How It’s Different:
Supporting Lean, TWM, Six Sigma, and TOC
nMetric supports multiple manufacturing process and quality improvement programs.
Over the years, Manufacturing has embraced various process and quality improvement processes. nMetric scheduling software embraces and supports each of these process improvement initiatives, enhancing their effectiveness as the production scheduling environment increases in complexity and the need for real-time visibility intensifies. These initiatives include Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM) and Theory of Constraints (TOC).
Lean manufacturing: extend beyond line of sight
The primary purpose of any lean initiative is to reduce waste. In high-mix, complex manufacturing this can be challenging, due to added complexity of shared resources that cannot be moved into the desired cell or line configurations, mixed mode production and high levels of change. nMetric’s patented scheduling software delivers a dynamic schedule that embraces the inherent uncertainty of the shop floor and builds a real-time production schedule that adjusts to interruptions or changes in resource availability, order quality and routing changes as they occur. nMetric assists in value stream mapping by tracking and virtually replicating the boundaries of your production scheduling environment and presents it in an easy-to-review Gantt chart format.
Using Ping Pong Scheduling nMetric software promotes the pull environment promoted in Lean Manufacturing, scheduling shop orders to complete on time and just-in-time. E-KanBan replenishment signals can be added to the expected schedule to enhance forward visibility of demand for materials and parts. The forward visibility created by nMetric’s Smart Job schedule imparts job status accuracy and keeps facility operations moving as rapidly as possible, while avoiding expectations of unrealistic results.
Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM) initiatives: deliver accurate real-time data
Both Total Quality Management and Six Sigma use data to analyze the effectiveness, efficiency, repeatability and accuracy of manufacturing workflow and processes. Through integrated KPIs, nMetric allows manufacturers to realize a high level of efficiency, productivity, quality and reliability.
nMetric‘s dynamic scheduling software and built-in manufacturing execution functionality maintains the start, partial and full complete, scrap, rework data plus reason codes and notes information in a database. This combination generates full confirmation as to what product was made on which work centers using what material by which person and when it was produced. nMetric’s software saves and archives all production data; users can develop queries to export this information to Excel spreadsheets or a quality analysis system.
Theory of Constraints (TOC): push orders through even transient bottlenecks
Eli Goldratt’s philosophies led to his work in manufacturing on the Theory of Constraints, where constraints typically represent limits on production flow. At any point in time, one particular constraint (such as inadequate capacity at a machine) limits total system throughput, causing WIP to build up. When the constraint is resolved, another constraint becomes the critical one. This is particularly true in mixed-mode, high-mix manufacturing, where production routings using shared resources combined with high variability in volume and product mix result in roving bottlenecks.
Where TOC breaks down in high-mix manufacturing environments is the assumption that the bottleneck or succession of “pinch points” is static, and when one is resolved the next appears. In high-mix manufacturing, the bottlenecks can be different every day depending on the volume and product mix, machine, tool or operator availability. nMetric defines all required resources (work centers, material, tools and personnel) necessary to complete every order via attribute matching. It also tracks the status of each operation’s completion in real-time. The nVironment® summary in nMetric’s software displays all potential bottlenecks by comparing available time and the time required to complete tasks on each resource, thereby easily indentifying when each resource is overutilized and for how long. Managers can then proactively address bottlenecks by adding overtime or moving tasks to alternate resources.