The Yamazumi chart can work amazingly well for any process-based company. By implementing this easiest of tools, it allows the company to better understand where time is being potentially wasted in each process, which alone provides a number of advantages.
However, to better illustrate this point, we can look at just three reasons as to why a Yamazumi chart should be used in Lean manufacturing. By studying these reasons, it should then make it easier for the reader to understand how and why they can use this chart within their own business or process-driven application.
1. It Reduces Time Wastage
Wasted time is wasted money, and no organization wants to go ahead and waste money if it can be avoided. So, any method that can reduce this possibility should be embraced with open arms, and a Yamazumi chart is a free and simple approach that generates results.
By being able to look at each process individually and the time that each step takes, it is easier to see it in a visual format to then know where time is being wasted.
Imagine that a particular part of the manufacturing process has a number of steps. The Yamazumi chart would have one bar for that process, with additional bars for each individual aspect, but within the one bar would be a block for each individual aspect. Think of it as being Process 1 followed by Process 1:1, then 1:2 and so on.
When you then look at the chart, you can see how long it takes for part 1:2 compared to other sections and determine if too much time is being spent on that part of the process. As a result, changes can be made in the process to reduce that time, leading to a faster end result and a better outcome overall.
2. It Can Lead to Processes Being Rearranged
The Yamazumi chart can allow you to determine which option is better by looking at each individual component of each part of the manufacturing process. Then you can try to work out if the order should be changed. It’s all about optimization from a time-based perspective, and it simply presents the information in a way that is easier to follow and to compare across the board. In fact, when companies such as Toyota use this approach to streamline the manufacturing side of their business and change the order on production lines, that gives us strong evidence that this method can be used on a large scale too.
3. Achieve a Sense of Balance Toward your Goals/Targets
By gaining insight into the time spent on each process, as well as coming to terms with the best order, it can mean that the target process will then become far more balanced thanks to employing one of these charts. By becoming aware of the potential wastage at various stages, it ultimately delivers something that is more efficient and still achieves that end result that the manufacturing process requires.
If the process is unbalanced, then it can ultimately lead to issues, making up for lost time or not enough energy being exerted into various key areas due to too much time being spent elsewhere. A balanced approach to business strategies and production will always lead to a better outcome overall.
The three reasons mentioned are not exhaustive or final, but they do provide you with some of the insight into the way in which these charts can be an extremely effective tool for a Lean manufacturing company to employ. This simplistic approach can lead to astonishing results, as well as potentially change the entire manufacturing process, but when the end result is far superior, then this form of optimization should be embraced rather than being viewed as a problem.
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