Regardless of what Quality initiative (Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Continuous Process of Improvement or any company-wide quality initiatives) your companies can use Synergy SPC software to serve as a baseline for your SPC data today, enable users access to SPC data to prevent defects, monitor your ongoing progress, and be your historical repository for regulatory and customer audits.
Baseline for Improvement
The most fundamental process of any initiative is to establish a baseline. If you don’t have statistics about where you are at today, you can’t possibly measure your progress moving forward. The Synergy SPC software has Compositive Pareto charts that allow team members to determine which problems/opportunities should be approached first.
Critical to Quality (CTQ), Process Capability Indices, Roll Throughput Yield (RTY), Six Sigma and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), are process performance metrics identified to compare process observations against process requirements. The Synergy SPC software provides various functions to allow easy comparisons of these metrics on different data sets.
“We now know where we had waste in our process, realistic values to base our key performance indicators on, and how to improve our margins,” said Fedele D’Alessandro of LMPsrl.
Lean Manufacturing & Six Sigma
Six Sigma is an integral part of Lean Manufacturing initiatives today. With regards to Lean Manufacturing, wastes account for 95% of all costs in non-Lean manufacturing environments. Some of these are:
• Overproduction – Producing more than the customer demands. The corresponding Lean principle is to manufacture based producing products just as customers order them. Anything produced beyond this tie up valuable labor and material resources that might otherwise be used to respond to customers demand.
“We needed the ability to adapt on the fly for different run sizes. For us, Synergy is just simpler. Because we have short runs, being able to track it and tell me when something is trending out-of-control or out-of-specification is important, during those few hours. It also gives me the ability to compare previous runs,” commented Wayne Maurer of MET Plastics.
• Transportation – Materials should be delivered to its point of use. Instead of raw materials being shipped from the vendor to the receiving location, processed, moved into a warehouse, and then transported to the assembly line, Lean demands that the material be shipped directly from the vendor to the point of location in the assembly line where it will be used.
“We make any plastic parts that go on the exterior of the car such as body side molding, door pillars, front grills, license garnish, back panel, trunk skins, spoilers, etc.,” said Ted Black, for A.P. Plasman-Windsor Plant. A.P. Plasman has four locations. Windsor Plant 1 does the molding and then sends the stock to the two paint locations. “There can be a week of inventory between plants depending on lead times for paint schedules. Before we implemented Synergy there was a risk if that we had stock in the pipeline that was out-of-specification we wouldn’t know about it for a week,” said Black. “Obviously, this would affect our productivity and our bottom line.”
• Non-Value-Added-Processing – Some of the more common examples of this are reworking (the product of service should have been done correctly the first time), deburring (parts that should have been produced without burrs, which properly designed and maintaining tooling), and inspecting (parts should have been produced using statistical process control techniques to eliminate or minimize the amount of inspection required.
“I think where Synergy has helped our company the most has been on final inspections. Since implementing Synergy we have reduced our rejects by 2/3rds,” remarked Bob Batsche of Carlisle & Finch Co.
• Defects – Production defect errors waste resources in four ways. First, materials are consumed. Second, the labor used to produce the part the first time cannot be recovered. Third, labor is required to rework the product. Fourth, labor is required to address any forthcoming complaints.
“The other way we are saving money is the fact that we have decreased considerably the amount of rework we are performing. Now we have the visibility to see when a process is trending towards going out of control. We can make adjustments so it doesn’t go out-of-control, saving us a tremendous amount of repackaging,” said Tim Stutzman of Oregon Freeze Dry.
• Underutilized People – This includes underutilization of mental, creative, and physical skills and abilities.
“Synergy saves us about 45 minutes of the operators’ time from how we operated previously. When you calculate this across 22 machines that comes out to about 33 man-hours a day,” commented Scott Chambers of Schoeneck Containers.
Continuous Process Improvement
As you can see the Synergy SPC Products can assist any Quality Initiatives in not only establishing a baseline, but also ensuring real-time monitoring for ongoing continuous process improvement. This data is readily available for regulatory or customer audits as well as in trouble shooting from previous runs.