Historical lie in a manufacturing process. It is


Historical Advances and Current Best Practice in
Business Improvement Programmes









to the 20th century, manufacturers had a very basic understanding of
the concept of a production/assembly line, and how to most efficiently produce
multiple numbers of the same product. There have been many key concepts which
were discovered and defined throughout the 20th century which have
greatly increased our ability to mass produce items of consistently high
quality, while also constantly seeking to adapt and improve the manufacturing



the 1921 Frank and Lillian Gilbreth invented a tool called a process chart
which is used to analyses where inefficiencies lie in a manufacturing process.
It is simply a graphical representation of a manufacturing process showing all
input, outputs, and stages along the way. The reason this analysis tool was so
successful is because it is far easier to see where there is waste and inefficiencies
when a process is represented graphically. They can be used to define existing
processes, redesign and improve an existing process, or to communicate standardized
procedures. (Aikens, 2011)


beginning of the manufacturing industry as we know it today can be traced back
to Henry Ford in the early 20th century. On April 1st
1913 the first ever moving assembly line was tested for the task of assembling
a flywheel magneto.  (Ford, 1922) Using the previously preferred method, an individual
worker would assemble the entire product, and this would take him approximately
twenty minutes per unit. This meant a single man was able to produce 35-40
units over a nine hour working day. Assembling the unit took many steps and had
to be carried out in a specific order, so Henry Ford decided to break the
assembly into 29 steps, and have the product move down a line, where one
individual was responsible for each specific step. This cut the production time
of a single item from the previous twenty minutes, down to thirteen minutes and
ten seconds. While experimenting with the height of the production line, Henry
Ford was able to further lower this production time per product to seven
minutes, by raising the working height eight inches.

some further experimentation with the speed of the assembly line, he was able
to yield an average production time of only five minutes per product.  (Ford, 1922)
seemingly small adjustment meant that one man is now able to carry out the work
of four men in equal time. This method was put into practice when assembling
the motor and chassis, and similarly, reduced the production time by a factor
of three to four. To this day, this method is the most efficient way to mass produce
complex products which require assembly. This is due to the skill level and
efficiency developed when an individual specialises at one specific task.

Statistical Process Control

In the early 1940’s, Walter
Shewhart invented statistical process control (SPC). The purpose of SPC is to
regulate quality by analysing every possible stage of the manufacturing process.
A ‘control chart’ It is a way of graphically representing a process, and
quantifying each step into data which can be used to analyse variability within
the process to see which parts of production are in ‘control’ and have a
predictable input/output and which have excessive variability. (Aikens, 2011) This is used to
identify and target areas which require improvement.



Total Quality Management

In the early 20th
century, before the concept of TQM was popularised, the quality of a
manufacturer’s product was controlled via inspection after the manufacturing
process was completed. Any items which did not meet quality standards were
simply discarded, sent back to be disassembled, or allowed to pass into the
market with known defects, meaning that quality varied severely. As the
manufacturing industry grew larger, post-production inspection became the
dominant aspect of quality control and many workers would be dedicated to this
single 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, and
thus the quality suffered further.

This eventually led to a
realisation that quality must be built into a product in order to produce
consistently high quality items, with a low rejection rate. In the 1920s Walter
Stewhart developed statistical theory and it was applied to quality control
systems with some success but It was not until W Edwards Deming further
developed this theory that considerable progress was made. Deming realised that
if there was any quality deficiency that it was likely systematic, and the
fault was most likely to be found in management somewhere, and not due to the
workers. He presented this idea to the leaders of the Japanese manufacturing
industry in the 1950’s, and once changes were implemented, the Japanese saw an
immediate increase in the quality of manufacturing output which led to the
thriving manufacturing industry they now possess.

By the 1980’s, Britain had
developed a specific quality standard known as BS5750, which was later replaced
by The International Standardisation Organisation with a document known as ISO
9000, which is to this day an internationally recognised standard responsible
for quality.


“TQM is now part of a much
wider concept that addresses overall organisational performance and recognises
the importance of processes. There is also extensive research evidence that
demonstrates the benefits from the approach. As we move into the 21st century,
TQM has developed in many countries into holistic frameworks, aimed at helping
organisations achieve excellent performance, particularly in customer and
business results. In Europe, a widely adopted framework is the so-called
“Business Excellence” or “Excellence” Model, promoted by the European
Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), and in the UK by the British Quality
Foundation (BQF).” (Department of Trade and Industry, 2017)




















https://www.businessballs.com/performance-management/quality-management-history-gurus-tqm-process-improvement-etc-2031/  CASE STUDIES




Toyota Production System (Lean Production)

In 1950, Eiji Toyoda came up
with the concept of TPS, also known as Toyota Production System. TPS is best
thought of not as a system, but as a general approach to the manufacturing
process with regards to eliminating waste where possible. TPS has been developed
over the years and Is now more commonly referred to as ‘lean production’. Lean
production was developed further in the late 1950’s by Shigeo Shingo an was
expanded to encompasse tools and techniques such as JIT (just in time), SMED
(single minute exchange of dies), Jidoka, and Kaizen. The key principles of
lean are represented in the TPS house. (Aikens, 2011)




The purpose of JIT is to
ensure an organisation is running at it’s most efficient capacity with regard
to stock levels. If there is excessive stock in the warehouse it is a form of
waste and that space could be better utilised to increase productivity. SMED is
a technique used to decrease lead times between manufacturing operation
changes. It states that the downtime between production should aim to to be
less than 10 minutes. This is achieved by forward planning and setting a
machine up before it is required.  It is
encompassed within Lean Production because of its objective of reducing waste
in the form of excessive lead times







The aim of Lean production is
to reduce all forms of waste where possible to ensure the organisation is
running 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 through
which does not add any value or quality: