Monday, September 8, 2014

Celebrating 300 Single Point Lessons!

My friends at Fuss & O'Neil are celebrating a milestone, their 300th Single Point Lesson.  John Kravontka and team have been sharing an accumulation of best practices learned by other manufacturers over the course of many years. I am happy that they are letting me share this with you.  Below is an excerpt from John Kravontka on SPLs:

An idea is a treasure. It can be killed very quickly by a negative comment, or it can be enhanced by a positive one.  To get ideas to begin to flow is a very difficult process. Working in teams seems to help idea generation. If someone comes up with a good idea in a small facility it is easy to spread it to another part of the facility or to a similar piece of equipment. If you have a large facility and/or multiple facilities it can be very difficult to spread a good idea, or a best practice. If you cannot spread them, everyone has to re-invent the wheel over and over again, and this can take a lot of time.  If we can capture an idea in words and pictures we can then spread it quickly from one place to another. If we categorize the ideas we can then search/find them more easily. We can take these good ideas or best practices and teach concepts with them.

This is what we (Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions) do every day, teach safety, maintenance and reliability concepts with hands-on training/ideas. We put the best ones out there for everyone to look at, and hopefully utilize to make their company better… While we teach and train, we get our clients results, at the same time. In many instances the ROI for our work is measured in weeks and months..

As the TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) process hit the USA in the early 70’s a Single Point Lesson (SPL) or One Point Lesson (OPL) was a way to train an Operator to perform an Operator based task on a piece of equipment to help maintain that equipment, or to keep it from deteriorating. It focused on a “Single Point” or idea and by using many pictures (visuals) it quickly got the point across about what the Operator needed to accomplish. It also created Standard Work around that task. At that time a major thrust of TPM was to have the Operator perform simple maintenance tasks (transfer from Maintenance) so that the Maintenance Technician could then do more work or different work. As the TPM process matured here in the USA, the SPL’s also began to change. They started to become more of a way to document a great idea, normally a Maintenance idea that would help improve the Safety of the equipment or keep a piece of equipment clean (documenting a Countermeasure), or improve the access to the equipment (make it easier to maintain), etc.

You can use these SPL’s or OPL’s in many ways:

       As a tool box meeting for Maintenance Technicians, starting off each day, or weekly to talk about safety, new ideas, thoughts and the sharing of best practices
       As a weekly bulletin board of best practice ideas
       As an intranet site to hold and categorize best practices
       To categorize them for use during; TPM events, SMED events, RCM and 5’S events, to begin to generate and stimulate some team ideas
       From a corporate viewpoint, as a way to spread Maintenance and safety best practices across multiple facilities in the USA and across the world. Why should each facility have to re-invent their own wheel over and over when they can plug into other “wheels”
       Run contests for the most, the best, the cheapest idea
       As a way to promote Maintenance and the “status” of Maintenance in a facility
       As a way to train operators on ideas for Daily Operator PM’s for equipment and visuals that they can add. Help operators to “see” the invisible, so they can begin to see minor defects, etc. on their own equipment that they run each day
       As a way to elevate the function of Maintenance across the country
       As a way to capture the “Intellectual Capital” of your employees and to spread to future employees
       As a way to help change a culture or mindset in an facility
       As a way to train new employees
       As a way to create standard work

You can see more SPLs at

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