Lean 3P - Production Preparation Process

One of our customers recently asked about the Lean 3P process. 3P helps you discover the best possible manufacturing process. The typical steps in a 3P event are:

  1. Define Product or Process Design Objectives/Needs. The tools to accomplish this are Voice of the Customer and Quality Function Deployment.
  2. Diagramming using a fishbone diagramflowchart or value stream map to show the flow from raw material to finished product and to determine the change or transformation. Verbs that describe the change (e.g., pick or grip) are used to identify similar functions in nature (e.g., a hawk's talons) to suggest methods of accomplishing the task.
  3. Find and Analyze Alternatives (at least seven) for layout (e.g., spaghetti diagrams), right-sized machines and methods.
  4. Prototype the best three processes using models (e.g., full-scale mockups using cardboard boxes for machines) and evaluate to select the best design. In full-scale mockups, people actually work the process and measure takt times. The goal is to simulate the working arrangement to surface problems and prevent them.
  5. Hold Design Review with customers and suppliers to surface remaining problems.
  6. Develop the Project Implementation Plan

In essence, 3P creates a working, low cost prototype that can be used to simplify, streamline and optimize the manufacturing process before investing in machines and locking in the design.

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537, support@qimacros.com."

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