Historical Advances and Current Best Practice inBusiness Improvement Programmes Abstract Introduction ReportPriorto the 20th century, manufacturers had a very basic understanding ofthe concept of a production/assembly line, and how to most efficiently producemultiple numbers of the same product.
There have been many key concepts whichwere discovered and defined throughout the 20th century which havegreatly increased our ability to mass produce items of consistently highquality, while also constantly seeking to adapt and improve the manufacturingprocess. ProcessChartsInthe 1921 Frank and Lillian Gilbreth invented a tool called a process chartwhich is used to analyses where inefficiencies lie in a manufacturing process.It is simply a graphical representation of a manufacturing process showing allinput, outputs, and stages along the way. The reason this analysis tool was sosuccessful is because it is far easier to see where there is waste and inefficiencieswhen a process is represented graphically. They can be used to define existingprocesses, redesign and improve an existing process, or to communicate standardizedprocedures. (Aikens, 2011)LineAssemblyThebeginning of the manufacturing industry as we know it today can be traced backto Henry Ford in the early 20th century.
On April 1st1913 the first ever moving assembly line was tested for the task of assemblinga flywheel magneto. (Ford, 1922) Using the previously preferred method, an individualworker would assemble the entire product, and this would take him approximatelytwenty minutes per unit. This meant a single man was able to produce 35-40units over a nine hour working day.
Assembling the unit took many steps and hadto be carried out in a specific order, so Henry Ford decided to break theassembly into 29 steps, and have the product move down a line, where oneindividual was responsible for each specific step. This cut the production timeof a single item from the previous twenty minutes, down to thirteen minutes andten seconds. While experimenting with the height of the production line, HenryFord was able to further lower this production time per product to sevenminutes, by raising the working height eight inches.
Aftersome further experimentation with the speed of the assembly line, he was ableto yield an average production time of only five minutes per product. (Ford, 1922)Thisseemingly small adjustment meant that one man is now able to carry out the workof four men in equal time. This method was put into practice when assemblingthe motor and chassis, and similarly, reduced the production time by a factorof three to four. To this day, this method is the most efficient way to mass producecomplex products which require assembly. This is due to the skill level andefficiency developed when an individual specialises at one specific task.Statistical Process ControlIn the early 1940’s, WalterShewhart invented statistical process control (SPC). The purpose of SPC is toregulate quality by analysing every possible stage of the manufacturing process.
A ‘control chart’ It is a way of graphically representing a process, andquantifying each step into data which can be used to analyse variability withinthe process to see which parts of production are in ‘control’ and have apredictable input/output and which have excessive variability. (Aikens, 2011) This is used toidentify and target areas which require improvement. Total Quality ManagementIn the early 20thcentury, before the concept of TQM was popularised, the quality of amanufacturer’s product was controlled via inspection after the manufacturingprocess was completed.
Any items which did not meet quality standards weresimply discarded, sent back to be disassembled, or allowed to pass into themarket with known defects, meaning that quality varied severely. As themanufacturing industry grew larger, post-production inspection became thedominant aspect of quality control and many workers would be dedicated to thissingle role of inspecting items at the end of the production/assembly line.Because of this mentality of inspection rather than controlling the process,and building quality into a product, skilled workers were not in demand, andthus the quality suffered further.This eventually led to arealisation that quality must be built into a product in order to produceconsistently high quality items, with a low rejection rate. In the 1920s WalterStewhart developed statistical theory and it was applied to quality controlsystems with some success but It was not until W Edwards Deming furtherdeveloped this theory that considerable progress was made. Deming realised thatif there was any quality deficiency that it was likely systematic, and thefault was most likely to be found in management somewhere, and not due to theworkers.
He presented this idea to the leaders of the Japanese manufacturingindustry in the 1950’s, and once changes were implemented, the Japanese saw animmediate increase in the quality of manufacturing output which led to thethriving manufacturing industry they now possess.By the 1980’s, Britain haddeveloped a specific quality standard known as BS5750, which was later replacedby The International Standardisation Organisation with a document known as ISO9000, which is to this day an internationally recognised standard responsiblefor quality. “TQM is now part of a muchwider concept that addresses overall organisational performance and recognisesthe importance of processes.
There is also extensive research evidence thatdemonstrates the benefits from the approach. As we move into the 21st century,TQM has developed in many countries into holistic frameworks, aimed at helpingorganisations achieve excellent performance, particularly in customer andbusiness results. In Europe, a widely adopted framework is the so-called”Business Excellence” or “Excellence” Model, promoted by the EuropeanFoundation for Quality Management (EFQM), and in the UK by the British QualityFoundation (BQF).” (Department of Trade and Industry, 2017) https://www.businessballs.com/dtiresources/total_quality_management_TQM.pdf https://www.businessballs.
htmhttps://www.businessballs.com/performance-management/quality-management-history-gurus-tqm-process-improvement-etc-2031/ CASE STUDIEShttp://www.toyota-global.com/company/history_of_toyota/75years/data/company_information/management_and_finances/management/tqm/change.htmlhttps://www.businessballs.com/dtiresources/Lakeside_TQM_case-study.
pdf Toyota Production System (Lean Production)In 1950, Eiji Toyoda came upwith the concept of TPS, also known as Toyota Production System. TPS is bestthought of not as a system, but as a general approach to the manufacturingprocess with regards to eliminating waste where possible. TPS has been developedover the years and Is now more commonly referred to as ‘lean production’. Leanproduction was developed further in the late 1950’s by Shigeo Shingo an wasexpanded to encompasse tools and techniques such as JIT (just in time), SMED(single minute exchange of dies), Jidoka, and Kaizen.
The key principles oflean are represented in the TPS house. (Aikens, 2011)https://www.lean.
org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=514 The purpose of JIT is toensure an organisation is running at it’s most efficient capacity with regardto stock levels. If there is excessive stock in the warehouse it is a form ofwaste and that space could be better utilised to increase productivity. SMED isa technique used to decrease lead times between manufacturing operationchanges. It states that the downtime between production should aim to to beless than 10 minutes.
This is achieved by forward planning and setting amachine up before it is required. It isencompassed within Lean Production because of its objective of reducing wastein the form of excessive lead times The aim of Lean production isto reduce all forms of waste where possible to ensure the organisation isrunning at maximum efficiency . Waste does not simply refer to wasted material,or scrap, but can be clearly defined by any process that a product goes throughwhich does not add any value or quality: