Before we can make improvements in manufacturing operations we have to know what the real state of play is. This can be achieved by something called an Activity Sample. An Activity Sample is a technique in which a number of successive observations are made over a period of time on a group of; operators, machines, processes or activities etc. The exercise focuses on productive work as against non-productive work in activities, such as; waiting, moving work, bottling, capping, welding, computer work, filing away folders, or whatever is appropriate to the individual manufacturing operation.
C&G International has used Activity Sampling as a starting point for a number of improvement projects within manufacturers in the Caribbean. This process has led to the discovery of;
• Under / over utilisation of resources
• Lost production time
• The numbers of quality defects and
• Capacity constraints
Based on the findings of an Activity Sample it is possible to focus on where improvements can be made and allows for realistic productivity targets to be set. It can also reveal where there are process capability problems thus helping in the acquisition of new resources based on facts.
C&G International believe that the starting point of gathering factual data via an activity sample is an excellent way of beginning the journey into the construction of measures of performance for continuous improvement.