Overview of Process Optimization Methods
Process optimization methods
As a rule, process optimization does not mean optimization, but improvement. Therefore, process optimization methods are actually measures that are intended to bring about improvements. Where process optimization used to be carried out by quality management in the past, this task now falls more and more to industrial engineering. Processes can be improved in different ways. It is important to establish process optimization methods and to analyze the respective conditions correctly. Process optimization methods can only be achieved through a structured approach. There are many ways to optimize processes. Approaches for each industry and company can differ fundamentally.
Process optimization methods and techniques
Process optimization: Procedure to increase productivity
The increase in productivity can be achieved in several ways. Both technical and organizational means are used, since they achieve much more than just one of these approaches in combination. Technical means or even automation can be used as tools. The technical means should correspond to the given framework. For example, the purchase of a fully automatic welding robot is not worthwhile if only a few parts are to be welded. But process optimization through automation is an important factor that should not be underestimated. A possible process optimization / approach to improve processes at the workplace and thus increase productivity would be the 5S method.
The 5S-method is a possible method to improve the processes at the workplace and thus increase productivity. The five “S” are originally derived from the Japanese terms Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke, which represent the five steps of the 5S method. Translated they mean: Selecting, systematizing, cleaning, standardizing and self-discipline.
Process optimization: Procedure for the improvement of the production areas
Layout planning is an important part of factory planning. The layout is usually displayed using a CAD system. The reduction of the floor space and the arrangement of the departments to each other are planned with special methods. In this way an ideal process optimization is achieved. Approach with the triangle method according to Schmigalla can achieve very good results. With this method the departments can be optimally coordinated. The material flow between the respective departments is important.
Process optimization: Procedure for improving capacity utilization
Machine utilization can be improved in several ways. One very efficient solution is to reduce makeready times. This is one of the lean production methods of process optimization methods.
Process optimization: Procedure for process improvement
In order to improve the processes, it is necessary to analyze them beforehand. There are a number of process optimization methods that can be applied in a specific case. The process optimization methods as well as the use cases are very diverse.
Process optimization: Procedure for shortening paths
A reduction in the number of work trips can refer to a work system or to the entire company. In a work system the reduction of the ways can be achieved with the spaghetti diagram. This process optimization / procedure cannot be applied to the whole company. A layout planning e.g. with the triangle method according to Schmigalla improves however also at the same time the ways. If less material has to be transported in the company, the distances to be walked are also reduced.
Process optimization: Procedure to improve quality
Good quality is one of the most important process optimization methods: quality has always played a special role, and especially in an industrialized country the quality factor is the decisive factor. Quality is determined with measuring and testing equipment, but quality is created much earlier, and a suitable framework must be established for this. One possible framework that ensures quality could be the Six Sigma method. Apart from Six Sigma, other statistical procedures and methods for quality improvement are very common.
Process optimization: Procedure for shortening lead and throughput times
There are various process optimization methods for reducing throughput times. One of the most important process optimization methods is the value stream design. With this process optimization / procedure the so-called value stream is determined. The material and information flow is analyzed. This method also has an influence on inventory, quality and delivery reliability. Further process optimization methods will follow at this point.
Process optimization: Procedure to reduce resources
Reducing the resources used and avoiding waste are still very important issues. One philosophy or system that has proven itself and is accepted by all highly competitive industries is Lean Production. Lean Production, better known as Lean Production, was developed in the United States, but originally came from Japan, where it was called the Toyota Production System. Lean Production therefore corresponds to the Toyota Production System. The production system offers more than just the prevention of waste.
Process optimization: Procedure to improve communication in the company
Information technology is used today for all kinds of things, so why not also for communication? Information technology already plays an important role in this area. Electronic communication such as e-mail and the like are now an integral part of the economy. However, communication also takes place in other areas, and it is sometimes more complicated to make oneself understood. In manufacturing, visual inspection plans are very often useful because communication is often neglected or is hardly possible due to lack of time or noise. Visual inspection plans are only one possible solution to improve communication.
Process optimization: Procedure to reduce accidents
A basic process optimization / procedure for the reduction of accidents is the above mentioned 5S method. This process optimization / procedure creates order and cleanliness and is the first step for subsequent process optimization methods. Visual markings and the like also contribute to the prevention of accidents. Time reduction is only one of the process optimization methods. Since the beginning of mass production, time has been an important field of research and was also recognized as a cost factor. There are different ways to waste time and often those affected are not even aware of it. In manufacturing companies it is often waiting and idle times that cause delays in processes. This can be remedied with the value stream design. But even in assembly work, waste inevitably occurs if the working method is not analyzed and clearly described. In the past, the Methods-Time-Measurement (MTM) process optimization / procedure was often used at this point.
Process optimization: Procedure for cost reduction
The above mentioned methods contribute to cost reduction and therefore there is no specific process optimization / approach that alone reduces costs. In most cases, many process optimization methods are used to contain the costs arising in the company. There is no specific process optimization / approach that alone is able to improve everything in a company. When it comes to an isolated area, several process optimization methods are always used either in combination or individually.
Conclusion: Process optimization methods
Process optimization methods: To achieve a goal, it is important to analyze the initial situation correctly and to take the appropriate steps with the right process optimization methods. Alone, no process optimization / approach leads to the goal, and when using the methods, one should know how they work and what can be achieved with them. Only the exact knowledge of the methods and their potential makes it possible to use them correctly. Unfortunately, it often happens that process optimization methods are not properly understood. But the fatal thing comes later, because then the functionality of the process optimization methods is also ignored. Many process optimization methods unfold their full potential only in combination with other process optimization methods. The use of a single process optimization / approach without understanding these interrelationships inevitably leads to the failure of the efforts. Success comes to those who apply the knowledge of experts correctly and use process optimization methods correctly. With MotionMiners GmbH you have with Motion-Mining not only a powerful tool at hand, which automatically records and analyzes processes, but also experienced process engineers, who support you in choosing the right process optimization methods.