Another important method used during our project is Value Stream Mapping (VSM). It is a tool which was implemented in the Japanese automotive industry and is commonly used in lean continous improvement programs. It helps to understand and improve the material and information flows within firms. The main aims of creating and discussing VSM’s is to eliminate waste along the value chain and improve the understanding of the different production steps by visualising.
Waste is defined by the 7 kinds of waste according to Taiichi Ohno:
VSM is an important tool for companies in order to become lean and it presents the whole production process of a product from ramp to ramp. It could imply attributes associated with the steps of the process like the size of batches, the amount of queue time and wait time, the processing rate, the scrap or yield rate and the cumulative processing time.
By creating the current state map in the company operations along the value chain have to be divided into 3 different types:
o Value-adding activities
o Non-value-adding activities (but necessary)
o Waiting(no activity) / Non-value-adding (not necessary)
A Value Stream Map consists of facile, various symbols which are advancing the impression of the concerning production process. Some relevant symbols for constructing a VSM are given below:
It’s usually created with the Microsoft application MSVisio 2007.
A video explaining VSM: