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驾驶与精益 Driving and Lean

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母校增开国际采购选修一课,授课教授为华南采购领域某影响力人物,理论与实践兼备还担任MBA商学院主任一职,尽管课程设置在每周六晚三个小时,但报课人数仍以大班计。考虑以校友身份可免费蹭课,不辞劳累每周驱车160公里往返广莞两地,一程均80公里,以时速100公里计,不足1小时即可抵达母校,可实际往往需约2小时,效率如此低下,原因何在?

A new optional course, International Purchasing, is launched at my alma mater, of which the professor is a man of influence in the field of purchasing in south China. He unites theory and practice and serves as the director of MBA business school. Although it is held every Saturday night for three hours, people come to attend the course in big class. Since an alumnus can have free access to this course, every Saturday I will drive to cover a round trip of 160 km between Dongguan and Guangzhou regardless of fatigue. Covering a single distance of 80 km at a speed of 100 km/h, it is reasonable that I arrive at my Alma Mater within one hour. But the actual amount of time often goes to two hours. Why such a low efficiency?

所浪费的时间无非是在等待红灯+低速+停顿+绕路。等待红灯好理解,国内的公路设置就是红灯多,不知道设置红灯数量的理论依据是什么,也不清楚红灯设置的时间是如何考虑的,反正有的地方是设置30秒等待,有的路口是多达3分钟,而且一旦你碰到一个红灯,极有可能你接下来将是一路红灯,反之亦然,如果你运气好碰上绿灯则接下来是一路绿灯。低速行驶则是碰到异常情况了,可能是晚上,光线不好,看不清路,所以要慢点开,也可能是前面堵车或出故障了,导致速度上不了,又或者前面有行人突然穿过马路,让你措不及防要减速,亦或路不顺畅,坑坑洼洼,甚至有可能车出故障了,或者爬上坡速度就是上不来等等。停顿则是低速的极限,前面由于故障暂时被封了,或者司机要内急上厕所,疲劳驾驶需要停车休息一下。绕路有两种:走错路或者抄近路,走错路是自身的问题,抄近路则有点像“此路不畅,有本事飞过去”,通常是以距离换时间。

Time is only wasted in waiting before traffic lights, dragging, pausing and detouring. Waiting before traffic lights is an easy case to understand: It is typical of the nation to have a lot of traffic lights. The grounds on which the number or the shifting period of traffic lights is determined being unknown, people may wait for 30s somewhere but 3 minutes some other. Chances are large that you go through continual red lights once greeted by a first one, and vise versa. Dragging is necessary when an emergency occurs, be it poor eyesight at night, a traffic jam or a car breakdown ahead the road, caution for jaywalking pedestrians, uneven roads, driving uphill, etc. Pausing is the extreme case to dragging. It happens when the road ahead is blocked temperately, or the driver needs to go to the toilet or have a rest due to fatigue. Detouring includes two situations: taking a wrong way or a shortcut. Whereas taking a wrong way is an unintentional mistake, taking a shortcut is a purposeful choice to exchanging the distance for the time.

其实仔细看看是不是很像工厂生产线的运作,工厂不也存在这些类型的浪费吗? 高速路上是没有红灯的,只有在上高速和下高速后,这些等待如同项目初期不稳定期间,也像批量生产后生产计划排好后等待其他产品先生产,因为毕竟产能是有限的,如同马路的宽度是固定的一样。在每天的上班初期和临近下班时刻也都会出现产量偏低的情况,有人临时离岗被顶班也会出现这种情况,要是产线某道工序出现异常,物料里混杂有不良品需要挑选使用,亦会导致效率下降出现。产线停顿则可能是有计划性的中间休息或者产线人机料法环出现大问题直接造成没办法继续生产。而返工如果走错路,条条大路痛罗马,最后修理后成为正果但是时间已经浪费掉了。

The driving case is the same with the operation of production lines in factories where also exist such kinds of waste. People will not encounter traffic lights on the freeway, which are only set outside the freeway ramps. Similarly, waiting is common in a project when things remain unsettled at their beginning stage, or when products are arranged in line to be manufactured sequentially since the capacity, as is the same with a road having a fixed width, has its limitation. Low production also happens at the beginning and ending hours of a day’s work, when a worker is relieved and another takes over, when unexpected errors occurs in the process of production, or when selection of materials out of defective ones is required. A pause in production line may arise due to scheduled intervals for rest, or problems that undermine the item of man, machine, material, method and environment. Reworking is similar to detouring, in which case a product may be fixed but the time will be definitely wasted.

近日拜读冯文亮先生的职场小说“冲出重围-快速精益之道”,对此又有了更深的认识,书中有几个观点值得借鉴。

Having read A Quick Qay of Lean Production recently, a professional novel written by Feng Wenliang, I have had some deeper understanding of the above issues. There are some points of view that are worth learning in the book.

1.河槽容纳的流量=淤泥等原因占据的流量 + 河槽的实际流量。而清淤只需要清理一些重点河段,就可以保持整条河道的畅通。

1. Gross river flow=space taken by sludge + net river flow. Dredging can be undertaken only at some major river segments in order to keep the whole river course smooth.

2.车间人分三类:多人,少人,新人。工厂人力资源调配信息不顺畅。。。可以将几条生产线设置为人力调配线,调配线的数量是可变的,根据生产线每天的实际需求而定,所有多的人都放在调配线上,确认的生产线就去调配线上领取。。。调配线还兼有新人培训的功能。

2. A labor force structure in workshops can be categorized into excessive workforce, short workforce or new comers. Disordered human resource information gives rise to many problems. A solution is to allocate personnel in several deployment lines which are variable in number and determined by the actual demand of product lines. All the spare workforce is enrolled in personnel deployment lines, ready to be employed by a product line. A deployment line also helps to train new workers.

3.生产线最重要两个工位:第一工位和动态的瓶颈工位。第一工位决定最大的输出产能,动态的瓶颈工位就是半成品(WIP)积累最多的工位,决定“消化“顺畅,实现最大输出产能的可能性。

3. The two most important working positions on a production line are the first position and the dynamic bottleneck position. Whereas the first position decides the capability, the dynamic bottleneck one, where work in process accumulate the most, decides digestion, fluency and the possibility to achieve the maximum capability

4.工厂管理先治病,再强身健体。找到工厂快速改善的办法如同治病,而5S,标准化,设备保养等等则如同健体,不见得有多少可见的直接经济效益,但至关重要。

4. A good factory management calls for wiping out the root of problem first and then finding ways for reinforcement and optimization. The root of problem lies in how to achieve fast improvement, and ways for reinforcement and optimization includes various methods such as 5S, standardization and equipment maintenance. They are steps of importance although they may not bring out much direct economic benefits.

5.库存是万恶之源。

5. Stock is the root of all evil.

一条马路如同一条河流,河流要清淤,马路也需要整修,确保通畅。这些淤泥如同马路上的各种障碍,坑坑洼洼。有没有印象有多少马路修补过的地面不平,有坑还没有填平,多少年以前我印象中马路中间时不时会堆一堆待铺路或者修路用的石子,显然那时的马路是跑不起速度的。而在邻国印度,高速公路没有栅栏,牛羊可以自由穿行在高速公路上,速度就更不用提了。

A road is like a river. Whereas a river calls for dredging in order to keep smooth, a road requires repairing. Sludge in a river is also similar to obstacles and mud on a road. Do you have the impression that a road remains uneven after repaired, with many holes uncovered? I remember that several years ago piles of gravels will be stacked up on a road from time to time for road paving or repairing. It is obvious that a car will not be able to drive at a high speed on such a road. In a neighbor country—India, there being no fences for a freeway which cattle and sheep can cross freely, speed is nothing but out of the question.

在国内的每条高速公路乃至普通公路上,往往都有多条车道可供驾驶,每条车道的限速可能不太一样,有的限80,有的限100,通常国内的最高速限到120KM/H,跑的快的走快车道,拉了货跑不起来的走慢车道,当然还可以再快慢车道间相互切换 – 这样就具有灵活性了。几年前一些大城市开始流行建设公交专用车道 – 公交快车道,甚至现在更加细化了,货车只能走那几条车道,那几条车道只能在限定时间段供校车行驶。

Freeways and even common roads at home provide different lanes for drivers to choose, each one varying in speed range. For example, whereas one lane may have the maximum speed of 80km/h, another may be 100km/h, and the highest speed at home is usually 120km/h. Cars that drive fast go on the fast lane, and lorries that carry full goods drive slow so they go on the slow lane. Sometimes you can swift between different lanes, which gives rise to flexibility. Several years ago, the bus lane—bus rapid transit, became popular in many big cities. Now things become more specific: lorries have exclusive access to some lanes, while some other are can only be occupied by school buses during a certain time.

想象一下把跑车放在普通公路上行驶,速度上的来吗,答案是否定的,除非它永远是第一个,前面没有影响它速度的障碍。如果在跑车赛场,只有一条赛车道,是不是也是同理。再想象一下每辆车是一个工位,是不是第一辆车的速度决定了整条车道上跑的车的最大速度(假如没有其他车道可以切换)?除掉这个,一旦马路上哪个路段出现异常(动态瓶颈),交警就得立马上阵了,否则就会出现堵车(WIP)。

Imagine that a sports car running on a normal road. Is it able to run fast? The answer is no. Unless it runs ahead of all the other cars for good, with not a single car in front of it being the obstacle. The logic also applies to the situation of a single car running on the circuit. Also imagine that each car occupying a station; isn’t it true that the speed of the first car sets the upper speed limit of cars running on the lane (when there are no other lanes for shifting)? Apart from that, once an emergency occurs somewhere on the road (dynamic bottleneck), traffic police shall be on the scene immediately; otherwise there will be a traffic jam (WIP).

马路上很有必要设置规范的路标,清晰的指示牌,高清的摄像头,优美的防噪林,宽大的行车道,但是始终首当其冲的是解决交通拥堵先,这与解决工厂当下问题的优先性不谋而合。

It is necessary that the road be equipped with normative landmarks, clear road signs, HD cameras, beautiful shelter forest for noise and wide lanes, but the first concern shall be how to solve traffic jams, a logic which happens to coincide with the way the factory tries to solve its current problems.

要改善我每周痛苦的长途跋涉我能做的是提高我的驾驶技术,改善我的耐心,其余的能做的不多,那么于工厂管理而言,员工又能做多少呢?更多的需要依靠工厂管理人员来识别“关键的少数”,哪些才是需要改善的重点,真正产生价值的环节以及“淤泥”所在的地方。而供应商管理人员如果能兼容质量及其他多方面的知识及实践,乃最佳组合,否则,退而次之,协助工厂来通过质量管理手法找到要快速获取成效的捷径。要知道为什么精益六西格玛这么流行,是因为精益和六西格玛是结合在一起的,而六西格玛,说的就是质量。

What I can do to ease my dreariness in each week’s long marching is no more than improve my driving and reinforce my patience. What can employees do, then, in terms of factory management? The core lies in the recognition by the factory management of the “key minority”—the major points for improvement, the parts in the chain that add actual value and the places where the “sludge” lies. It would be better if the supplier management combines the knowledge and practice of quality and other aspects. Otherwise, he shall assist the factory to find ways for fast effects through quality management approach. We should know that the popularity of Lean Six Sigma lies in the integration of the concept of Lean and that of Six Sigma, the latter of which has to do with quality.

 

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGE GIVEN TO MS.Wang Qian (Claire) FOR HER CONTRIBUTIONS OVER THE TRANSLATION.

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