August 9, 2015

Single Piece Flow, Continuous Flow & Standardized Work

Resource: Single Piece Flow, Continuous Flow & Standardized Work Continuous Flow v/s Traditional Elements of Standardized Work

Single Piece Flow Continuous Flow Standardized Work










Single Piece Flow
• “Single Piece Flow” reduces process variability

Stability is Important
• Steady customer demand • Rapid & predictable response of problem
• Reliable equipment• Reliable supplier
• High operational• Fixed flow path availability
• Low level of rejects and rework
• Stable product mix • Process in control and capable
• Low turnover of workforce• Work is consistent
• Low absenteeism repeatable
• Stable organization structure and practices

“Continuous Flow” is the Essence of “Single Piece Flow”

Rapid product movement through the plant
• Less inventory (no buildup between processes linked in continuous flow)
• Problems surface quickly so they can be fixed
• Steady production
• Facilitates standardized work

Continuous Flow v/s Traditional

• Traditional Production:
– Workers are separated and can’t help each other
– Inventory build up / ad hoc
– Much wasteful movement of product
– Problems are hidden
– Information stagnation
• Continuous Flow:
– Workers are closely coupled. Can help each other
– Less inventory, all for a purpose
– Little or no wasteful movement of product
– Problems surfaced quickly to be solved
– Information is current. Action is quick and focused

Continuous Flow Enabler
• Man : Multi‐skilled workers can perform multiple processes, thus offering great flexibility.
• Machine : Machine layout follows the processing sequence
• Material : Product move from process to process one at a time
• Layout : Separate work area placed in a compact layout that create “flow” along the “U”

Standardized Work
• The most effective way to work at particular operation, given safety, quality and volume requirements.
• Repeatable work elements performed within Takt‐Time.
• A continuous foundation for improving work, eliminating waste and solving problems rapidly.

Elements of Standardized Work
• Elements of Operation: The standardized time to complete each element of the work.
• Takt‐Time Requirement: The production time, based on monthly customer requirements.
• Standard In‐process Stock: Work in progress (only the minimum necessary amount) is placed at different buffers to cover changeover and setup time.