fOS Part III – Just Do It? The Framework of Manufacturing Execution

Manuficient Consulting fOS Part III: Manufacturing Execution

Manuficient Consulting – fOS Part III: Manufacturing Execution

Before we begin, my top five quotes about execution:

5) “It is no use saying, We are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill

4) “Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” – Sue Grafton

3) “A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2) “A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” — Jim Collins

1) “Knowledge is a treasure but practice is the key to it.” – Lao Tzu

Definition: The carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action.

In this third installment of dissecting the fOS Methodology, we dive in Manufacturing Execution, which is the most exciting aspect of manufacturing. This is the part where things get done – and stuff gets made. It is an indescribable feeling to watch pallet after pallet roll off of the production line and get loaded onto trucks and shipped off to the customer; especially when you played an intimate role in “making it happen”. This is the part where you are turning nothing into something. This is the part where you are adding value. This is the part where you are doing precisely what the customer is paying you to do. This is the part that pays the bills – the rest is just administrative. I can go on and on with this but I think you get the gist of it.

In fOS Part II, we laid out a framework and approach for assessing and improving the Planning and Procurement function; in this section, we look at the framework work for effectively executing the plan. Again the overall objective of the fOS methodology is to support a manufacturing process in reaching or exceeding  85% OEE, or World Class Execution. There are four key components to the framework for Manufacturing Execution:

1: Assessment of Design Capacity – Determine the engineered design capacity of the production system

fOS - Execution - Capacity

Machines should run at or better than their engineered/designed performance levels. If they don’t, something is wrong – and needs to be fixed. Many managers purchase and install equipment in their factories without even bothering to read the instruction manuals on proper maintenance. Then they find themselves in the counterproductive practices of cutting maintenance support (often due to budget constraints), which then leads to a culture of fire fighting, finger-pointing, and rampant CYA. You can quickly see how overlooking the small step of planning maintenance to the equipment’s design can erode a facility’s culture.

Additionally, each machine in a series is only capable of the output of the slowest machine or process in the series. There are steps that can be taken to balance the workload across machines, eliminating inventory and streamlining production.

2: Determination of Uptime Losses – Understanding the impact of process downtimefOS - Execution - Uptime Losses

Machine or process breakdown is a fact of life in the world of manufacturing. A machine breaks down for a few primary reasons..1) Its not being maintained properly, 2) Its not being operated properly or 3) Its the wrong machine for the no specific order. As a factory leader, being able to decipher which is the root of the problem (or which combination of issues) is critical to driving out uptime efficiency losses. A trained eye can both identify what is driving the inefficiencies, and quickly diagnose from a database of industry best practices and personal experiences.

3: Estimation of Throughput (or Rate) Losses – Assess the true cost of running below the designed rate

fOS - Execution - Throughput Loss

Throughput losses are the “silent killers” of a manufacturing process. They are the most difficult to see but can have a profound impact on the overall performance of a production system. For every moment a process performs below the design speed, it is suffering from a throughput loss (as long as it is still running). I’ve worked with manufacturers that have no performance standards and thus have no idea how fast production lines should be running. Consequently, they also have no idea if the line is being operated in a sustainable way.

My wife has me watching old episodes of House on the computer. I’m always amazed at how Dr House can look at the patient for about 5 seconds and then diagnose the illness based on a few visible characteristics and prescribe a solution in less than a minute. This an over-dramatized role of a manufacturing expert as well. A professional can walk through a factory and see waste (including rate loss) in action and check off the environmental cues that facilitate a wasteful manufacturing culture. In the case of throughput loss, the first question is one of visibility. How do you know when you are experiencing throughput or rate loss? Are you notified at the moment the rate falls below designed speed or do you find out when its too late to do anything about it?

4: Summation of Yield Losses – Determine the loss of productivity related to poor quality and other yield losses

fOS - Execution - Yield Loss

Yield loss is mainly driven by quality failures throughout the system. This is the crucial crossroad between quality and productivity. When I worked for Mars, Inc at their Petcare factory in Sparks, NV, there was a very strong culture of quality, which many viewed as conflicting with the effort to drive productivity improvement. As the Continuous improvement Manager at this facility, my first and biggest hurdle to initiating the Lean implementation was to convince the QA Manager of the benefits of Lean and how it supports quality. To do this, I led several Root Cause Analysis events to address quality failures in the manufacturing process. The next thing I did was to perform the analysis to show the financial and production losses that we were incurring due to poor quality and rework. This highlighted the “Cost of Non-Quality” and positioned the Lean initiative as it was designed to be – a quality improvement initiative. In doing this, the QA Manager became my strongest ally and stood behind all of Continuous Improvement efforts for my tenure with the facility.

We look at rework like its “not a big deal” because it allows us to reclaim all or part of the material being lost. What we don’t consider is the fact that that bad unit took up line space from a potentially good unit; and costed double the labor and utilities to “get it right”. First Pass Right is the only way to go.

Also, a frequent mistake is to only measure rework or First Pass Right in the final steps in the process. It needs to be measured at every single step in the process. All of the waste needs to be captures and bared before all. Again, visibility is the key to making sure stuff gets resolved.

fOS - Execution - Waterfall

The system design capacity and execution losses roll up to estimate the manufacturing system’s overall level of execution. In order to perform at World Class levels, the total execution losses cannot exceed 15% from the designed capacity. In other words, uptime x throughput x yield must meet or exceed 85%. Most established factories begin their journey at anywhere from 45% to 65%, which leaves tremendous opportunity for improvement. An expert can help identify losses and quickly determine what steps can be taken to capture gains.

Visit Manuficient Consulting website for more details on this topic.

Also, visit my Excelville Profile for tools and resources to help you along the way in your continuous improvement journey.

Best Regards,


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© Calvin L Williams blog at [2015]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Calvin L Williams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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