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32nd

Interna+onal Conference of the


TOC Prac++oners Alliance - TOCPA
www.tocprac+ce.com 23 March, 2017 Milan, Italy

Improving the performance of a line


with synchronized opera+ons
(conveyor belts or takt +me)
with the Theory of Constraints

Filippo Pescara
IFP sas GoldraM Research Labs
Italy
23 March, 2017
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Filippo Pescara

Filippo Pescara is a doctor in electronic engineering (from University of Ancona) and


he holds an MBA in managerial engineering from Polytechnic of Milan. He is the CEO
of IFP sas, a consulEng company focused on change management based on the
systemic approach.
His interest in Theory of Constraint (TOC) started in 1993 when he read GoldraM's
book "The goal" for the rst Eme. Hes a TOC pracEEoner since 1995. He does both
consultancy and educaEonal projects.
He works on holisEc projects in medium sized companies in Italy and cooperates
with industrial associaEons and universiEes holding conferences, educaEonal
projects and seminars.
In 1999 he was the Italian facilitator of the GoldraM Satellite Program in a class
composed by dierent companies in Bologna. He taught TOC operaEons and logisEcs
for two years as an adjunct professor at the University of Ancona (Italy) in the
academic years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.
He is a consulEng partner of Inherent Simplicity Ltd, an Israeli so]ware company
who provides OperaEon and Supply Chain so]ware soluEons based on the Theory of
Constraints approach, since January 2008.
Ing. Filippo Pescara - TOC Expert
In 2011 Alan Barnard asked him, on the advice of Eli GoldraM who knew about his
CEO IFP di Filippo Pescara & C. sas
research and developments in the eld of Strategy & TacEcs Trees and the Thinking Regional Director GoldraM Research
Processes (he presented some of his ndings and results to Eli GoldraM on May Labs LLC
2010), to be part of the GoldraM Research Labs. e-mail: ifp@abanet.it
In 2014 he became implementaEon partner of RealizaEon Technology Inc., a lippo@goldraMresearchlabs.com
Californian leading provider of Project ExecuEon Management soluEons based on Phone: +39 335 7014223
the TOC CriEcal Chain methodology. Web: www.goldraMresearchlabs.com
www.harmonytoc.com

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Concepual evolu+on of the Your logo

physical constraint

Engines of improvement Solu>ons


80s: (main process)
bo(lenecks
5 Focusing DBR + U.R.O.
Steps
90s: external
constraints
Focusing on nding solu-ons (Thinking Processes)
Focusing on smooth implementa-ons (S&T Trees)

Early 2000s: The only stable Build SDBR (Capacity


constraint is the market Capitalize Control) + U.R.O.
demand Sustain

2010: The ul=mate constraint Build


is the =me available for Capitalize
4 concepts of
management a(en=on Sustain ow + U.R.O.

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The 4 concepts of ow

... both Ford and Ohno followed four concepts (from now on well refer to
them as the concepts of ow):

1. Improving ow (or equivalently lead +me) is a primary objec+ve of
opera+ons.
2. This primary objec+ve should be translated into a prac+cal mechanism
that guides the opera+on when not to produce (prevents
overproduc+on). Ford used space; Ohno used inventory.
3. Local eciencies must be abolished.
4. A focusing process to balance ow must be in place. Ford used direct
observa+on. Ohno used the gradual reduc+on of the number of
containers and then gradual reduc+on of parts per container.

Eli GoldraM 2006 Standing on the shoulder of giants

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TOC for Opera+ons: Your logo

3 fundamental theorems
Theorems

Second theorem
First theorem Third Theorem
(planning):
(op-miza-on): (coordina-on):
balancing capacity,
local op-miza-on detailed schedules
-me, inventories etc.
does not lead to and priority lists
with demand is
global op-mum cannot be followed
impossible

Solu-on guidelines
First theorem Third Theorem
Second theorem
(op-miza-on): (coordina-on):
(planning):
T-I-OE and 5 Focusing WIP Control and Pull
buering
Steps Systems

External solu+ons (kanban, buered lines, scrum, etc.) are also


TOC if they respect TOC theorems

Sanjeev Gupta Accelera+ng TOC Adop+on 2016 TOCICO Interna+onal Conference

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5 Focusing Steps: basic Your logo

insights
dont waste
the
nd the
constraints
resource
availability
whose limited
(do what
availability
should be Synchronize
determines
done; the resouces
the increase the
dont do what to facilitate
performance constraints
shouldnt be the
of the system availability
done) exploita>on
growth
1 2 3
4
stability
Iden'fy the Exploit the Subordinate to
Elevate
constraint constraint the exploita'on

5
Go back to 1.
Beware of
iner'a Theres a connec3on between the green
curve (stability) and the stability of the
constraints: we have to avoid the
situa3on in which, a<er the eleva3on, the
constraint moves!

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Stabilizing the physical constraint

New poten2al eleva2on


subordinated to stability

C
Assump&on: when the constraint moves, the new
Tac2c:
exploita&on ad subordina&on increases chaos stabilize the A
INJ: Dene the way to elevate, avoiding that another constraint
B
resource becomes the new constraint
POOGI
C
Dont
Stability A
elevate Tac2c

B
growth

stability
POOGI
Increased level of exploita2on of
the physical constraint

Growth Elevate

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Build Capitalize Sustain Your logo

basic insights
New poten0al eleva0on
subordinated to stability

SUSTAIN
C
Tac0c:
stabilize A
the
constraint B

New poten0al increase of the


exploita0on of the physical
POOGI
constraint

CAPITALIZE
C
D C
Tac0c A
A
B
D B

Current poten0al increase of the C


exploita0on of the physical constraint Increased level of exploita0on of
Tac0c A

BUILD
the physical constraint
UDE D C
UDE B
A
UDE Increased level of exploita0on of
UDE the physical constraint
D B

New rules, policies and


measurements
Current level of exploita0on of the physical constraint aligned with the exploita0on of
the constraint

1 2 3
4
Iden1fy the Exploit the Subordinate to
Elevate
constraint constraint the exploita1on

5 Avoid if possible!
Go back to 1.
Beware of
iner1a

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5 focusing steps Your logo

vs implementa+on steps (I)


The 5 Focusing Steps are a conceptual framework, but they dont support the
implementaEon!
They are the roadmap for improvement and help us in nding the right soluEon

The Build Capitalize Sustain modies the 5 Focusing Steps sequence! Moreover, the
sequence depends on the constraint perspecEve

Market demand perspec.ve


Iden3fy Subordinate Exploit Subordinate Elevate
(implementa.on)

Management a6en.on perspec.ve


(implementa.on) Iden3fy Elevate Exploit Subordinate Elevate

From the point of view of managing the system (dynamic logic) the ulEmate constraint is
the Eme available for management aMenEon.
The sequency assumpEons of the S&T nodes are part of the parallel assumpEons
(feasibility) who obey to the dynamic logic, so the implementaEon sequence must be
related to management aMenEon!
Inspiring guidelines: ease and speed of implementa+on!
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5 focusing steps Your logo

vs implementa+on steps (II)

Planned load
Alert buer & Slack

1
2
Iden7fy the 3 5
Subordinate to 4
constraint Exploit market Elevate market
market Subordinate to market demand
(market demand demand
demand
demand)

Dont waste market In order to facilitate the exploita>on, In order to increase


Synchronize
demands availability in other words to facilitate the need the constraints
the resources
(do what should be to follow the priori>es (subordinate), availability (market
(materials) to
done; we need to monitor protec>ve demand) we need
facilitate the
dont do what capacity and to eliminate disrup>ons to capitalize on the
exploita>on
shouldnt be done) to ow improvement in
opera>ons
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5 focusing steps Your logo

vs implementa+on steps (III)

1 5
2 3
Iden-fy the 4 Elevate
Elevate Exploit
constraint Subordinate to management management
management management
(management a,en-on a,en-on
a,en-on a,en-on
a,en-on)

The focusing
In the implementa,on process the Dont waste management In order to facilitate the
mechanism of
rst step is ALWAYS Elevate the aMen,ons availability exploita,on, in other words to
POOGI further
system constraint (REDUCE THE (do what should be done; facilitate the need to follow
reduces the need
NEED FOR MANAGEMENT dont do what shouldnt the priori,es (subordinate), we
for management
ATTENTION)! be done) need to monitor capacity
aMen,on

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Elevate management aMen+on

Required Required
management management
a.en/on a.en/on

High level of a.en/on High level of a.en/on

Buers and release control, Conveyor belts, kanban, Heijunka,


managing priori/es Andon, Jidoka

Low level of a.en/on Low level of a.en/on

WIP WIP

In TOC implementa.on process the


rst step is ALWAYS Elevate the In synchronized opera9ons THE
system constraint (REDUCE THE NEED FOR MANAGEMENT
NEED FOR MANAGEMENT ATTENTION IS ALREADY REDUCED!
ATTENTION)!

Both Lean and TOC allow to reach the plateau


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Systemic and symptoma+c conicts

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Breaking the systemic conit with Your logo

NOT CHANGE ++ op+on

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Breaking the symptoma+c conit Your logo

with CHANGE ++ op+on

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Protec+ng the system

In case of disturbances in one of the phases, we have a fast


accumulaEon of upstream material up to the maximum capacity
Blocking for of the intermediate storage point, so all the upstream phases are
lack of blocked. As a consequence, also the downstream phases are
material forced to stop for lack of material to be processed

Murphy
The larger the space buer, the more the system is
protected
Blocking for
maximum
build up of
material
between
the phases

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How to benet from a Your logo

buered line
Touch 'me Touch 'me

Probability Accumula'on

Conveyor belt
Touch 'me Touch 'me

Touch /me at each


work center Emptying

Time

In lines, if the products are not too cumbersome, handling systems provide spaces to generate buers
dynamically.
This allows to benet from the higher speed of some centers (central part of the distribuEon curve)
which are thus able to recover in part the low performance due to the tails of the distribuEons.

The ow speed is, as a consequence, higher than that which would be obtained in a line that is not
buered. Unfortunately, buering is not possible in all kinds of contexts.

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The eect of dependencies

In a line with 30 sta.ons, the


Probability probability that all of them succeed
in comple.ng their job within the
.me T is about 21%!

The area measures the probability of


having Touch /me > T

5%

T Touch /me at each


work center

AdopEng a takt Eme less than T can easily lead to chaoEc situaEons. To prevent this it would be
necessary to increase the takt Eme, in other words to decrease the speed of ow.
Even in balanced lines, the balance is never perfect, since there are too many variables that
determine the duraEon of the operaEons for the center, therefore a boMleneck is always in place.

IN A LINE WITHOUT BUFFERS THE SPEED OF FLOW MUST DEPEND ON THE TAILS OF THE
DISTRIBUTIONS.
To idenEfy the real constraint, if the performance depends on the tails, we need to increase the
buers. The room for improvement is greater if the capacity of the line is dictated by the tails! In this
case most of the system capacity is not exploited.

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Placing the buers

In order to benet from a space buer, two situaEons must occur:


1. the space should be lled (the upstream secEon of the line should be faster than the downstream
secEon),
2. later, the space should be empEed (when the downstream secEon becomes faster the upstream
secEon)

High probability

Low probability
Low probability

High probability

The situa+on in which the probability of the occurrence of emptying and lling is maximised happens
when the posi+on of the space is exactly in the middle of the line: For each lling and emptying cycle
it is recovered some amount of capacity that, without the presence of the space, would be lost.

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Iden+fy the constraint: Your logo

the process (I)

Place the space


buer in the
middle of the
line

Build lling
sta8s8cs

Ask the operators of the Ask the operators of the


downstream sec8on to upstream sec8on to
iden8fy the constraint iden8fy the constraint

Add a space
buer in the
STOP
yes Is the constraint no middle of the
iden8ed?
candidate
sec8on

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Iden+fy the constraint: Your logo

the process (II)

Add a space
buer in the Build lling
Is there at least
middle of the sta5s5cs of ALL
1 lled buer?
candidate the buers
sec5on

yes no

Ask the operators of the


Ask the operators of the
downstream sec5on
upstream sec5on (related
(related to the last lled
to the last lled buer) to
buer) to iden5fy the
iden5fy the constraint
constraint

no Is the constraint yes


iden5ed?

STOP

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Iden+fy the constraint

Every +me we introduce a new buer, increasing the number of sec+ons, the capacity of the whole
line increases, due to the increased amount of decoupling between the dierent phases. In order to
idenEfy the constraint in the new situaEon we should idenEfy which, among the new secEons, is the
candidate to contain it.

Buer empty most of the /me


Buer lled most of the /me
Sec/on that contains the constraint
Sec/on that does not contain the
constraint

Direc&on of ow

If there are one or more buers lled for most of the +me, the sec+on that contains the
constraint is located downstream the last buer lled
If all buers are empty for most of the +me, the sec+on that contains the constraint is located
upstream all the buers

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Exploit the constraint

From lling sta.s.cs

The constraint buer is not, in this case, a 1me buer, but a stock buer. It would be imprac1cal to Constraint iden.ed
synchronize the release of material to a 1me buer, since the most important reference for The space buer protects the ow from
synchroniza1on is in this case the takt 1me of the line. Managing a 1me buer would entail the downstream disrup6ons. Usually it should be
introduc1on of another reference of synchroniza1on. Adop1ng a 1me buer would lead to the result empty, but when Murphy hits downstream,
of increasing the complexity and to bring the system outside the plateau of the U-shaped curve the constraint is able to con6nue to work

Constraint buer Space buer

Once the constraint is idenEed:


place a constraint stock buer upstream (protec+on)
place a space buer downstream (buer the takt +me)

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Tradi+onal lean architecture

Pitch (control
withdrawal kanban interval)
produc:on kanban Heijunka box

Murphy Pacemaker process


Bad performance: the
In case of disturbances in one of the phases, :me needed is higher
there is an accumula5on of produc5on kanbans, than the pitch interval
but no withdrawal kanbans that allow to pick up
material from the upstream supermarket. As a
consequence, no produc5on kanbans are moving
upstream. The rigorous pull blocks the upstream
processes that are not allowed to compensate Accumula'on of produc'on kanbans
the bad performance.

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Lean vs DBR architectures

Roadrunner rule: downstream the


pacemaker

Rope Rope Rope Drum

FIFO FIFO
Pacemaker process
FLOW
The roadrunner rule allows to take
Stock buer
advantage of the protec5ve capacity,
mul5ple ropes (due to kanbans and
supermarkets) inhibit the recovery of
performance and the advantage
Rope
stemming from the aggrega5on of the
constraint buer CCR variability

Shipping buer

Rope
Drum

FLOW
Roadrunner rule: everywhere

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Iden+fy the constraint

The use of supermarket buerizes the system, but the kanbans nullify the benets of buering. The
supermarkets, restored according to rigorous pull, do not allow the amounts contained therein to oat.
Only the uctuaEon of the buers allows to recover part of the lost capacity due to the tails of the
distribuEons.
WE MUST CHANGE THE KANBAN MECHANISM

Pitch (control interval)

Release to all centers all the Produc'on kanbans release (the total number
kanbans planned in the heijunka contained in the Heijunka box referred to the
analysis interval!)
box referred to a signicant period
of analysis (for example, two days). FLOOD THE FLOW
In that interval, all centers are
enabled to produce

Varia%ons over %me Performance


of the quan%%es in
supermarkets
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Iden+fy and exploit the constraint
Build kanban sta-s-cs at the end of the analysis interval

Constraint
iden-ed

Release the job SIMULTANEOUSLY to all centers (cadenced through producEon kanbans according to
pitch intervals) AS IF EVERY CENTER WERE THE PACEMAKER. Maintain, between the various centers,
supermarkets dimensioned as in tradiEonal JIT systems, so that each center can withdraw the upstream
material when it is enabled to produce from a producEon kanban: in this way we are transforming
supermarkets into eec+ve buers

Produc3on kanbans release


(according to pitch intervals)

Constraint buer Space buer

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Subordinate to the exploita+on of Your logo

the constraint

Produc0on
release"Ropes"
Time interval
between opera0ons
(connected to takt
In order to protect the ow we need to place 0me)
stock buers at the end of integra8on legs. This Stock buer
is possible when the assembly parts are not
cumbersome otherwise we have to use Space buer
sequenced kanbans
Supermarket

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Integra+ng Lean & SDBR

Heijunka material release Heijunka produc/on plan


for integra/on legs

Produc0on release Synchroniza0on


ropes ropes
Time interval SDBR integra-on legs
between opera0ons Time buer
(connected to takt
0me)
Integra0on legs
Stock buer execu0on priori0es

Space buer

Supermarket

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The complete solu+on
Start from here

Done (belt speed Done (heijunka,


or kanbans) pitch intervals)

3
1 2
Subordinate to
Iden+fy the constraint Exploit the constraint
the exploita+on

Elevate management aMen+on

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Q & A

Thank You

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