Oct 18, 2009

One Point Lesson - OPL

At recent moment, I found a term for OPL for TPM which I am not so familiar. Therefore, I dig out some information and summarized as below to keep a reference, share with my readers.

What is OPL?

OPL is the short term of One Point Lesson. A TPM one point lesson is just one of the many tools that can be used to improve knowledge and understanding of the condition and performance of an asset on a day-to-day basis. The approach engages the front-line operations and technicians and encourages them to get involved in the continuous improvement of the asset. By simply passing on good ideas, maintenance interventions can be optimised to ensure there maximum impact on either the performance or condition of the assets. The benefits for implement OPL for workshop are summarized as below,

* Communicates knowledge and skill about the asset amongst members of the team.
* Raises the knowledge and skills of the team in a very short period of time.
* Is used for eliminating problems and for making improvements to the way of working.
* Makes sure that everyone knows about a better way of doing something.
* Makes sure that next time a problem is encountered everyone knows the way to solve it.

Here is the flow of running OPL,

1. One member of the team prepares a sheet, which describes the problem and solution in simple language. It is often illustrated with pictures if possible.
2. The team discuss the 1-point lesson, formally or informally, and incorporate any ideas.
3. The 1-point lesson is approved by the line management to ensure it is appropriate and safe.
4. The 1-point lesson is then published and read by all members of all shift teams.
Individuals are then asked to sign to acknowledge that they have read the 1-point lesson.

OPL should contain the elements,

1. Workshop location (plant, floor, line #)
2. A simply description of the purpose of this OPL
3. Use photographs or diagrams to show before and after sections
4. Who prepared the document? Who approved the document?

Below are the critical points for successfully implement OPL,

* Treat only one piece of knowledge at a time. The TPM approach is about small incremental steps to continuous improvement.
* Use simple clear language. The objects can be clear learned in 5 -10mins.
* Illustrate the idea with pictures or drawings closing to the place which it is applying.
* Make the 1-point lesson available to everyone who need to work on that process.
* Recognise and reward those who share their knowledge.

Aug 30, 2009

Gresham's law for organization

I want to write this post for a long time ago, finally, I started it tonight.
Gresham's law is named after Sir Thomas Gresham who was an English financier in Tudor times. It is commonly stated as "Bad money drives out good.", says that any circulating currency consisting of both "good" and "bad" money (both forms required to be accepted at equal value under legal tender law) quickly becomes dominated by the "bad" money. This is because people spending money will hand over the "bad" coins rather than the "good" ones, keeping the "good" ones for themselves.
The principles of Gresham's Law can sometimes be applied to different fields of study. Gresham's Law generally speaks to any circumstance in which the "true" value of something is markedly different from the value people must accept, due to factors such as lack of information or governmental decree.
The most famous instant to explain the law by the market for second hand cars, lemon automobiles (analogous to bad currency) will drive out the good cars. The problem is one of asymmetry of information. Sellers have a strong financial incentive to pass all cars off as "good" cars, especially lemons. This makes it chancy to buy a good car at a fair price, as the buyer risks overpaying for a lemon. The result is that buyers will only pay the fair price of a lemon, so at least they won't be ripped off. High quality cars tend to be pushed out of the market, because there is no good way to establish that they really are worth more. The Market for Lemons is a work that examines this problem in more detail.
I need to highlight that the critical element for Gresham's law is "asymmetry of information". Let us change the scenario to our organization, think about if the senior management team only look at the financial data and report for the operation. They do not know how the team working on the process in order to achieve the goal, but they only listen to somebody they think can be trusted. The element of "asymmetry of information" would be effective and we can find the "bad GUY drives out good!" Some bad guys from the organization did nothing for contribution but play the political game all the day. The senior management did not know who get the job done. Afterward, many people joined the bad guys team and force all the good guys out of the organization. In other words, the good guys are always not willing to work with the bad. They will quit the team by their owned willing.
In our kaizen activities, we also needed to study and avoid the same issue. As a lean leader, they are needed to join the kaizen activities to understand who is the member really gave their effort to improve the situation. They are also needed to identify who are the guys only sitting in the team but gave no idea and suggestion. The management team need to identify it perfectly and give the right award to right people, otherwise, the kaizen would be stopped by wrong motivation because of asymmetry of information. This is part of the lean culture and Gresham's law is effective here too.

Aug 24, 2009

Lean VS Six Sigma 2

This post is used to further explain about the relationship between lean manufacturing and six sigma, refer to the article Lean VS Six Sigma 1.

In my last post about lean and six sigma, Lean manufacturing is more suitable to use for solving perspicuously problem. If the process is defined as labor intensive, we can identify the problem, or wastes according to the 7 wastes concept. disassemble the actions for the work station, we can easily to identify which is value-added actions and which is non-value-added. Sometime, we need to use a stop watch to measure the process time. We can also easily to adjust and balance the process by a bar chart and no need to use the statistic tools or quantitative analysis for improvement activities. In simply say, if we can identify the problem by observation or simple measurement, lean manufacturing concept can help us to solve the problem and speed up the improvement progress.

For Six sigma, it would be more suitable to use for solving recessive problem. You can not identify the problem directly and you have to dig out the issue and reduce the variances of process by a serious of statistical analysis. For instant, a process, which is highly automatic, is needed to use six sigma for improvement. We can not identify the problem by observation because there is no operator working in the station. The machine or process is all covered by a metal shell. All the hidden problem can not be found by our bare eyes. At this moment, we need to measure all the detail, such as temperature, current, pressure, speed, and the parameters of the machine or production line, so that we can use the quantitative analysis method in six sigma to identify the issues and make the suggestion to adjust the parameter accordingly.

Is that any conflict between lean and six sigma? Absolutely not, in opposite way, they can support each other. Let us review the process for our working place, the process is always combined with automatic process and manual process. Do you agree? The most important thing is which tools is suitable for our target process. Sometime, we need lean to speed up the kaizen process, but sometime we need the six sigma to dig out the hidden problem. Therefore, we always call the continuous improvement activities as Lean sigma activities. Those tools can be combine together organically, the critical point is the kaizen leader has enough experience for both tools or not.

If you have different ideas, please give a comment for this post, thanks!

Aug 13, 2009

Traditional manufacturing VS Lean manufacturing

The traditional manufacturing flow is driven by push, you can think about the flow in the Henry Ford's time in producing Model T. The lean manufacturing is driven by pull concept. The table shows the differences of many elements between traditional manufacturing and lean manufacturing.

Aug 10, 2009

Lean VS Six Sigma 1

Sometime, I was asked by somebody that which continuous improvement concept is suitable for their company? Lean manufacturing? or six sigma? I was wondered they have no idea for the differences between lean and six sigma. Here is a comparison table between lean and six sigma for your reference and hope it can help you to identify the strength and weakness of the tools.
By the way, I give you one more condition to explain which is suitable for you as below,
Lean: suitable to use for solving perspicuously problem, that's meant you no need to make a complicated calculation and mathematical analysis to identify the problem. You can point out every problem and mistake just according to the concept.
Six sigma: suitable to use for solving recessive problem. You can not identify the problem directly and you have to dig out the issue by a serious of statistical analysis.
Let me know if you have more additional details, thanks!