The Digitisation of Production Systems

by Tim Richardson | Iter Insights

The Digitisation of Production Systems

The Digitisation of Production Systems

All production systems take their origins from the original Toyota Production System (TPS), the manufacturing philosophy that aims to eliminate waste and achieve the best possible efficiency.

We have supported clients in industries as diverse as medical devices and automotive implement production systems across global factory footprints. While they have taken different approaches and have very different cultures, they have faced the same two challenges:

How do I make the production system sustainable and part of the operational DNA?

How can I deliver cultural change and drive quantifiable performance improvements?

Production systems have a long history of helping organisations create consistent lean-based approaches that establish a co-ordinated way of working, bringing control and driving performance improvement. However, continuing to make production systems relevant and fully deployed, in our experience, is incredibly challenging and goes beyond committed leadership.

It involves creating the space and time for staff at all levels to address the issues identified. One of the main inhibitors of this is the level of non-value adding activities to sustain the daily stand ups, administer structured problems solving, conduct Leader Standard Work and audit compliance to the deployed production system. It is so easy to create a system that turns off site management and staff at all levels, simply because of the administrative effort required to “feed the beast”.

Is Digitalisation of Your Production System Part of the Answer?

AI, blockchain and Industry 4.0 have been the driving forces of digitalising supply chains – improving the intelligence with which we plan and control we have of our processes. By contrast, relatively little focus has been placed on the day to day reality of managing our factories – the deployed production system. Whether this is because it is not sexy enough or has simply slipped the attention, a quiet revolution is starting to happen in how we manage production systems using everyday technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.

Iter’s Virtual Visual Performance Management (VVPM) process shows the art of the possible as a start point to a wider digital production system. Developed from our collective operational experience, it has the ethos of data collected once and deployed wherever it is required and presented to allow tracking and action management to be easily addressed. A Tier 1 automotive client described the transformative effect quite simply as:

“The 80/20 rule is now reversed, allowing us to spend most of our time doing something about the problems we have identified.”

This has seen measurable reductions in scrap and improvements in OEE, but more significantly has allowed engagement and ownership at all levels.
We are not claiming this is the silver bullet – leadership and creating the right culture are just as important as ever. However, in our experience the time, space and focus created has deepened the commitment and increased the benefits able to be delivered and is a major step towards sustained ownership and benefits delivery from your production system.

If you would like to understand how all this can be simply delivered then either book a demo or contact me, Tim Richardson, Development Director by clicking here or directly on +44 (0) 7786 961716.

Tim Richardson
Development Director

Iter Consulting

Iter Insights

Welcome to Iter Insight, this is one of a monthly series of articles from Iter Consulting addressing the most critical operational and supply chain problems businesses face today.