PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Feb2021

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96 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2021 other activities related to it. Look at space re- quirements, labor burden, tools required, fa- cilities, and ergonomics. Phase 2: Clinically create the task or pro- cess. is can be anything from factory instal- lation to operating instructions. Place neces- sary tools and supplies as needed. Once doc- umented, perform a dry run through the pro- cess to make sure critical steps are captured. Phase 3: Train your operators to the new document or process. Have them walk through it more than once. Now, this is normally where the process creation task ends and what causes the most problems. e operators are trained and off we go. e work instruction goes to the training library and the engineers move off to another new project. But wait, there's more! Now the control mechanisms need to be in place. is is what determines whether a process will thrive and evolve or whether it will eventually fail when minor attributes change. Phase 4: Develop KPIs (key performance in- dicators) or control attributes. One can create many processes or instructions and never know whether they are a benefit or a distraction. A process or work instruction is created to stan- dardize or create repeatability of a task. With- out monitoring, the process or task can get out of control without any restraints which causes waste or scrap. Keeping a thumb on the pulse can quickly identify an anomaly before it affects down line processes or quality of the product. Phase 5: Review the process. is is the game changer. A process or task should be re- viewed at least once a year or whenever any significant change happens. (See Phase 1 ob- jectives for a hint.) If something changes, what effects will it have on surrounding tasks or en- vironment? Review your KPIs daily, weekly, or monthly depending on the importance of the task. Consult with the operators who perform the task and gauge repeatability between oper- ators. If there is a difference, find out why. Did am I calling John a criminal but the oversight of reviewing the process or work instruction aer the machine was upgraded led to unavoidable future problems. Now, before management goes aer Susan with torches and pitchforks, we need to un- derstand what happened: we didn't own the process. So oen what happens is that a clin- ical process is written by engineering when the machine is placed, and then forgotten. As we all know, evolution is unavoidable and bet- ter techniques are found. We need to keep our thumbs on the pulse of processes and allow them to evolve. erefore, we need to control them. I don't know about you, but I have seen many times that the best way to develop a pro- cess or work instruction is to find the people that operate the machine or perform the task on a daily basis. You can have a fleet of engi- neers, which is fine, but I can tell you from ex- perience that the best way to fine tune a pro- cess or work instruction is to gather valuable input from the operators who perform the task. Since this is the year of continuous improve- ment, let's look at a good foundation to own that process or work instruction. Although some what I'm going to outline may seem ob- vious, you would be surprised how many times it can be overlooked and cause unnecessary re- work and corrective action. e best way to start this activity is with both engineering and operators involved. e team approach works very well even if the team is only two participants. Phase 1: Look at the task or process from the 10,000-foot level, meaning you should look at the task you wish to document as it may affect We need to keep our thumbs on the pulse of processes and allow them to evolve.

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