What is the Need for Standard Operations?
It happens that the most important elements in the daily activity of manufacturing begin with the letter “M.” In factories, we are trying to find the best possible combination of Men, Materials, Methods, Measurements, and Machines, so that we can make the best products while spending less cost. Standard operations can be defined as an effective mode of workers, materials, and machines for the sake of making high-quality products at low cost, quickly, and safely.
Standard operations comprise the backbone of JIT(Just in Time) production. Many people make assumptions that standard operations are nothing more than standard operating procedures (SOP’s). But this is not True, Standard operating procedures have to do with specific standards for individual operations in the line and are just part of what we mean by standard operations. Standard operations involve the participation of individual operations in a specific order to achieve an effective combination for manufacturing products.
Another name for standard operations would be “Standard Work Instructions. Let us suppose that we have asked some manufacturers to do some manufacturing for us for a particular product. The person probably asks such questions as: “How do you manufacture these products? How much time and cost does it take to make them? and When will you deliver them? Why does the other manufacturer need to know all these things every time? Because they need to set the work we have asked them to do into their current production schedule.
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Standard operations serve the following goals:
- Quality: – What quality standards a product must meet?
- Cost: – Approximately what would be the conversion cost to make it?
- Delivery: – How many products at once do you need to be delivered and by when?
- Safety: – Is the manufacturing work safe for workers?
At the very least, standard operations should be able to answer those four questions.
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Three Basic Fundamental Elements of Standard Operations: –
While standard operation system involves these three “M’s” element—men/women, materials, and machines—these elements are different from the three basic elements that go into standard operations.
1) Cycle time: This is the amount of time that takes a worker/operator to turn out one product (within a cell). We use the production/manufacturing output and the operating time to determine the cycle time.
2) Work sequence: The order in which the worker carries out all the tasks at various processes as he or she transforms the raw materials into finished goods.
3) Standard in-process inventory: The minimum amount of in-process inventory (including in-process inventory currently attached to machines) that is required within the production cell or station for work to progress.
The contents of these elements will be different from cell to cell, and it is the immediate supervisor’s job to analyze the cell and determine exactly what each element will include in the process.
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Types of Standard Operation Forms
Although there are only three elements (cycle time, work sequence, and standard in-process inventory) in standard operations, also there are five types of standard operation forms used in the manufacturing industry.
1) Production capacity work table: This table examines the current production capacity of each process in the cell of the Gemba.
2) Standard operations combination chart: This chart helps to make a transparent temporal process of the relationship between human work and machine work at Gemba.
3) Standard operations pointers chart: This chart is used to list important points about the operation of machines, exchanging jigs, fixtures and tools, processing methods, and so on.
4) The work methods chart gives instructions on how to follow standard operations at each process in each cell.
5) The standard operations chart: Illustrates and defines the machine layout, cycle time, sequence, standard in-process inventory, and other factors in standard operations.
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