Process Improvement

Developing a Roll-out Strategy for OEE Implementation

Developing a roll-out strategy for any kaikaku (transformative) level initiative may seem like a difficult task. There is a visual method that I have used over the years that lets me put the pieces on the paper (PowerPoint) and move them around to see if it makes sense. Depending upon the situation you are in you may find this visual technique a smart way to scope out your project and layout the logical flow of dependent tasks (kaizens) that will culminate in this transformative improvement (kaikaku).

Let’s look at an example project we recently did:

If you look at the sample graphic (below) from a recent OEE implementation by the APO Team, we have made a very high level, simple, swim lane chart that shows the logical steps and duration for each task… yes you can use a Gantt Chart as well, but in this case the simple graphics in PowerPoint do the trick. The visual technique plays well with Lean and people can easily follow the progression of the Project against the timeline.

OEE Roll-out Strategy
Roll-out Strategy for OEE using a Swim Lane Chart

Now for the component parts of this particular implementation, we needed to start from scratch. The client is well versed in Lean, but we felt it necessary to be thorough in our approach as this is a model for future deployments once we transfer knowledge to the client and leave… yes, we do not form dependencies and stick around like many consultancies. We add value, transfer knowledge, and move on to the next thing…

It was a Lean deployment, but I used the DMAIC Methodology. Why? Because I wanted to and it maps perfectly to PDCA, but with a bit more detail. Additionally the client is Lean Six Sigma adept and “gets” the synergies.

You can see that we have the following elements:

  • Weeks 1-2: We Scoped the project, created goals, aggregated historical process data, created a KPI, and benchmarked the process
    • Kick-off Meeting and Stakeholder Analysis – We need to get aligned and communicate the initiative. For this client it was a good thing we did, as there was some friction at the very beginning. We worked it out as a Team quickly.
    • Visual Management Board and OEE Deployment – What? Are we done already? No! What we did here was put in place an OEE Board as a method to collect and aggregate baseline process performance data. Along the way we refined and simplified (read automated) much of the way we gather and calculate OEE from the PLC data from the process. We did not fully automate the system as we require the Operators to interface with the OEE Board by recording the OEE data and any reasons for falling below target for Availability, Quality, Performance and of course OEE. This now gives us some near time failure date to do Pareto Analyses for the prime drivers for poor OEE… Now we are getting somewhere.
  • Weeks 3-4: We Analyzed the data and determined a TPM Kaizen to improve Availability was needed. We executed the kaizen. We also trained the staff on TPM Methodology and captured the improvements
    • TPM Kaizen – Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is the name of the game as we had some serious machine health issues. I always say “if someone is in an accident, you don’t rush them to the gym!” The same goes for an unhealthy or broken process. We need to get the process healthy before we improve. “Stabilize then Optimize®” is our trademark.
    • Document Findings – We took detailed notes of all of the findings from the TPM Kaizen to improve our Critical Spares List, Troubleshooting, and Setup which follows in the next section… it’s coming together!
    • TPM Training – Seems like we should have done this first… Well, the reality of it was we did do a quick primer, but the window of opportunity presented itself so we dove into the machine. With one of APO’s facilitators onsite, we did just fine managing the TPM Kaizen. Afterwards we did a deep dive training for all stakeholders.
  • Weeks 5-8: Standard Work Development for Process Control and Sustainability. Lots of people want to breeze over this part and that’s where they fail. Don’t cut corners with the sustainability and standardization of your effort. PDCA – this is the Act part of PDCA, or Control Phase of DMAIC
    • FMEA – Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, but why so late in the game? I have found that it makes more sense to do it after we have been all through the machine and found some serious known and unknown failure modes and effects. I have done this technique at the onset of these types of kaikaku’s only to find that the time was better spent in the machine (at Gemba) doing the diagnostic, then in the conference room. Now that we have a deep knowledge of the machine failure risks we can do a thorough FMEA.
    • Troubleshooting Guide – On this complex automated machine, it was necessary to give the Operators, who are the first line of defense against machine downtime and delays, methods to figure out and fix process issues right the first time. Pull the andon cord, right? We found that simple issues if not fixed correctly could cause major crashes on the machine. We put forth standard fixes for common problems… and yes we are fixing the root causes, but remember… incremental improvement. Move the needle. Don’t try to boil the ocean. If you try and fix everything you may spend a lot of time accomplishing nothing. Believe me.
    • Set-up Guide – For the machine setups, we need precise and exacting sequentials procedures to set the machine up right the first time. If done properly it will run properly. If not we will have persistent issues. Here we made a guide with plenty of visuals to do just that. Also, when the Operator gets stuck in the Troubleshooting he escalates to the technician (this is a HELP Chain or PACE Plan), the Technician simply checks the setup and fixes it. They also check for incoming material variation and so forth to stop it at the source. We are dialing it in…
    • OM/PM Standard Work – These are the daily maintenance and 5S tasks that the Operator, and Technicians do at each shift change to get a handle on workplace organization, lubrication, cleanliness, start-up checks etc. The startup check sheet.
    • Standard Work Training – Standard work isn’t much use if you don’t properly train and maintain it. I wrote about this briefly in a previous post.
  • Weeks 9: Wrap up the project with Problem Solving Training, Capture the results of the Kaizen, and Memorialize the Project in a report
    • Problem Solving Training – The entire purpose of the OEE Board – remember that… is to solve problems. All information boards should serve this purpose. So at this point we show people what to do with all of this newly mined intelligence. We keep the problem solving basic  using 5 Why Analysis for the Operators and use 8 Discipline (8D) or A3 Problem Solving for the engineers and staff. We call this Level 1 and Level 2 Problem Solving. We also have a Level 3 – Six Sigma, but they aren’t ready for that just yet.
    • Capture the Benefits – We did the baseline, now after the event we need to see how far we “moved the needle”. we calculate this in business terms – Money is a good unit of measure as is capacity, throughput, cycle times, etc. all which can be derived from OEE.
    • Close out the Project – Memorialize the project in a report with all of the findings so thers can share in the information. Most importantly Communicate and Celebrate! Congratulate, reward and recognize the Team for their effort to bring value to the company and the customer. Well done!

So that’s it. Now you’re an expert. Remember there are plenty of ways to deploy these things and this is only one case study from one event. Yours will differ, but it doesn’t have to be a scary or daunting thing to try. Give it a shot, and there is no failure – only learning.

If you need some help, give me a call. 855-427-6462 x700 – that number will ring through to me. Thanks for reading!

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