For this activity you will use a simple process from your own life: preparing a family meal for a large family. This process is designed to help you recognize how eliminating waste, particularly transportation waste, can make processes easier and eliminate the inefficient layouts.
The first step in appraising any situation, is to stop and ask yourself “What bothers me about this”? In the case of an existing business operation, it is helpful to gain an appreciation for the current state, not only in terms of the relative position of the equipment, but the nature of the environment as well. Is it noisy? Are people rushing around from machine to machine? Are their hands full? As they move through the facility, are they taking a circuitous route around infrequently used machines or stacks of inventory? Are the aisles wide enough for the traffic? The best vantage point to observe the work environment is from ceiling level. A scissor lift or tall ladder can provide a very different perspective to an otherwise familiar situation. Safety is, of course, paramount.
This activity counts towards the Activities category. It is graded on pass/fail basis. If you complete all components of the activity on time, you will receive a pass. You will also receive qualitative feedback from your instructor about your completed activity.
It is recognized that the Activities category only counts for 5% of your overall course grade, which is not substantial considering that there are five activities to be completed within it. You will, however, benefit from completing each activity when it comes to your Major Assignment. Your Major Assignment requires that three different tools/diagrams be included. Receiving feedback from your instructor about the construction of this spaghetti diagram now will assist you in producing a higher-quality Major Assignment.
Part 1: Creating and Analyzing Your Diagram
Make a floor plan of the work area using graph paper (there are many websites where you can print graph paper from, if need be). In this case, the work area may be your kitchen. Be sure the area is drawn in “plan view” (as you would see it from above), showing where the equipment is located. It is critical that you draw the area to scale. Some drawing tips/procedures:
Draw a rectangle that is proportional to your work area, centered on the paper. Place the columns on your drawing first. These are helpful as reference points for placing your equipment. Remember to divide the actual dimensions, in your measurement unit of choice (i.e. feet, meters), by the drawing scale to convert each dimension to measurements on your drawing.
Next, place each piece of equipment on your drawing. It is enough to represent each piece with a rectangle with dimensions equal to the maximum length and width of the machine. Keep in mind that you are interested in the open space between pieces of equipment, so be sure that your rectangle encapsulates the full reach of the work area (including guards, arms, etc.), not just the footprint of the base of the object/machine.
Note in each rectangle where the operator is located.
Label each rectangle with the name of the equipment.
Be sure to add all of the fixed storage locations and piles of inventory, spare parts, waste, garbage receptacles, etc., that are barriers to moving around. Check your dimensions frequently.
Make a few photocopies of your drawing, so that you can preserve your hard work for future use or in the case that you make an error and need to restart.
On a copy of your layout drawing, draw a line that follows each operator involved in your process as they go about their work. Use a different colour for each operator. Create a legend so you can keep track of which colour refers to which operator. Be patient while you observe the movements of your operators, if you are actually observing the work being done. You want to draw the whole path that each operator must follow from the time they become involved in the process until the process is complete.
In each case, either the material streams or the operator paths will create a series of overlapping and criss-crossing lines that will resemble a plate of spaghetti. This is an excellent visual representation of the distance traveled. In particular, it will illustrate the number of times a line of a particular colour crosses itself, indicating when equipment and/or storage locations are placed in the wrong order in relation to the sequence of operations of your process.
The issues that are illustrated in the spaghetti diagram represent improvement operations for consideration.
Using a Microsoft Word document, create a one-page list of the issues that you noticed in your operation while drawing the spaghetti diagram.
Comments from Customer
Discipline: Lean System