You might be one of them – maybe you are considering investing in a new production line or adjusting shift capacity. But do you have enough information about the material flow? Do you know where the actual bottlenecks are? If not, you might be closer to a “trial by error” than a proper optimization strategy.
Value streams can be very complex; the material flow from receiving to shipping usually consists of a number of stages or work centers. If you notice an issue (e.g. delay), it is important to understand that it could have originated at any of the preceding stages. And once you look into the problem and its causes, you might realize that the solution doesn’t even require huge investments. Maybe some minor adjustments to your planning strategy will do the trick.
Understanding the value streams is a necessary precondition for efficient manufacturing. It is good to keep this in mind when thinking about production optimization.
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