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In our previous article, we discussed about the characteristics of current state and future state in value stream mapping. Developing a future state begins with an analysis of the current production situation. As value stream mapping is a pencil and paper tool, take out a blank paper and draw the current state of your production system by your hand – this helps you focus on understanding the flow, instead of on how to use the computer.
- Mapping begins with the customer requirements
The place to begin is to identify the customer requirements of a product family, which is considered as the high value or the high volume item in the product portfolio. Improving this product family process should directly benefit the customer. The customer’s plant is represented by a factory icon and it is placed in the upper right-hand portion of the map. Underneath this icon, we’ll draw a data box recording the requirements of the customer like dispatch quantity, number of shifts, packing standards – tray or pallets or pieces.
- Draw basic production processes
Identify the critical steps in your production and map the material flow from left to right on the bottom half of the map in the order of processing steps; not according to the plant layout. Use a process box to represent each process.
- Collect process data
A data box should be drawn under each process box containing the following data.
- C/T (Cycle time)
- C/O (Changeover time)
- Up time (on-demand machine time)
- EPE (Every part every __ or production batch size)
- Number of operators
- Number of product variations
- Pack size
- Working time (minus breaks)
- Scrap rate
- Capture inventory
Use a “warning triangle” symbol to identify the location and amount of inventory. If the inventory accumulates in more than one location between two processes, draw a triangle for each location.
- Map logistics required for shipping & procurement
A truck box and a broad arrow indicate movement of finished goods to the customer (create rail or air freight icons if you need them) and movement of supplies from the supplier. Record in a data box below, the supplier’s pack size and replenishment lead time.
- Map the information flow
To map the information flow, you would require a narrow line to show the information flow within the organization and a line with a lighting-like wiggle when the information flows electronically (via electronic data interchange) rather by paper.
- Go see scheduling
If shop supervisors of your facility manually count inventory and make schedule adjustments based on that information, then it is called “Go see scheduling” and it is shown in the mapping with an eyeglass icon.
- Show Push movement
The term “Push” means that a process produces something regardless of the actual needs of the downstream customer process and “pushes” it ahead. Except the shipping department, which is connected to a customer, if all other processes are producing according to a schedule, then transferring materials from one process to the next is occurring via push. A push arrow is drawn between each process.
- Calculate Timeline
Draw a timeline under the process boxes and inventory triangles to compile the production lead time, which is the time it takes one part to make its way through the shop floor, beginning with arrival as raw material through to shipment to the customer.
By adding the lead times through each process and through each inventory triangle in the material flow, we can arrive at a good estimate of total production lead time. Now add up only the processing times, for each process in the value stream.
In our experience, greater than 95% of the total lead time recorded in any VSM exercise is a non-value adding activity.
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