All entries for Saturday 28 February 2009
February 28, 2009
Autonomation is basically that if there is any problem in the machine that is causing defects, the the entire production line comes to a hault till the problem is fixed. It is used in Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. It may be described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human touch." There is supervision required in this process. At Toyota this usually means that if an abnormal situation arises the machine stops and the worker will stop the production line. Autonomation prevents the production of defective products, eliminates overproduction and focuses attention on understanding the problem and ensuring that it never recurs. It is a quality control process that applies the following four principles:
- Detect the abnormality.
- Fix or correct the immediate condition.
- Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure.
This is very similar to the DMAIC process according to me. This process involes define, measure, analyise, improve and control.
DMAIC can be applied to Autonomation process when there is a problem!!! this is how lean can be mixed with six sigma can be applied together
In six sigma we know that customer focus is really important. In lean manufacturing I came across a process which can really eliminate high storing cost. The process is called just in time (JIT). There has to be "quick communication" in this process. This is required as old stock gets over one can quickly call for new one, eliminating the need of storing or buy a warehouse. Dell is one of the companies that have highly benefited from this system and achieved a competitive edge. This technique is also used by Toyota. It was first started at Ford.
This system is not mentioned in six sigma but can be intergrated in the system in the "Improve" stage of DMAIC process to reduce cost. This could be an option.
This system may not work in all industries but for the one where it works, it can bring great sot benefit.
Though six sigma and lean manufacturing have some different policies, many people are bringing them together with lean six sigma. This shows that both can be combined.