The TPS Framework Model – Lean Process Improvement Training in Adelaide, Perth

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The framework represents a structural system of how to view our business and organisation: The framework is strong if the roof, the pillars, and the foundations are strong. A weak link weakens the whole system. It starts with the goals of best quality, lowest cost and shortest lead time – the roof.

There are two main pillars holding the roof up: Just-in-Time (JIT) and Jidoka. JIT and Jidoka mean never letting a defect pass into the next station and freeing people from machines – automation without a human touch. In the center of the system are people.

The Goals of TPS

The Main goals of the Toyota Production System (Lean) are to eliminate three types of waste:

  • Overburden or stress in the system (Muri)
  • Inconsistency (Mura)
  • Waste (Muda)

The elimination of waste (Muda) is the most common way to look at the effects of TPS.

There are four rules to TPS:

  1. All work shall be highly specified
  2. Every customer-supplier connection must be direct
  3. The flow of products and services must be simple and direct.
  4. Any improvement must be made according to the scientific method at the lowest possible level in the organisation.

The First Pillar: Just In Time (JIT)

JIT is the left pillar and means to make what the customer needs, when it is needed, in the right amount.

Ideally nothing is produced unless a customer is identified and the product is ordered. This helps in reducing inventories, warehousing and other holding costs.

JIT is not about automation. JIT involves controlling the flow of materials and manpower so that adequate resources are on hand when needed.

The Second Pillar: Jidoka (Error-Free Production)

Jidoka is the right pillar of the house.

It means that when an operator detects an error on an assembly line, they will try solving it themselves. If they cannot correct it themselves, they will call their supervisor. If the supervisor cannot complete the job within the given amount of time, the line will be stopped. The error will be fixed and the line will be started.

If you have no solution to the problem, you will not be able to continue with manufacturing. So solving problems becomes a must.

Traditionally, stopping the manufacturing line is treated as a crime, something you should not do at all.

The TPS view is that if you are not shutting down the line, you have no problems. All manufacturing plants have problems. So you must be hiding problems. TPS wants the problems to surface so that the process can be improved. Changing the mentality is the key to implementing Jidoka in an organisation.

Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)

Kaizen is a Japanese term that means continuous improvement. With Kaizen, good enough is never enough. No process is ever perfect.

Kaizen aims to eliminate waste in all systems of an organisation through improving standardised activities and processes.

The continuous cycle of Kaizen activity has seven phases:

  1. Identify an opportunity
  2. Analyze the process
  3. Develop an optimal solution
  4. Implement the solution
  5. Study the results
  6. Standardize the solution
  7. Plan for the future

The following are some basic tips for doing Kaizen:

  • Replace conventional fixed ideas with fresh ones.
  • Start by questioning current practices and standards.
  • Seek the advice of many associates before starting a Kaizen activity.
  • Think of how to do something, not why it cannot be done.
  • Don’t make excuses. Make execution happen.
  • Do not seek perfection. Implement a solution right away, even if it covers only 50 percent of the target.
  • ·         Correct something right away if a mistake is made.

The Foundation of the Framework

The foundation of the TPS framework is called Heijunka and means “leveling”. Heijunka is a method for reducing waste .The principle is to produce adequate goods at a steady rate, to allow further processing to be carried out at a constant and predictable rate. This stabilisation will prevent big spikes in production and hold inventory to a minimum.

Because customer demand fluctuates, two approaches have been developed in lean: demand leveling and production leveling through flexible production.

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