Wednesday, September 10, 2014

MTM + Lean Production = BEST PRACTICE in business process optimization

Blog Submission #2
Yuan Gao

The significance of lean thinking is remove waste from production process. One common measure is touch time—the amount of time the product is actually being worked on, or touched, by the worker. Frequently, lean’s focus is manifested in an emphasis on flow.

MTM stands for methods-time management. The application of MTM tools allows a drive for work flow perfection and consequently enhances the efficiency of using valuable business resources (plant, workforce, tools, vehicles, storage and production area, inventories, ...).

When apply more lean methods to a broader scale, for example, short-cyclic improvement process, understand value streams and time determination is essential. If apply MTM with Lean, MTM can act as a scale and define productivity.

Figure below show the potential boost of productivity using LMTM with Lean.

MTM  & value stream

A case study on a batch production of outdoor cooking appliances has demonstrate the strength of MTM + Lean in production. This appliance is a highly seasonable products, and 70% of the production is in 4 month. It was production on an old fashion line, including 25 different references on line, and three major families: gas, electric, and combination of gas and electric. There were total of 4 operations:
WS1: frame assembly
WS2: electrical and gas assembly
WS3: normative control
WS4: accessories and packing
Production level: produce 50 parts / days = 7,5 part/hours

Lean and MTM project team stepped in to reorganize the entire line, reduce stocks, increase flexibility (customer oriented production), measure efficiency, and improve production reactivity.

With the Lean group only, production line was reorganized and workload was balanced between different operations. MTM determine times per operation. Balancing is made on a time database (not per function). Reference product was also balanced (weighted average of production).
MTM makes a great compliment to the Japanese philosophy of Lean Production. The elimination of waste (the Japanese MUDA) by means of the MTM tools combined with value stream mapping (VSM) allows a much faster increase in productivity. The diagram below presents the advantages of combining MTM with value stream mapping. It puts the concept of a more dynamic increase in productivity owing to a combination of MTM and value stream mapping against the background of the classical Japanese philosophy of Lean Production.
Apply MTM on Lean thinking, the flow can be controlled on a time scale, and production level can be easily estimated. MTM can definitely help with material, technical, and machinery production. However, when come to more service oriented supply system, for instance, health care system, MTM might be difficult to perform. How can the combination of methods-time management (MTM) and Lean thinking play a role in supply chain system outside the scale of factory (production line)?

2. Lean and MTM – scientific, practical and educational perspective to enhance productivity. MTM conference, May 16th, 2014
3. MTM and Lean Case Study, MTM Productivity Group Frace.

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