Value Stream Mapping
The company that I chose is Kossan rubber manufacturers. The company is based in Malaysia and engages in investment holding, manufacturing and sales of rubber products and provision of management services to subsidiaries. It operates in through four segments which include Technical rubber products, gloves, cleaning products and others. The subsidiaries of this company operates manufacturing facilities and marketing of rubber based parts and products; fabrication and installation of machinery, trading of latex examination gloves. The company uses the value stream map in their process of manufacturing rubber.
Value stream mapping is a lean-management technique used for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the product or service through a series of events that take place from its beginning through to the customer. This paper aims at developing a plan for reducing lead-times as well as increasing throughput in a rubber product manufacturing plant by using value stream mapping.
Located in Kuala Lumpur, the plant produces rubber screening media and wear products used in the mining and aggregate industry. A worldwide increase in demand for raw materials has caused sales to increase tremendously for screening and wear media products. The increased workload at the plant has resulted in longer lead-times even though the plant’s capacity has not been exceeded. The rubber products manufacturer is inefficient because it produces products in batch quantities and has poor product flow due to operations being departmentalized. The increase in lead-times could cause a loss in the market share to its competitors. The rubber products manufacturer must reduce its lead-times in order to remain competitive and continue its growth by providing quality products in a timely manner. The value stream mapping will be used here to determine areas of potential improvement on the plant floor. Moreover, I will develop analyze a current state map to pinpoint areas that have the potential for improvement. A future state map will then be created to suggest ways to reduce lead-times and increase throughput. The map will include lean manufacturing methods to reduce wastes in the system; increasing throughput and reducing lead-times
The literature review of this paper will focus on giving an overview of lean manufacturing in Kossan Company and will describe how value stream mapping is a fundamental component of lean manufacturing. Lean is described as the removal of “Muda.” When Japanese companies talk about waste, they normally talk about three Ms; Muda, Muri and Mura. Muda is a Japanese word that means waste, specifically any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value. Lean thinking is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating wastes. In a manufacturing environment, piles of an excess product are a waste; consuming floor space and increasing the time a product takes to flow through the plant. Forklifts transporting goods from one point to the next are waste. Unnecessary movements of people during the course of their work are wastes. These are considered wastes due to the fact that they are activities that absorb resources but create no benefit for the customer. Lean is identifying and eliminating any wastes that do not create value. Lean revolves around the elimination of waste.
There are a number of forms of waste when it comes to this manufacturing environment. The first form of waste is over-production. Over-production is making anything ahead of demand. An example of over-production would be making drawings before they are needed. Finishing a task before required is considered a waste because this taxes resources at the wrong time and leads to excess work in progress. The second form, waiting, is another form of waste. Waiting is caused by delays from previous steps or processes. For instance, when an operator must stop a task due to unavailable or incorrect information, this is a waste. Waiting also refers to the job or part itself having to wait; parts that are in Inventories, the fifth form of waste, are work or product that is beyond the absolute minimum needed. Stocking parts before they are sold is a waste; they tie up dollars and occupy space while they sit. The idea in lean manufacturing is to not make anything before it is needed. Another form of inventory is work in progress. Product in queue wastes floor space and increases the time that a product is on the production floor. Large quantities of Work In Progress (WIP) are indications that a product has much higher lead-times than necessary (Ghushe, 17)
The sixth form of waste is excess movements or motions. If an employee has to walk to access data storage or has to bend down to reach the next job, these are excess motions or movements. Excess motions or movements are often some of the most frequent and easily remedied wastes. Simply moving the data storage area to a centralized location or placing a cart close to the work area can reduce or eliminate the excess motions or movements. The seventh and last waste is product defects. Anything that does meet the customer requirements is considered a product defect. Defects are waste because they require product rework. Time, material, and resources are consumed twice to produce the product.
On the other side, mura is the waste of unevenness or rather inconsistency. This kind of waste comes about when a processing company fails to smooth their demand; they place unfair demands on their process as well as people and thus causing a creation of inventory and other wastes. A good example in in Kossan rubber manufacturing company is when we see the manager being measures on monthly output, making their departments to rush in their final week of the month to achieve the targets and in the process of doing this they end up using components and producing parts that are not actually required.
Finally, there is the waste of overburden, Muri where unnecessary stress is focused on employees as well as the processes. This kind of waste is caused by Mura as well as a host of other failures in the system for instance unclear ways of working and wrong use of tools. Again here, Mura causes Muda, the seven wastes are the symptoms of the failure of the company to tackle Mura and Muri within their process and not the root cause.
Lean is eliminating wastes from a manufacturing system. The problem arises in how a manufacturing facility becomes lean. There are a number of steps of becoming lean. The critical starting point for lean thinking is value. Value is the information or product that the customer is willing to pay for and can only be defined by the ultimate customer. The value is defined by the customer and created by the producer. From the customer’s standpoint, this is why the producer exists. Many producers only want to make what they are already making and the customers will often settle for what they are offered. Producers do not see what the customer or consumer really wants. When the customer no longer accepts what they are given, producers tend to use techniques such as lowering pricing or offering a variation of the same in order to entice buyers to purchase their product. The first step in lean thinking is to determine what the value is in terms of the customer.
The second step in lean thinking is to identify the value stream. A value stream comprises all of the actions, both value added and non-value added, required to bring a product from raw material into the hands of the customer. A value stream map is a tool used to chart the flow of materials and information from the raw material stage, through the factory floor, to the finished product. The purpose of the map is to help identify and eliminate waste in the process. It is a systematic approach that empowers people to plan how and when they will implement the improvements that make it easier to meet customer demand.
Value stream mapping is a visual representation of the material and information flow of a particular product family. Value stream mapping consists of the creation of a current state map and a future state map. The current state map charts the present flow of information and material as a product goes through the manufacturing process. Its purpose is to help understand how a product currently flows. The future state map is a chart that suggests how to create a lean flow. The future state map uses lean manufacturing techniques to reduce or eliminate wastes and minimize non-value added activities. The future state map is used to help make decisions and plan future process improvement projects. Value stream mapping has many benefits. Mapping will help visualize the entire production of a product at a plant level, not just single process level. It is of great significance to be able to grasp the entire flow of a product at a plant level to best understand what to fix. A particular process may appear to be a problem, but when looking at the entire manufacturing process it may not be a problem at all. Value stream map will help identify the source of the real problems. Value stream maps will help show wastes and more importantly help identify the sources of waste.
The third step in lean thinking is flow. Flow is the progressive achievement of tasks along the value stream so that the product proceeds from raw material into the hands of the customer with no stoppages, scrap, or backflows. Once started, a product will advance through a manufacturing plant without stopping. A product should seamlessly move forward from process to process without having to wait. Value added time to the product needs to be maximized and non-value added time minimized. In order to accomplish this, the product must continually be undergoing processing until finished. Efforts need to be directed at eliminating all impediments to continuous flow.
The fourth step in lean thinking is pulling. Pull is the concept of letting the customer pull the product from you as needed rather than pushing products onto the customer. Pull is only making what the customer wants and only when the customer wants it. There is no forecasting or stocking. The idea is that nothing is made until it is needed, and then made as quickly as possible. A pull is created by having the ability to design, schedule, and make exactly what the customer desires when the customer wants it. The final step in lean thinking is perfection. There is no end to the ability to reduce costs, scrap, mistakes, space, etc. Perfection is an unachievable goal; therefore, there is always room for more improvement. Lean is always working towards improvement.
If the current lead-times are higher than in the past, it may lead to lost market share and stunt planned growth. Batch processing and departmentalized machines are key contributors to long lead-times. Value stream mapping will be used to help identify areas of potential improvement to reduce lead-times and increase throughput. Information will be gathered using information stored in the company’s ERP system and by observations made on the shop floor. This information will be used to construct a current state map that will show the flow of information and material for a rubber modular screen panel. The data will then be analyzed to determine areas that need the most improvement. These areas will be further analyzed and lean manufacturing techniques will be suggested to lower the lead-times and increase throughput. The suggestions will be used to create a future state map that will provide a guideline for improvements that can be made (Venkataraman, 1196)
Furthermore, the future state map will be created to suggest solutions to the inefficiencies that have been identified in the current state map. The inefficiencies entail the batch mode production, poor product flow, human resource utilization, complicated information flow and quality checks focusing on the elimination of errors and not minimizing risk. The future state map suggests a proposed solution. The future state map utilizes several lean manufacturing techniques; the first is the idea of one piece flow and cellular manufacturing. The future state map appears very different from the current state map; instead of individual processes such as welding, blasting, and priming, they are now combined together in a cell or group of processes manned by either a single person or a team. The idea is to move one piece or a small batch at a time from one process to the next without stopping. The machines are physically located close by and arranged to facilitate a smooth uninterrupted flow. The product is transferred between the cells and the rubber press by the use of first-in-first-out lanes and supermarkets. First-in-first-out lanes and supermarkets are designed to limit the amounts of inventory that can accumulate between processes where continuous flow is impractical.
Moreover, cross-training is utilized to balance workstations and improve product flow, eliminating the problem of poor worker utilization. The future state map suggests that scheduling should be controlled at the bottleneck, in this case, the rubber presses. This simplifies scheduling and the potential for communication errors. In a cellular environment, quality checks do not need to occur by every process. This is because the product is moved quickly from one process to the next in one piece or small batches; parts can be checked after several operations and corrected without the risk of large losses.
The most obvious changes to the manufacture of rubber modular screen panels’ in the future state map are the utilization of manufacturing cells. The cells are groups of processes that are manned by a single person or a team. The idea of the cell is to promote one piece from on
Value Stream Mapping