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Current Quarter:  Q3-2018


Record-able OHSA Events this Quarter

For the week of:  Sept 17, 2018


Client Identified Events this Quarter

You Know, Sometimes you really should sweat the small stuff



Our World Class Process Audit is designed to identify the small stuff and put the sustainable systems in place to keep those things in control so the big things don't happen and waste and wasteful activity is minimized.  If your interested in learning more about our WCPA, following the link.

World Class Performance Audit

Re-thinking the allocation of your Skilled Resources

We were working with a client who was struggling with a problem that’s far too common in todays manufacturing sector.  


Another one of their key maintenance guys was retiring and they were extremely concerned about how they were going to replace him. 



Production was at record levels, they were introducing new product lines, but their ability to maintain their equipment and keep their OEE within acceptable limits was becoming a real challenge.   

They were getting behind on their % Pm compliance and more and more overtime hours were required to hit their targets.

The plant was suffering from what a large number of manufacturers are experiencing today.  


An aging work force, a low unemployment rate, high turn over and no time or systems to develop the necessary skills in new workers to meet all the needs of a world class facility.  


He wasn’t sure what to do, they had been trying to hire someone with the right credentials for a number of months.  


Giving up on the idea of finding a “replacement” candidate, we decided to take a different approach to address the problem. 


By treating the entire department as a whole, we were able to come up with a skills vs function matrix.


By categorizing tasks based on Skill required, level of urgency, potential impact on OEE and impact on cost, we were able to map out the functions that could be completely removed from that departments responsibility.  


This freed up a significant amount of their time, making the replacement of the individual no longer necessary.  


It also allowed their highly skilled resources more time to focus on the tasks they were uniquely skilled to address like process improvement and innovation.


By re-thinking how everyone was spending their time and aligning core capabilities with the task at hand, the facility moved from a reactive environment to one of continual improvement.  


If you are interested in getting a copy of our Skills vs Function Assessment Matrix, please put the word matrix in the comments below.      


Mistaken Identity Leads to excessive costs and Poor OEE

Using KPI data to manage any process is essential if the goal is to improve OEE while optimizing cost.  The problem happens when you are using incorrect data to make decisions.  In this video we tell the story of an Automotive Parts manufacturer that was using RI to manage the concentration in their sumps.  Operators had strict SOP's, with their corrective actions clearly defined.   The problem is, what they were measuring as concentration was really contamination, so no fluid additions were being made.  Fluid Performance degraded, OEE dropped and the facility was struggling to meet their production and quality targets.  

Data Verification and Validation is a critical step in the Plan-Do-Check-Act Management process.  There can be many reasons why the data a plant uses can be wrong, however its critical to know that the information being used to make critical decisions in both accurate and timely. 


This facility spent time, money and critical resources managing to an incorrect metric.  Regular data validation together with the interpretation of supporting/related data, is the only way to be sure that the process performance and operating costs are optimized. 


Built into the Z-TPM Process, data verification and validation is performed and measured daily.   

Watch out for this Manufacturing Trap!

When there's a  customer detected quality event, all hell can break loose.  There's missed customer commitments, potential penalties, a loss of reputation and trust that can hurt your relationship with your client, etc.  This story is about a facility that had such an event, and was looking to make a change to ensure the problem never happened again.  Unfortunately they fell into an all too common trap.  In the absence of data, they made some assumptions.  They formed an opinion about what the problem actually was.  And that opinion had them spending money, time and resources while increasing their cost per part that didn't necessarily address the root cause.  

Containing a problem is completely different than solving it.  Containment tries to keep the problem from happening vs identifying the true root cause and controlling the variables that lead to the condition.  Often containment just delays or masks the event, but either way it drives up the cost of the manufacturing process while still leaving the system at risk.    When a process has been running well for several years and then runs into an issue, the process is capable, however something has changed that has caused the issue.  Identifying that change and then putting in the controls to ensure it doesn't re-occur has to be part of a World Class Manufacturing mind set.  To be competitive globally, we need to eliminate waste and wasteful activity from our manufacturing processes and continue to improve over time.  Containing problems vs fixing them, introduces waste and waste-ful activity and tend to stack on themselves over time.  


How to contain a problem is really just an opinion of what to do to address the issue, while true process optimization is understanding your KPI's measuring them at an appropriate frequency and then continuing to  adjust the process to reduce the total cost.  


Containment is quick and easy in that it doesn't require the rigor of data collection and interpretation, however its often very wrong, and that's why it's a trap we spring on ourselves when we don't ask all the right questions or take the time necessary to collect the relevant information.   


 “Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.”.  Dr. Deming 


What's you opinion or have you got some data to share?

Are your CI projects Containment Actions or True Process Capability Improvements?

Manufacturing at World Class levels is a relentless pursuit of 100% quality, 100% on time, at the lowest cost possible.  Its about increasing efficiency, while eliminating waste and wasteful activity. 


Plants and plant managers are always on the lookout for how to reduce costs while at the same time improving OEE and keeping their resources focused on high value activities.Unfortunately sometimes, cost reduction efforts can miss the big picture, especially when these initiatives are solely focused on reducing unit costs.



In this video I offer an example where the team was excited about implementing a cost reduction opportunity however it was clearly a containment action vs true process improvement that supported the overall objectives of the facility.  





It’s tough to differentiate containment actions from real waste elimination opportunities when you’re living inside the process. Sometime an outsider can help spot the assumptions and ask the right questions to look at the problem differently.   


Look hard at your current CI projects, are they containment actions or process capability improvements?  The later has to be the priority as we race to maintain World Class Standards.

Is the Ugly Girlfriend keeping you from reaching your Productivity and Cost Reduction Goals?

Tribal knowledge

Most times, its just wrong.

If Tribal Knowledge has its grip on your non-core processes, its time to see if there is a better way.  Zimmark's World Class Performance Variability Assessment, sniffs out tribal knowledge and looks for ways to build the data driven decision making and SOP's necessary to truly improve and optimize your processes.  


Is a heavy reliance on tribal knowledge the reason you are stuck in a state of reaction?

Tribal knowledge

the unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company.

If Tribal Knowledge has its grip on your non-core processes, its time to see if there is a better way.  Zimmark's World Class Performance Variability Assessment, sniffs out tribal knowledge and looks for ways to build the data driven decision making and SOP's necessary to truly improve and optimize your processes.