Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – July, 2018

Welcome to July, 2018 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

In our previous issue, we had briefly talked about Hidden Factory in ASQ TV section. Hidden Factory is so very relevant to the Quality Management, that we would discuss more about the subject in our present episode.

Hidden Factory, The – The hidden factory is the extra useful, positive output that would theoretically be possible if the energy directed at creating waste were released and directed instead at making good quality items.

Lean Six Sigma – Hidden Factories is video presentation to understand the concept of Hidden Factory.

This image puts the subject in a rather stark context:

What is the Hidden Factory?’ explores the hidden factory from the broader perspective, specifically focusing on the four areas of lost (or hidden) production potential from an equipment perspective:

  • Schedule Loss (time where production could be running – but is not scheduled)
  • Availability Loss (time where production should be running – but is not)
  • Performance Loss (time where production is running – but not as fast as it should)
  • Quality Loss (time where production is running – but one or more pieces are not good the first time through)

The following table shows the four major loss factors, their impact on the hidden factory, and the associated Six Big Losses.

Loss Factor Impact on Hidden Factory Six Big Losses
Schedule Loss Time where production could be running but is not scheduled.

  • The largest component of the hidden factory for most one- or two-shift operations.
  • Typically addressed with overtime (short-term) or additional staff (long-term) to defer capital expenditures.
Does Not Apply
Availability Loss Time where production should be running but is not.

  • The largest component of the hidden factory during scheduled production time for most companies.
  • Two best practice techniques for unlocking Availability Loss are SMED (for Planned Stops) and TPM (for Unplanned Stops).
  • Planned Stops
  • Unplanned Stops
Performance Loss Time where production is running but not as fast as it should.

  • This is truly a hidden loss for many companies as it is not nearly as visible as Downtime.
  • Small Stops can be caused by misfeeds, material jams, misaligned sensors, etc. Slow Cycles can be caused by incorrect settings, worn equipment, substandard materials, etc.
  • Small Stops
  • Slow Cycles
Quality Loss Time where production is running but one or more pieces are defective the first time through.

  • Gets a lot of focus because of potential customer impact, but usually has the smallest impact on the hidden factory.
  • Best practices for addressing include error-proofing equipment and creating standardized work instructions.
  • Production Rejects
  • Startup Rejects

Some important tools to understand how each loss factor impacts the hidden factory are:

  • TEEP (identifies losses due to time that is not scheduled for production)
  • OEE (identifies losses during scheduled production time)
  • Six Big Losses (provides more detail on losses during scheduled production time)

In an HBR article, The Hidden Factory, Jeffrey G. Miller and Thomas E. Vollmann observe that overhead costs rank behind only quality and getting new products out on schedule as a primary concern of manufacturing executives. These can be:

  • Logistical transactions, which order, execute, and confirm the movement of materials from one location to another.
  • Balancing transactions, which ensure that the supplies of materials, labor, and capacity are equal to the demand. These result in the movement orders and authorizations that generate logistical transactions.
  • Quality transactions, which extend far beyond what we usually think of as quality control, indirect engineering, and procurement to include the identification and communication of specifications, the certification that other transactions have taken place as they were supposed to, and the development and recording of relevant data.
  • Change transactions, which update basic manufacturing information systems to accommodate changes in engineering designs, schedules, routings, standards, materials specifications, and bills of material.

There are three general approaches to managing overhead costs more effectively: (1) analyzing which transactions are necessary and improving the methods used to carry them out, (2) increasing the stability of operations, and (3) relying on automation and systems integration. Of the three, U.S. manufacturers seem most enamored of the last.

Six Sigma, Measurement Systems, and the Hidden Factory – If correctly implemented, measurement systems can help determine the current state of a process and provide information leading to breakthrough performance; however, ineffective measurement systems can contribute to the overall hidden factory. The paper defines how the measurement system is a part of the hidden factory. The key result from this work is to think of the measurement system as a process.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

For the present episode we have picked up the article Think You Know What Your Customer Wants? Think Again @ Strategic Marketing column of Management Matters Network….To solve this famous puzzle, you need to put yourself in the driver’s seat….

The authors point out that Peter F. Drucker taught for over 70 years the importance of  getting on the same side of the desk as your customer. He always taught there is no such thing as irrational customers: only lazy manufacturers. The article goes on to illustrate why “from the inside it is not easy to find out what a business gets paid for…Organized attempts to look at what his own business are needed.”

We now watch one of the latest ASQ TV  episodes:

Please also refer:

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for June, 2018 is:

  • Power of Imagination : It is a safe bet that change, or the concept of change, surrounds a good portion of your daily thought, consciously or subconsciously: change within ourselves, our surroundings or those in our immediate circle…What makes people really want to change is pressure coming from inside. Most important is the desire to move toward greater experiences of pleasure. The change that has come from within is more likely to be long lasting. A technique that’s useful when it comes to creating positive and lasting change is the power of your imagination.
  • The Power of Yet: There is a rule in software and systems design called the principle of good enough. It simply indicates that customers will accept products that are good enough for their needs. In many industries that same principle applies. ..If that’s the expectation of products we purchase, does it translate to people themselves?.. You might want a particular job or position or might want to accomplish something, but think to yourself, “I’d like to do that kind of work, but I’m not good enough.”. This thinking can be very negative because it sets up a psychological roadblock to your achievement and success…Just one little word added to the thought can change your world. In almost every line of work, the phrase should be, “not good enough, yet.”.. It might be that you don’t care enough to put out the effort to do it all the time…It may be true that you’re not good enough, yet. Few of us are. But if you commit to trying hard enough and long enough, you’ll get better and that’s the secret of becoming great!

I look forward to your inputs / criticisms/ observations to enhance the utility of our Quality Management Blog Carnival.

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.