Business asset performance improvement through Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Business asset performance improvement

The well founded lean six sigma process is that which uses the optimum combination of simple and complex machines/equipment, the latter carefully justified by task requirements, balancing cycle time and flexibility. However, an asset capability and the availability of an asset restrict the ability of the process to give the customer what he wants when he wants it.

The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) measure provides a holistic view of asset utilisation and drives an organisation to examine all aspects of asset performance in order to ensure that they obtained the maximum benefit from a piece of equipment. Once we have identify areas that we think could be improved, we then estimate the size of the benefit and then help our clients to incorporate it into a planned maintenance strategy that is based on treating preventative maintenance as an investment.

Developing an operating system for Lean manufacturing facility

Operating systems

Many established operating systems were designed to support a different set of circumstances to those that exist today. In response to the change, some companies have modified the operating system in an incremental and piecemeal fashion which has led to a high level of complexity. These problems are compounded by inflexibility in the face of constant changes sales volumes, product specifications and portfolios. A company with this type of operating systems cannot respond to a volatile market.

To overcome these problems, successful companies have redesign the operating system based on lean six sigma philosophies. Lean six sigma manufacturing is rapidly emerging as the key foundation for most operating systems being used in the drive to improve manufacturing operational performance. Lean is all about reducing waste by making process more visible and making material to flow. Six Sigma is about reducing process variability and the defects those process creates. Unlike other consultancies who use tools, we use an integrated approach that combines Lean and Six Sigma and is driven by strategy.

Manufacturing Management Consulting / Project Management

Manufacturing Management Consulting

Businesses are facing both severe competition and volatile markets. In order to meet these demands, a 'Step Change' in manufacturing performance is needed, requiring a new manufacturing strategy (operating system). The step change will allow manufacturing to move to a situation where a manufacturing based 'Competitive Advantage' may be pursued.

  • Creating change and developing anything new is always difficult and requires resources.
  • Those involved must follow good practice in Project Management.
  • All projects contain risk which should be recognised in estimates, plans

We know how to ensure that projects deliver sustainable results at pace under challenging conditions, as we have implemented projects effectively within UTC (Lucas Aerospace), B. Ae Systems, Ministry of Defence, and others.

Perfromance Improvement The strategic aim of manufacturing operating system should be to achieve the lowest cost base for product manufacture consistent with high levels of quality and service. The manufacturing process must be subjected to continual improvement to achieve competitive excellence. Best In Class businesses have learned how to make manufacturing capability a formidable competitive weapon. ConsultEP' visual consulting methodology together with Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) helps companies to change from board room to shop-floor, to set up manufacturing operation, and to implement operational improvements. We believe that early achievement of acceptance of need and commitment to change are key to getting pace and ensuring sustainable results. We outline below our approach in helping clients to develope their operating system based on our four-dimensional lean six sigma approach that will boost operational efficiency.

Operating system

Lean manufacturing is rapidly emerging as one of the major tools being used in the drive to improve manufacturing operational performance. We plus our associate partners have championed and developed lean manufacture for a number of years as part of its overall programme for improving our clients' competitiveness. We have help clients to implement lean manufacturing techniques that collapsed lead time by 50%, improve competitiveness at least by 10%, reduce inventory by 50%, and increase cash flow by 10%.

In organising to improve productivity, there are three fundamental questions which must ask:

  1. What will the future product portfolio to compete look like at strategic level?
  2. How to get the right "make vs buy" balance to achieve the targeted competitive product cost?
  3. What should the future footprint and capacity plan look like, which will lead to an action plan including the sites to be closed, consolidated, or prioritized for optimization?

Our four-dimensional lean six sigma approach

With the framework of strategic planning for organic restructuring comes operational planning for the reorganised business. This is the level at which implementation of lean manufacturing can be planned. The principle is not new, but the results have been unpredictable or disappointing, usually because the tasks have been approached in the wrong order or because an essential element has been left out. Experience over recent years has gradually permitted the evolution of a widely applicable approach which is being used by many companies in their drives towards competitive manufacturing.

The approach involves four elements, which is why Bourton Group, formally a subsidiary of Ingersoll Machine Milling Company, describes it as 'four-dimensional lean manufacture' or 4D. These dimensions are People (Multi-disciplinary teams), Engineering (Machine and Methods), Logistics and control (Material and Market), and and Accountability for Performance (Measurement), and they need to be implemented in the correct order. They are interdependent. Together they allow for continuous self-generating process of improvement which, left in isolation, will not work.

Boosting operational efficiency

ConsultEP battery of lean techniquesOur clients recognise that a functional organisation makes it difficult to identify with actual demand and in itself creates delays and reduces responsiveness. They know that there is a need to align the business assets with actual demand for products and services. In particularly, they know that good material flows require careful planning to retain flexibility to meet the changing demands on their business, and one of the key drivers in reducing lead time is innovation to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). We therefore help clients implement improvement techniques from our tool box to execute change ranging from production footprint simplification to manufacturing practices that dramatically enhance productivity.