Standard work is one of the fundamental Lean tool for defining the best combination of man and machine activity for the best productivity. It consists of timing for different elemental activities, the path to be followed by the operator in doing the activities.
Standard work has 3 elements:
- Takt time
- Standard sequence for doing the work
- Work In Process to produce products without any stockout situations
Takt time is the time within which the product to be produced to meet the customer demand. For example, if a customer wants 420 products per day and available time for production is 420 min/day after deducting break times, then
Takt time is defined as
= Total time available per day/Total demand per day = 420/420 = 1 product/min.
The meaning of the above formula is we have to do complete one product within a minute to meet the customer demand.
There are other terminologies used in the production of a product, “total processing time” & “cycle time”. Total processing time is the time it takes to make the product. If total processing time is more than takt time, then we need to put more than one person to produce the product by splitting the operations to so that product can be produced within the takt time. In this case, time taken by each operator is called “Cycle time”.
The main objective of dividing the total processing into small times by putting more operators is to make
Cycle time is < Takt time so that we can meet customer demand. When more than one person is involved in producing a product, timings among the operators to be balanced for better productivity.
By applying the standard work concept, we can reduce the idle time of any activity or get the highest production.
Standard work is applied in:
- Designing a manufacturing cell
- Designing a production line
- For manpower calculation for meeting a targeted production
- For product costing
- For assembly line operations
- Loading & unloading activities
- Changeover time
- Building quality into the process
- Employee performance measurement
- And for many more manual activities
Companies who are not familiar about the Standard work concept and not applying to the operations/processes are facing a low productivity scenario.
Without the standard work, it is difficult to measure improvement activities. Only with standard work, we can compare benefits before and after improvement.
There are some forms that are used in defining standard work. They are time study sheet, standard work combination sheet, standard operations analysis sheet & Capacity analysis sheet. Standard work is incomplete without these forms.
All the above charts to be displayed in the near to the process or work cell. All the operators connected to the operations to be trained on Standard work by applying the concept of Training Within Industry (TWI) using Job Instructions (JI).
Related Article– Skill development for employees through effective Training Within Industry – TWI training in India
Also, Standard work is the basis for training new employees quickly.
In the SDCA (Standardise, Do, Check, Act) cycle, it is the main role of Supervisors to ensure operators are aware of existing standards, they carry out the work as per standards(check) and Act i.e take actions where actual is deviated from the standard.
Generally, there will resistance for standard work if the operators do not understand it. Once they understand, and the standard work in place, productivity, job satisfaction, and improvement increase.
Once the standard work in place, Kaizen should be done to improve the current standard work by involving all the employees.
Related Article– Can we use best practices as a combination of Lean, TPM, TQM, Kaizen, Six Sigma?
There are Six Characteristics of Standard Work
– Standard Work Must Be Current
– Standard Work Must Be Complete
– Standard Work Must Be Clear
– Standard Work Must Be Correct
– Standard Work Must Be Concise
– Standard Work Must Be Communicated
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