This post describes an accurate way to detect the bottleneck in manufacturing systems, based on the average times a process is waiting or active. The method determines the primary bottlenecks in the system much more accurately than other methods commonly used in industry. The method was developed by me during my time at the Toyota Central R&D Laboratories in Japan. Subsequent posts look at other bottleneck detection methods that actually DO work!
This post describes a second accurate way to detect the bottleneck in manufacturing systems, based on the precise times a process is waiting or active. The method is highly accurate, not only giving the likelihoods of different processes being the (temporary) bottleneck, but also estimating the improvement of the entire system capacity if the bottleneck(s) are improved. It is also possible to observe the shifting of these bottlenecks over time. The method was developed by me during my time at the Toyota Central R&D Laboratories in Japan. See below for a complete list of posts on this series on bottlenecks.
To improve your system capacity, it is a must to find and improve your bottleneck. However, finding the bottleneck is difficult. Most methods used in industry fail at finding the bottleneck. As discussed in my previous post on Shifting Bottlenecks, this is mostly due to bottlenecks being dynamic and frequently shifting from one process to the next. In this post we will look at common bottleneck detection methods used in industry. More importantly, we will find out more about failures of bottleneck detection methods commonly used in industry. Subsequent posts look at bottleneck detection methods that actually DO work!
Improving system capacity requires you to find the bottleneck; however, bottleneck detection is a tricky business. The main problem is that most bottlenecks are not static, but move around. In this post we will look at the behavior of bottlenecks on the shop floor. This is the first post in a series of posts on bottleneck detection. Subsequent posts will look at the flaws of commonly used methods to find the bottleneck and describe two new reliable methods for finding the bottleneck on the shop floor.