Lean Production &

Continuous improvement

 

Imagine your processes continually improving – that is the essence of continuous improvement, the driving force behind lean production. Originating from Toyota’s development strategy, lean production focuses on eliminating waste. Continuous improvement ensures a persistent focus on enhancing every aspect, from processes to products. Together, they form a powerful cycle of efficiency, quality and customer satisfaction. 

SMED

SMED stands for Single-Minute Exchange of Die. It’s a powerful lean production method to dramatically reduce the changeover times between production runs. By separating essential tasks (Internal) from those done while machines run (External), and streamlining all steps, SMED minimizes downtime and increases your output. Imagine switching between products with minimal disruption similar to a pit-stop in formula-1 – that is the power of SMED.

How can AVIX help you with the SMED?

Video recording the changeover eliminates the risk of missing critical issues in the analysis. The analysis in AVIX SMED is easily created even at long (> 1hr) set-ups and provides direct separation of internal and external activities. The video also facilitates communication during analysis within the improvement groups and with other stakeholders in your organization. 

If needed, AVIX SMED can manage multiple resources in one analysis – That makes it possible to describe multiple operators working in parallel on the changeover of one or more machines. Built-in rules (“Starts after”, Ends before”) allow you to create realistic models when two or more resources need to work together. 

Based on the SMED analysis data, AVIX can generate well-defined SMED work instructions to guide operators which parts and tools to use, what to do before, during, and after the changeover, and thereby help you convert your SMED analysis into real improvement on the shop floor. 

VA/NVA

A/NVA is short for Value-added/Non-value-added and refers to the process activities. Value-added activities are anything that directly contributes to what the customer wants and is willing to pay for. Non-value-added activities, on the other hand, are the (unpaid) extras – the waiting, rework, or unnecessary steps that add cost and time without adding value. By identifying and eliminating these “wastes,” businesses can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and ultimately, deliver more value to their customers. (at lower price or higher earnings) 

How can AVIX help you with the VA/NVA?

AVIX allows you to assess VA/NVA in many places. The easiest one is directly on the process step level in AVIX Method where you can easily qualify an activity as Value adding, Non-value adding necessary (Required), or Non-value-adding to be eliminated (Waste).  

In case you would like to get a deeper analysis, you can use various time systems which allows you to identify VA/NVA on the level of elementary operations by applying PMTS (Predetermined Motions Time systems). Systems like MTM, UAS, MOST etc.  have VA/NVA predefined partially (e.g. all body movements are considered waste). 

Are you interested in understanding the proportion of VA versus NVA activities in your processes? For each level of the process sequence break-down (line, workstation, operator, process step) a pie chart will be displayed with a single click in AVIX. 

Time studies

Time studies are an important part of a culture of continuous improvement (CI) within manufacturing organizations. The primary objective is to establish accurate standards for the time required to complete specific tasks or operations within a production process. Time studies also play a crucial role in identifying and eliminating waste within manufacturing processes. By analyzing the time spent on Non-value adding activities, such as waiting, transportation, or unnecessary motion, engineers can eliminate inefficiencies, streamline operations, and reduce costs. Time studies also provide the necessary data for labor costing, budgeting, and pricing decisions. In a competitive world, this is crucial for precise cost estimates and profitability.

How can AVIX help you with the Time studies?

AVIX provides companies with a clear methodology and software support to get accurate and reliable data on the time required to perform specific tasks in the production process. AVIX can apply standard time analysis by PMTS (Predetermined Motion Time System) – analyzing the movements and actions required to complete a particular task and then calculating the time required based on established standards and benchmarks. 

AVIX uses several well-established standards widely recognized and accepted in the industry. These include the MTM-UAS, MTM-SAM, AVIX-basic motion times, and stopwatch time study, which all provide reliable and objective data. The detailed process analysis in AVIX Method and AVIX Ergo not only provides time but also enables detailed waste analysis and ergonomic analysis. 

AVIX also has the capability of deploying customized time systems, the user case could be a company that has developed an in-house time system or using unique time systems common in e.g. the aerospace industry or similar. 

In addition to providing accurate and reliable data on the time analysis, AVIX can also be used to create standardized work instructions, based on a clear link to the defined process sequence and time study. All being part of your TDM (Time Data Management). 

Video analysis

Video analysis enables organizations to conduct time studies and performance evaluations more accurately and efficiently. By reviewing video footage, engineers can capture detailed information about cycle times, observe variations in work methods, and identify opportunities for standardization and improvement without disrupting ongoing operations. 

Another primary application of video analysis is the study of worker ergonomics and motion patterns. This information enables organizations to redesign workstations, develop ergonomic guidelines, and implement training programs to improve worker safety and productivity. 

How can AVIX help you with the Video analysis?

AVIX creates a clear link between the process steps and a holistic visualization of the production processes, allowing engineers to observe and analyze various aspects such as assembly time, ergonomics, equipment utilization, and process flows. All the data is summarized visually and graphically. 

AVIX can use different methodologies to evaluate ergonomics, by analyzing the activities using e.g. ErgoSAM, Borg CR-10, or REBA. AVIX also supports PMTS (Predetermined Motion Time System) methodology or stopwatch sampling, which is great in combination with video. In AVIX, the video supports accurate time studies and performance evaluations by allowing engineers to precisely measure task durations and assess work methods. This is especially important when conducting time studies. 

Machine analysis

Video analysis of CNC machines/robots allows operators to analyze the process without needing to be physically present on the shop floor. Footage can pinpoint where errors occurred, helping to diagnose and troubleshoot problems effectively. 

Analyzing video footage of CNC/Robot operations can reveal opportunities for process improvement. By studying the sequences of operations, technicians can identify inefficiencies, optimize tool paths, and streamline workflows to increase productivity and reduce cycle times. 

Video analysis of CNC machines/robots allows operators to analyze the process without needing to be physically present on the shop floor. Footage can pinpoint where errors occurred, helping to diagnose and troubleshoot problems effectively. 

Analyzing video footage of CNC/Robot operations can reveal opportunities for process improvement. By studying the sequences of operations, technicians can identify inefficiencies, optimize tool paths, and streamline workflows to increase productivity and reduce cycle times. 

How can AVIX help you with the Machine analysis?

We often get the question if it’s possible to analyze a CNC machine using AVIX, and yes – it’s simply done with the features in the AVIX Method 

By recording a video of the machine cycle, you can create a task sequence in AVIX and simply classify the activities as Value-adding, Non-value-adding necessary, or Non-value-adding (a loss to be eliminated). The analysis provides not just feedback on time, but the real power lies in the combination of video and analysis. The movie makes it visual, and the process is observed in a detailed way, which gives new insights. Knowledge and insights are the first steps in seeing the potential for improvement. 

The machine analysis doesn’t stop with the machine itself. In complex machine setups, the interaction between the operator and the machine is just as important. Analyzing these interactions reveals answers to questions like: Is it possible for one operator to manage two machines? Is it productive to use only one operator? And what is the real process time? Most of the time, there is more to it than just the machine cycle time. 

Line balancing

Line balancing is a production strategy that aims to evenly distribute work across all workstations in a manufacturing line. The goal is to ensure that each station and operator has the same amount of time assigned, minimizing idle time and bottlenecks. By optimizing the workflow, line balancing enhances efficiency, reduces production time, and increases output. This approach involves the analyzing of process tasks and assigning them to the different operators to maintain a smooth and continuous production flow. Successful line balancing leads to improved productivity, lower operational costs, and a more flexible manufacturing process, allowing for quicker adaptation to changes in demand or production schedules. 

How can AVIX help you with Line balancing?

AVIX Resource Balance will assist you in your daily work when balancing your production lines. In AVIX you can define your tasks with the time it takes as well as a description of the work content and via drag and drop, move from station to station to achieve the most optimal balancing for your production. AVIX Resource Balance can also help you balance different variants or use your production program to get a real-time overview of the balancing results. All the data from AVIX can also be displayed in a digital work instruction for each unique product variant/configuration based on your newly created balance. This can either be via a generated document or interactive in a web browser via AVIX Shop Floor Viewer. 

Value stream mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is the guide in the maze of production and business processes. It’s about creating a visual map of everything involved in bringing a product to the customer – from raw materials to delivery. VSM tracks both materials and information flow, highlighting delays and areas of waste (e.g. waiting, rework). By seeing the big picture, businesses can identify bottlenecks, streamline processes, and ultimately, deliver value to customers faster and more efficiently. 

How can AVIX help you with the Value stream mapping?

A Value Stream Map may be done in Excel or PowerPoint and for some companies – that’s sufficient enough. There are also numerous dedicated tools allowing you to draw your Value Stream Map, but AVIX is not that kind of tool. We’re not saying the other tools aren’t good enough, but AVIX goes beyond this. In AVIX the Value Stream Map is generated and updated automatically.  

How is that possible?  

The key is that AVIX applies a process breakdown structure (structure tree) going top-down: Company, line, workstations, buffer capacity, cycle times, number of operators, and more. These structures are used for advanced Industrial Engineering work (read more here: AVIX Method and AVIX Resource Balance). In practice, this means that when you make changes and improvements to your assembly line the Value Stream Map is automatically updated. 

Action plan

A well-defined plan is what turns great ideas into reality. A good action plan breaks down your vision into manageable steps, identifies resources needed, and sets deadlines to keep you on track. It helps anticipate challenges and develop solutions. Therefore, the next time you have a great idea, don’t let it stay in your head – make it reality with an action plan. 

How can AVIX help you with the Action plan?

Did you spot a problem during your time studies in AVIX Method? Are you re-balancing your production processes in AVIX Resource Balance and would like to make note? Or do you have a brilliant suggestion on how to reduce your changeover times in AVIX SMED 

We have all experienced the pressure of balancing process documentation with capturing improvement ideas. In AVIX you can gather notes to turn them into an action plan. Depending on your needs, you can create a note on a process step, resource, workstation or Line and categorize it as a Comment, Identified Problem, or Suggestion for Improvement. Additionally, you can assign a Responsible person, set a Due Date, and prioritize your notes. You can then compile all your notes into an Action Plan, enabling you to transform your ideas into tangible improvements. 

Want to know more about AVIX?

You are always welcome to contact us. Send a message and we will reply within 24 hours.