What's better than a Kaizen Event?

Posted by: Rowan Easter-Robinson

2024-07-10

When a machine isn’t as efficient as it could be, it’s important to find out its main reasons for downtime. Doing a downtime analysis in the traditional way, a Kaizen Event, can be useful but will take precious time out of the production process.

Kaizen Events

Kaizen Events are that the whole organisation can take part in, where a particular machine or process is mapped out, with particular attention paid to each element of the process that doesn’t add value. In the case of CNC machining these “wastes” could result from:

It’s hard to measure the impact of this downtime during a Kaizen event. To put a number on when these happen and how long they take would require someone to watch the process and make a manual note of their times and durations.

Machine monitoring and Downtime analysis

Instead, with an automated machine monitoring system like TrackMyMachines there’s already changeover and setup times measured all day every day. From the image below the cycles and changeover times for a given job are seen clearly. This is available 24/7 without any manual work, the TMM Machine monitoring hardware is working hard every day to gather this data for you.

Machine timeline showing clear changeovers between cycles
Machine timeline showing clear changeovers between cycles

Specific reasons for downtime

For more in-depth machine downtime reasons instead you can fit tablets or computer terminals to the shop floor. These can be used by the operators to input specific reasons the machines are down.

Machine tablets installed on machine let operators input specific downtime reasons
Machine tablets installed on machine let operators input specific downtime reasons

This requires human input, and it’s necessary to evaluate whether the extra work required by operators is worth the capturing of this specific information.

Once downtime reasons are captured you can start to analyse your machinery and find opportunities for improvement. Almost like a Kaizen event every day!

Downtime analysis with TrackMyMachines

You can drill down into each machines’ downtime reason statistics from TrackMyMachines charting page. Looking at the Downtime Analysis chart grouped by machine, it’s possible to see the breakdown of machine downtime.

Downtime Analysis per machine
Downtime Analysis per machine

Drilling down by right-clicking the machine we’re interested in we can see the downtime reason categories, to see which part of the process might need improvement.

Drill down into downtime reasons
Drill down into downtime reasons
Downtime Reason categories
Downtime Reason categories

Drilling down even further we can see the exact downtime reasons and what duration they’ve been active for.

Downtime Reasons
Downtime Reasons

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