Stability is everything in metals production – improve safety, productivity and product quality by standardization of operations.
Standardized production (and LEAN) is probably the most successful principle out there to achieve a high productivity and product quality. The principle may also be applied to liquid metals processing, although some special consideration is required.
- Is your production suffering from all those minor disturbances difficult to explain?
- Is there an unexplored potential difficult to pin-point?
- Are production disturbances accepted and handled as “normal problems”?
- -“We would have reached our goals if only not….”
Liquid metal production is complex and sometimes difficult to grasp. The integration of events within and between process steps, a strong time dependence, and requirement of expert skills to understand the processing complicates matters.
We know that a standardization of operations will help to reach a new level of performance – if you only do it right.
Standardization of production of liquid metals requires some special tricks and a thorough understanding of the processing requirements. If the text-book LEAN-production method is applied failure will be likely. Make sure to adapt your production system to the handling of liquid metals!
Based on our previous experience we know that standardized production in production of liquid metals will
- eliminate some production disturbances totally and significantly reduced most of the,
- reduce process-related product quality problems down to 50%,
- run a much smoother operation, and
- increase operator safety.
…when it is done right!
The typical methods for standardized production is not well-suited for liquid metals processing – although the principles apply perfectly – and we have seen many failures and lost hopes. We can help you to fit your production system to liquid metal processing.
The road forward
Stability is everything!
Without stability metals production will never take off. Analyze your production and processing and define your overall production principles. Promote stability over productivity, and productivity will boost.
Standardize your production!
Avoid solving problems – build a production system instead.
Redefine processing and make sure all operations are standardized and in line with the basic production principles.
Define an organization where mandates and information channels are clear. Promote a work schedule according to; measure, analyze, decide, change.
Finally, implement it!
Improve your production!
The foundation has been established. Now tune operations and processing principles to improve stability and productivity further.
Make sure to make improvement within the framework of your production system. No short-cuts and special fixes!
Metsol has contributed in larger lean production projects where major routines and behavior changes have been implemented on the steelmaking shop floor. We typically act as the link between operators and management carrying information both ways, coaching and making sure things improve and follow the principles defined.
We make sure everything is implemented where the effects will be seen; on the shop floor. No more nice plans and principles implemented all the way into the office folders…
Close cooperation with production key personnel ensures a sound production concept, thus avoiding flaws usually experienced when concepts are designed in an office off-site.
Please bear in mind standardization is a redefinition of most plant activities – operations, processing and production – and the road there is not straight. Everything is connected and sometimes an adjustment in one end gives unexpected results in the other – metals production is complex.
Metsol will not only implement the methods together with your staff, we will also ensure that the end result is metallurgical sound. After all, we do this to improve the good tonnes out.
How do we get started?
In most cases an on-site visit over a few days is the best approach. During this period we meet the production management and then spend most of our time on the shop floor.
At the end of our visit a short report will list the observed strength and weakness of the processing and production, and suggest a plan to implement the standardized work methods.
A final heads-up
Please do not confuse this concept this with LEAN-methods typically found in manufacturing industry (e.g. Toyota). Although we share the same basic principles, liquid metal processing is a special case and needs to be treated as such.
If the standard methods found in the literature are applied as is you will have a very hard time to obtain acceptance among the operators, the overall purpose will be off target, and expected results will most certainly not be reached.
We know why and have a better solution.