and actions all managers are teaching their people a mindset and approach. So it makes sense to ask, “What patterns of behavior and thought do we want to be teaching in our organization?”

Adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata

Lean Tip # 239 – Make Practicing Lean Part of Every Day’s Work

Practicing Lean should get integrated into daily line management, not just be an add-on project or event. Make no distinction between day-to-day management, and change management. If you periodically conduct a training event or periodically work on an improvement but the rest of the time it’s business as usual, then what you are teaching is business as usual.

Adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata

Lean Tip #240 – Ask these 5 coaching questions every day in the Gemba.

  1. What is your target condition here?
  2. What is the actual condition now?
  3. What obstacles are now preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which one are you addressing now?
  4. What is you next step? (start of the next PDCA)
  5. When can we go and see what we have learned from taking that step?

Adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata


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