I have visited many different industries, and is very usual to see full automated equipment (Robots) with high inefficiency, those equipment were considered as the answer of all the problems, but the reality shows different negatives results as expected.
Taiichi Ohno always teaches about the Correct Sequence to Kaizen:
“ Manual work kaizen means thinking of better ways of using the existing equipment. Rather than buying new equipment (Robots) it is important to thing of how the work should be done.”
If you install a robot and think only, “this is convenient, it does my work for me “ then this is not an example of using the robot effectively. It is important to do kaizen on the robot as soon as you install it or to change the method to work well with the robot (Material supply, Information, Product flow, etc.).
The team must consider on cell design ,how the material must be replaced ? Before release to production, the robot will do the cycle very well however it will stop due lack of material.
The team must understand the real problem here , because even with robots there are some products that goes out without being packaged. Is the conveyor sped synchronized to the Takt Time?
Instead if you say, “We can do this if we could just buy a robot ,” and buy a robot without even knowing if there is a better method than the current one , then eventually you will not do kaizen at your genba unless you can buy a robot. That would be bad. But if you first see how well you can use the machines you have, and how you can use the existing equipment event better, then when you install the latest machines you can add on yours improvements.
I always advise built machines or robot mock up’s before to proceed with next action this is part of 3P.
The right pad to follow is do kaizen after kaizen; there are 3 types of kaizen:
a) Manual work Kaizen.
b) Equipment Kaizen.
c) Process Kaizen.
Do the kaizen to the manual work first. Once you know how make more improvements, but the machine you have is preventing this, then you can look at the right machine that will further improve productivity and quality.
When the latest machine is installed before you have the skill to do kaizen, the machine will end up running you. JJJ There is a correct sequence to kaizen.
The first step in kaizen is manual work kaizen. Manual work kaizen is the must important because as a result of manual work kaizen you will learn many things about changes you need to make to your equipment, or changes you need to make to your process as a result of change you make to your equipment.