Client: Consumer Goods Manufacturer
- Latin America
A Consumer Goods Manufacturer in Latin America
needed help solving a problem with a control variable in a segment of
their production process. The problem was causing low quality in their
end product and was hurting their competitiveness. HMC
was hired to identify the primary causes and fix them permanently.
Using our unique Holistic
methodology, HMC pinpointed the problems
and recommended a comprehensive course of action. As a result, the quality
index (Q) for the client jumped a whopping 58.2 percentage points, from
an index of 21.8 to and index of 80.0, in just 9 months!! Furthermore,
the percent of product that was out of spec dropped from 15% (out of
spec but acceptable for some selected markets) to 0%.
This consumer goods manufacturer in
Latin America had been making excellent progress during the last few
years in almost all production measures. However, one area they needed
help in was identifying the causes of the very high standard deviation
in a control variable for a particular part of their manufacturing process.
This problem was in turn causing them to experience a low and volatile
quality index. The impact of these low quality numbers was consequently
having a dramatic negative impact on the overall quality output results
for the end product.
This client had heard about HMC's
success in identifying and permanently solving difficult production
problems, and thus contacted us to see how we might help them
solve theirs. Although this type of problem is not unique to the industry
of this particular client, HMC's approach
was. After clearly demonstrating how HMC
would apply its comprehensive methodology to identify and solve the
problem, and guaranteeing to produce results, HMC
was selected to work on the project.
This particular situation was an ideal opportunity for HMC
to apply it's Holistic
methodology, a process that identifies both technological and human
systems factors in sub-par production performance, to help this client
solve a very perplexing problem. Our approach included a comprehensive
review of their existing production process, including a thorough analysis
of detailed statistical data and interviews with management and production
personnel, an analysis of the process and key linkages, and a control
study to identify human variability and establish a baseline best method.
Specifically, for this client this approach included the following tasks:
Collect and review all available data and documentation on the specific
manufacturing process in question and interview supervisors who have
been involved with the work to date to capture existing knowledge.
the problem process to link process outcomes with process variables.
Conduct a 'Line
under the Microscope' for a period of up to 2 weeks on two or more
machines to capture detailed statistical data for analysis and obtain
3-6 months of historical data and review to identify potential drivers
of high variability and develop any correlation.
Study methodology to identify human induced variability and establish
a dynamic standard operating procedure.
This approach will not only help the client understand
the process better, but it will also enable them to apply corrective
changes that will be sustainable in the long-term. HMC
believes completely in the team approach, and so several people from
the client were part of the project team. This not only assists in the
assessment and review of current production, but also ensures that new
methodologies and adjustments that are made are learned and retained
by our client. The goals of this project were as follows:
Identify primary and secondary variables that are critical to the
Develop a dynamic
standard operating procedure against which future improvements can
be measured with respect to the control variable.
which will lead to better performance and less variability.
Conduct a Control
Study to identify the 'best' method of making adjustments and then
standardizing these aspects between personnel in order to lead to
a reduced standard deviation in the control variable.
Early in the project we identified significant
differences in operating methods, a lack of ownership in machine cleaning
and operation, and high rotation of personnel. Therefore we decided
to reduce time spent on the "line under the microscope" (LUM)
and conducted trials instead.
From the historical data we were able to establish
the improvement opportunities and degree of variability between shift
crews. Key findings were:
The overall improvement opportunity based on a weighted average of
the Q number was 40.2 % (i.e. difference between average and good
The major opportunity
arises from reducing the number of VERY bad days.
in performance of the two shift groups was 32.1%.
with the hourly analysis a major drop in performance at the morning
start-up and at shift change.
Through the use of the control study we also found
a very high variability in methods and therefore significant opportunity
for improvement. Operators and technical staff members had different
ways of performing the adjustments during run of the machines. Of over
36 adjustments it was found that there were differences in 17 of them!
It is also essential to have a holistic program that
covers the primary variables, otherwise the client is unlikely to make
a significant impact on the quality number. Therefore, our recommendations
to this client to resolve their quality problems included the following
Gain commitment of personnel (commitment vs. compliance) to ensure
everyone involved believes there to be a worthwhile goal.
study to achieve consistent operation as a basis on which to build,
and to allow other improvements to be tested.
and implement comprehensive cleaning procedures to improve the MTBF
of the machines and to achieve more consistent product quality
maintenance procedures to achieve higher MTBF and lower Standard Deviation.
upon our findings and recommendations, the client asked HMC
to help them implement these changes. Working together with the client's
project team, we were able to achieve a significant
growth in their Q index of almost 60 percentage points in just 9 months.
Furthermore, the percent of
product out of spec dropped from 15% (out of specification but acceptable
to selected markets) to 0%!
If you have a manufacturing or production process problem
that you can't solve, then call on the
experts at HMC. We'll not only help you solve your problem
we'll guarantee it!