STANDARDIZED WORK: Everything about Standard work Uses

In a lean manufacturing environment, standardized work is a key element to success. By repeating a set method, the process is more organized and improvement opportunities become more apparent. Center the process around human motion and ensure that the repeatable process is ergonomically correct. The four main elements of standardized work are takt time, line balancing, work sequence and standard in-process stock.

The 4 Elements of Standardized Work

Standardized work is not a static document. It is a process in itself requiring deep knowledge about the process and then enabling problem solving. You should use the 4 elements together to create the standard work condition.

Takt Time

The first step is determining the takt time. We base the time needed to produce one part on available time and customer requirements.

The formula would look something like this, time available per shift (in seconds) divided by the customer requirement per shift. With 25,000 seconds per shift and 1000 parts needed, the takt time is 25 seconds.

To meet customer demand without overtime, we must make a part every 25 seconds. Once you determine takt time, you can calculate the work sequence and line balancing.

Line Balancing

Line balancing is the next step in standardized work. This will involve time studies of all the different jobs within the process. All jobs in an area or line will take the same amount of time to finish. (cycle time) The more detail in the time study, the easier it will be to balance work load between operators.

As an example, there are 5 workers on a production line. Operator 1 through 5 all take different amounts of time to perform their task, ranging from 20-30 seconds each.

With a takt time of 25 seconds, the aim is to ensure that no task takes longer than 25 seconds. Additionally, there should be sufficient operators in this area, each with 25 seconds of work.

Moving a few seconds of work from one operator to another can help balance the workload on this line. Of course, rarely do the times work out like this in real life, however the two basic concepts are to ensure no operator has a cycle time greater than the takt time and have every operation as close in cycle time as possible.

Work Sequence

Now that the line balancing is complete, the work for each operator must follow a step by step standard process. People commonly refer to this as the work sequence.

To get consistent high-quality results, all operators must follow the same process every time they do the job. The work sequence should contain as much detail as possible. Instruction as to which hand an operation should be performed with may be necessary based on the layout of the components that make up the finished product. By setting up the work sequence, it is easy to observe when something is being done out of order.

Be very cautious of sharing a responsibility between operators. Ensure each part of an operation is assigned to only one operator. If different operators alternate performing a process, there is a risk of missing a step.

Another consideration when setting up work sequence is ergonomics. The process should be set up so that the operator performs the function in the most ergonomically manner possible.

In-process Stock

The last major step in standardized work is in-process stock. Keeping to the concept of just in time, the parts between operations should be minimal.

In a process where parts move from one step to another, the desired amount of parts in progress should be one. Based on the cycle time, this may not be possible, but should be the target you are striving for.

The actual number of parts between processes will depend upon the actual operations. The better the line balancing, the less parts that will be required between operations. The key here is to ensure that the bottleneck process (slowest process) always has a supply of parts to process. Any lost time here will be unrecoverable without overtime.

3 Types of Standard Work Documents

The three different types of standardized work documents are designed to capture and communicate essential information about work processes. Let’s explore each type in detail:

Process Capacity Sheet:

A Process Capacity Sheet is a standardized work document that provides information about the capacity of a specific process or workstation. It includes details such as the cycle time required to complete a task, the number of operators involved, and the takt time (the time available to complete a unit of work to meet customer demand).

The Process Capacity Sheet helps in understanding the production capacity and identifying any bottlenecks or inefficiencies within a process. It is often used in manufacturing environments to optimize production planning, line balancing, and resource allocation.

Standardized Work Combination Table:

The Standardized Work Combination Table, also known as the Yamazumi chart, is a visual representation that illustrates the combination of tasks performed by different operators within a work process. It outlines the sequence of work elements, the time required for each task, and the distribution of workload among operators.

The chart helps to balance the workload across operators, identify opportunities for improvement, and ensure standardized work practices. It enables teams to visualize the flow of work and identify areas where adjustments can be made to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and optimize productivity.

Standardized Work Chart:

The Standardized Work Chart is a detailed document that shows the tasks, order, and timings of a work process. It is also called the Standard Work Chart or Operator Balance Chart. You can simplify and split the job up into shorter coherent task and steps as follows: This demonstrates the steps for completing a job. It includes the order of tasks, the time it takes, and the required inventory.

Lean manufacturing often uses the Standardized Work Chart to create consistent procedures, reduce differences, and guarantee quality and productivity. It helps operators see what to do and find ways to improve by showing differences and chances to make things better.

The three types of standardized work documents are important for analyzing and improving work processes. They are the Process Capacity Sheet, Standardized Work Combination Table, and Standardized Work Chart.

The Process Capacity Sheet looks at process capacity and resource allocation. The Standardized Work Combination Table helps balance workload and find improvements. The Standardized Work Chart gives a detailed breakdown of tasks and timings for standardized work procedures. By utilizing these standardized work documents effectively, organizations can enhance productivity, optimize resource utilization, and drive continuous improvement in their operations.

Standardized work is intended to help improve the standard and be used for solving problems, ensuring safety, improving quality, increasing efficiency, and supporting continuous improvement.