Operational excellence includes performance areas such as cost, quality, delivery and safety. While we support these areas using process engineering solutions and also our resource efficiency workstream, the operational excellence aspect of our service portfolio focuses on the shop floor and management work practices and systems that help to deliver results.
Reducing manufacturing costs requires a multi-pronged approach that seeks to reduce resource consumption (energy, water and materials), waste disposal costs (effluent and solid waste) and the price paid for all inputs to manufacturing. An important first step is to analyse costs to identify areas of focus and opportunity. From there we can design an intervention customised to your circumstances and budget.
Maximising the capacity of a manufacturing plant is important, as this reduces capital investment requirements. Prior to making investments aimed at increasing capacity, it is important to understand the true capacity of a facility, and where the bottlenecks are. In many cases, these bottlenecks can be removed with minimal investment, or even simply by changing operating practices. Contact us for an evaluation of your existing capacity and the development of the most cost-effective options for increasing throughput.
A risk register is a useful tool for the recording of all types of risks on manufacturing sites. These risks can extend beyond safety and the environment, and can include matters of product quality, reputation, finance and other operational priorities. The risk register should be a live record that can be continuously updated and improved. Risks should be ranked based on impact and probability. VWG can assist your site to compile a comprehensive, integrated risk register as part of your quality management system. We use a structured evaluation method that examines all manufacturing and business processes. Addressing identified risks is a powerful way to drive performance improvement.
Plant Procedures & Work Instructions
Standard Work is a fundamental building block of operational excellence initiatives such as Lean and the establishment of quality management systems. It is vital that all employees carry out individual tasks in the same way, and that this agreed method is continuously improved over time.
Our engineers can develop comprehensive procedures and work instructions for plant operators and other staff according to our own well-defined formats or client specifications. We can do this for new or existing facilities, and can either develop these documents or modify existing documents. We can also train operators in these procedures and conduct job observations to assess whether established best practices are being followed.
Plant Maintenance Practices
A well-maintained manufacturing facility operates assets which perform according to their design, delivering reliability and enabling performance across a range of operational priority areas such as throughput, product quality, safety and variable cost performance. Our consultants can assess your current maintenance practices and then design a solution that would deliver improvement in system performance. We draw on a number of established philosophies including TPM and RCM (including FMECA and MSG3 logic).
Improving plant maintenance performance requires engagements with staff involved in both the maintenance and operation of your asset base and hence requires commitment, but the rewards can be substantial.
Aspects we could assist with include:
- The measurement of maintenance performance
- The development of maintenance tasks and schedules
- The development of maintenance business processes (e.g. planning, execution and review)
- Sparesholding strategies
- Development and integration of autonomous maintenance tasks
- Continuous improvement of the maintenance programme through problem solving
Every manufacturing facility will have several performance gaps, and these can be resolved through a facilitated problem solving process. Our engineers use our unique problem solving framework and a range of root cause analysis techniques to solve problems involving manufacturing costs, product quality, safety, the environment and other aspects of performance. This could involve data gathering from historical records, measurements on the shop floor and discussions and workshops with client staff. The scope and scale of the intervention required depends on the nature of the specific problem.