Between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, Silga has began a path of deep production revamping by introducing the logic of lean production.
The goals of lean are to eliminate overloads (muri), variability (mura) and waste (muda).
The central aim is to design a production process capable to achieve results in a simple way. It is also important to ensure that the process is as flexible as possible without stress (muri) since this generates muda (waste). The resulting improvement by reducing muda also has a great impact in economic terms. There are eight types of waste that have been identified by lean:
- Overproduction, producing more units than required by the customer;
- Waste, performing a process or part of a process multiple times to eliminate upstream errors;
- Stock, in general stock can be defined as waste;
- Movements, unnecessary displacement/movement made by the operator;
- Transports, movement of useless material;
- Over-processing, performing more work than required by the customer;
- Waiting, of the operator in front of the machine;
- Ideas, not using/expressing better ideas/capabilities of the operators.
At Silga our operators have been trained to learn how to see this waste, because only what you can see can be improved.
In order to pursue the elimination of muda, we work on all aspects of the production process with an approach based on continuous improvement in small steps, called Kaizen.
A fundamental aspect of lean, aimed at eliminating stocks and inventories of material in the factory, is just in time, a system for governing the flow of logistics based on the concept of producing only when needed, when the customer’s demand arises, which is immediately downstream, following the flow of the process. This way of organizing the production launch, together with the adoption of smaller and smaller batches allowed by the introduction of rapid set-up techniques, SMED, eliminates or drastically reduces the stationary material waiting to be processed, thus reducing the total throughput time.
In order to carry out Kaizen (continuous improvement), a fundamental aspect is the control through KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). The main one for checking the efficiency of plants is OEE.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is the measure of the total effectiveness of a plant. It is an index expressed in percentage points that summarizes three very important concepts from the perspective of manufacturing: availability, efficiency and quality rate of a plant.
Availability is the fraction of the allocated time in which the plant is actually available. It is also referred to as Available Time or Scheduled Time.
Efficiency represents the rate at which the plant is working as a fraction of its design rate.
Quality rate indicates the percentage of units in specification compared to all units produced.
OEE is used as a measurement tool in TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) and in Lean Manufacturing programs, where it can provide an important key to understanding the effectiveness of the measures adopted while providing support for measuring efficiency.
The goal that Silga wants to achieve with the new organization is to increase efficiency, reduce costs, shorten lead times and reduce waste. All this results in more service and more quality for our customers.