So you have planned out some improvement for an existing process, product or service but you want to ensure that it is a success. One of the best ways to make sure improvement goals are a success is to plan for possible failures. FMEA or failure mode effects analysis will do just that for you. FMEA is a method of identifying possible failures in a process. As the name implies "failure modes" hints that it will help us to understand the possibilities of failure. Sound like a valuable activity? It certainly is, so how is it performed?
Before we get started with an overview of FMEA you need to know that there are a few different FMEA methods. One is for process oriented analysis. You may have heard it referred to as PFMEA. The other type is used in the design or redesign of a process, product or service this type of FMEA is referred to as DFMEA. Today we will not focus on either one specifically. Remember you can find templates here.
How to Perform FMEA
In the first three phases of the REDUCE methodology, required data is established, the value stream is engaged for a deeper understanding and internal and external activities are differentiated or separated as defined in the SMED system. The first two phases are largely gathering information and analysis while the second begins to separate tasks and define what can be done while the machine is running and what can be done while the machine is stopped.
The video above is from Lean Strategies International LLC's Quick Changeover with REDUCE Course.
Of all the steps in a setup or changeover reduction, separating internal and external activities may in fact be the most important as well as the simplest steps you can take. In the most general sense, performing activities like preparing tools, kits and materials as well as transporting items while your line is running can reduce setup time by as much as 50%.
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Before improving anything in a setup, we must first consider the current state or common problem areas of what we are improving. In the case of setups, changeovers or turnarounds there are traditionally 4 basic steps where problems and opportunities fall. Those steps are:
If you travel into any machine shop, office or hospital facility in the world guaranteed you have seen a changeover before. The changeover occurs in between the last good part or service until the next good part or service. Some examples would be:
Almost every project will include brainstorming of some kind at some point in the project lifecycle. Brainstorming sessions can be a powerful gateway to unlock solutions, make issues visible, prioritize actions and bring experienced minds together. When individuals come together as a team, innovative ideas can be born. One of the struggles of being a part of a powerful and productive brainstorming session is that they generate many great ideas and often reveal a large amount of issues. This can leave a group feeling overwhelmed. Often times, the wide array of ideas can be hard to organize, understand, validate and act on. Worse yet, many members of a team might leave feeling invalidated, unheard or completely shut down.
The fishbone diagram, cause and effect, or ishikawa diagram is one of the most common quality tools used today. Best known by its resemblance to a fish's body the fishbone diagram is used to show the many possible causes for an effect. The tool is used to help coordinating brainstorming in an effort to discover root causes.
Many years ago a sociologist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto developed what eventually would become one of the most well known concepts in the world. Pareto who had already made significant contributions to the world of microeconomics discovered that about 80% of the wealth in italy was owned by only 20% of the population. This revolutionary discovery eventually lead to what we know today as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. Over some period of time the Pareto concept began to gain a reputation for separating what is often referred to as the vital few from the trivial many. While it is important to understand history and how things come to be what we really want to understand today is when to use the Pareto chart and how we can leverage opportunities from analyzing the chart.
The first day on the job is always an exciting experience for any new employee. A new chance to show your skills, meet new people and grow in a new organization. Excited to learn something new in training you get thrown to the wolves and here the phrase "you will figure it out." That can be a bit scary to say the least. Surprisingly as you start figuring out everything has procedures connected to it. Three days later and you have mastered erp, assembly and every office function in the organization. A bit surprised by this you're off to a great start!
The lecture above is from Lean Strategies International LLC's FISH Methodology Course. For More Course Materials, Ad Free Content, Handouts, Quizzes, Certification and Activities Click Here.
Have you ever gotten into a discussion of why? because. Why? because. Last weekend I had the great pleasure of this discussion for what seemed to be the first time. I never really put much thought into it but asking why never really was a difficulty for me.
Oftentimes when we want to use the 5 whys to drill from issue to root cause we end up in a pattern of why, because. Why, because. Or, we conduct a long analysis only to find out that none of our levels of causation matched at all. One of the best known examples of a 5 why analysis was performed by the master Taiichi Ohno. He used the example of a welding robot stopping in the middle of its operation. Like a sensei does he naturally went from initial issue to root cause with almost no difficulty at all. So, how do we begin developing this level of mastery with regards to root cause analysis? Here are a few important things to keep in mind when looking for the ROOT cause.