Best Practices 101, Part 3


Reading time ( words)

As we deep dive into the four critical steps of value stream mapping, (VSM), by now you should have a good understanding of just how powerful some of these tools and techniques can be. And the best part? It is not rocket science; it’s just common sense!

Step 1: Identify the Proper Process

This step cannot be stressed enough because it is often overlooked by many companies new to Lean. Fresh out of training, the VSM team often runs out and starts mapping the first process they see. While VSM, if anything, is better than nothing, efforts should be focused on the critical processes having the greatest impact on the product.

Let’s look at a typical supply chain transaction from the point of a customer order through delivery of the product. Figure 1 example shows a macro view of the supply chain cycle to illustrate how VSM works. This high-level view would be one way to drive Lean down through the supply chain to sub-suppliers. Of course, discrete processes within each supplier would need to be value stream mapped to enable reductions in their respective lead times. This product depicts a process with an eight-week lead time, which, after value stream mapping the process, reveals that there are only seven hours of value-added time on this product. As unbelievable as these results sound, most organizations experience a similar disparity in their processes. The key takeaway of this scenario is that the excessive lead time has created enough customer dissatisfaction that the business is in jeopardy.

Now let’s turn this diagram into a current state value stream map. The original working session for developing a VSM is very manual, and as I mentioned earlier, is best done on a white board or with Post-it Notes. As the name implies, the goal is to find out how the processing is currently operating today, not how the SOP says things should be or how it was designed to be. The goal is to capture reality onto a piece of paper—the current state. Use a stopwatch for the time studies and determine the actual times where practical. While the VSM will eventually be finalized with software, the initial map should be created with Post-it Notes because there will be frequent changes as the team goes through this process. Once the process has been defined, the Post-it Notes map can be digitized with flowcharting software. Value stream maps use a variety of unique symbols that are not used in traditional flowcharts and diagrams, as shown in Figure 2. Word and Excel can be used for flowcharting, but for ease of use, professional flowcharting software like Visio should be used.

Read the full column here.


Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of The PCB Magazine.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

ICT Autumn Seminar Review: Live in 2021!

12/07/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Faced with the choice between a real or virtual event, Bill Wilkie took a calculated risk. It has been many long months since members of the Institute of Circuit Technology had gathered together under one roof, but a fair-sized bunch of industry stalwarts braved the weather and the threat of COVID, descended on the Manor Hotel in Meriden, UK, on Nov. 30, and applauded Bill’s decision to go live. They were not disappointed; the program was superb, the atmosphere upbeat, and the networking opportunity priceless.

EIPC Technical Snapshot Review: Semi-additive Processes

12/01/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The development of ultra-high-density PCBs and packaging substrates using semi-additive and additive manufacturing processes was the theme of the 13th Technical Snapshot webinar presented by EIPC on November 24. It was introduced and moderated by technical director Tarja Rapala-Virtanen. Daniel Schulze, application engineering manager at Dyconex in Switzerland, gave the opening presentation, “Advanced high density rigid packaging substrates for RF and miniaturization.” He explained that with their long-established capabilities in ultra-high-density PCBs in flex, rigid-flex and rigid multilayer technologies, it was logical for Dyconex to apply their expertise to the development of specialist IC substrates.

Driving Down Cost with Process Engineering

04/20/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Nolan Johnson, Barry Matties, and Happy Holden speak with Matt Mack, process engineer at ICM Controls. Matt shares a day in the life of a process engineer, along with how he approaches continuous improvement and planning for the future on the floor.



Copyright © 2021 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.