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Process Reliability Punch List

What is the issue for process reliability?-


Most businesses have too much variability in their output.
Variable output fails to provide a steady stream of income for the business.
Quantity of product produced is a precursor for money.
Reasons for variable output are many but lack categorization for corrective actionthis
is where process reliability tools help.
Production personnel expect make-up of reduced output will occur the next
day. Tomorrow never comes for make up and the business suffers from lack of revenue.
The issue for process reliability is to quantify how the plant is performing and identify
losses for corrective action.
Whats the reliability of your process and how can you show it?

How to resolve the issue of process output variability?


Use the daily production output to demonstrate, on one page, widely varying production
output; and categorize the losses.
Quantify the hidden factory losses on one side of one sheet of paper along with
nameplate (entitlement) capability.
Build and implement a Pareto corrective action plan for reducing output variability, and
eliminate the hidden factory causing the variability.
Identify categories of problems needing corrective action: reliability issues and
efficiency/utilization issues.
Demonstrate consistently high production output with small variability for stable cash
flows with increased profits by eliminating waste and inefficiencies.

Typical findings from process reliability analysis:


Most operations have few clues about their large variability in output and
consider themselves best in class and unbeatable.
Most operations think their real problem is due to maintenance problems (an issue with
things) when in fact more operations suffer from management driven issues influencing
efficiency and utilization of the production process.
Most processes lack consistently high output of product to yield a constant profit stream t
o the company.
A) Salaried employees want a constant stream of income from a monthly paycheck
failure to achieve a steady monthly paycheck is untenable.
B) Salaried employees strongly favoring a constant income allow the money machine
(the process) to have enormous output swings, which fail to supply the business with a
constantly high incomefailure to achieve a steady business result is undesirable and
upsetting to business mangers.
Most businesses can improve their output but it requires making a change to get a
change by altering the status quo of people who design and control the process.
About 65% of all processes have major management driven issues of efficiency and
utilizationthis category usually exceeds equipment issues.
Improving the process for reducing output variability from the plant is mandatory for
achieving an excellent world-class production plant.

The punch list for making a process reliability plot for


analysis:
Gather 365 consecutive days of output from the process (see the attached spreadsheet for
a working example).
In column A of an Excel spreadsheet input the calendar date.
In column B of the spreadsheet, input the daily output
In column C of the spreadsheet, input the product gradeif mixed grades, input the
preponderant product grade.
In column D of the spreadsheet, write and IF statement =if(b3=0,0.1,b3) which will
convert the zero values into some small value, say 0.1, so the zero value can be observed
on a logarithmic scale.
Copy the 365 days of production from column D and paste the data into WinSMITH
Weibull. The resulting plot is shown in Figure 1 which requires
the use of good engineering judgment to obtain a valid analysis
dont blindly follow the punch list for every case!

Figure 1: 366 Days Of Production In A Weibull Plot

Zoom in on the steep portion of the curve by use of the magnifying glass icon and select
on the plot by drawing a box around the section of
interest. Curve steepness hides many details on the logarithmic scale to produce Figure 2.
(This is where many people make their first error!!they dont zoom in on the
upper reaches of the steep section of the curve so they can see the hidden details!)
Figure 2: Zoom On Step Section Of The Curve

The steep portion of the curve shows three distinct zones of roughly parallel features with
a few data points as transition between the zoneswhat causes the stair steps?
Under the mixture/process reliability icon, fit the demonstrated production line to the
upper right hand reaches of the plot in Figure 2. Use the production line/plot point fit
menu. Draw a box around the upper data from 8.5% toward the right hand
corner. Figure 3 shows the results where eta value is a key performance indicator for
process capability. Eta provides a single point estimate for demonstrated output.

Figure 3: Fit The Demonstrated Production Line


Under the mixture/process reliability icon, set the reliability point at 8.5%. Also choose
change points at 44.8%, 61%, 64%, 91.8%, and 97% using the menu item for setting at a
value.
Under the mixture/process reliability icon, click on the green check mark or use the menu
item to activate the analysis to find the loss gaps shown in
Figure 4 showing why cusps for change points are important.

Figure 4: Sum Gaps To The Left Of The Demonstrated Production Line


Total Production = 868,199.1 (Metric Tons)
Production Line = Eta 2,775.538, Beta 16.76324
Nameplate Line = None

Total Reliability (8.5-100%):


Loss = 116,126 (Metric Tons) Equal to 116,126/2,775.538 = 42 days
production

Process Reliability (%) = 8.5


8.5-11.8%: Loss = 1,187 (Metric Tons) Transition zone
11.8-61%: Loss = 25,897 (Metric Tons)
61-64%: Loss = 2,981 (Metric Tons) Transition zone
64-91.8%: Loss = 35,759 (Metric Tons)
91.8-97%: Loss = 26,787 (Metric Tons) Transition zone
97-100%: Loss = 23,515 (Metric Tons)

Without a nameplate line all losses look like reliability problems!


The three transition zones represent (1,187+2,981+26,787) = 30,955 MT/year or 26.7%
of the reliability losses. The shut down time of zero output
at 23,515 MT/year represents 20.2% of the losses.
Add the nameplate line with a beta slope of 27 based on benchmarks with similar units
and based on the coefficient of variationbeta = 27 is a common starting point for many
operations. As improvements occur to reduce variability, the name plate slope beta must
be increased to keep the nameplate line to the right of the demonstrated line. Work for a
world class beta = 100. The nameplate line in Figure 5 is applied using the menu item
for nameplate under the mixture/process reliability icon.
Figure 5: Nameplate Line

Now the losses show a significantly different value in Figure 6!

Figure 6: Gap Analysis Between Data Points And Both Trend Lines
Total Production = 868,199.1 (Metric Tons)
Production Line = Eta 2,775.538, Beta 16.76324
Nameplate Line = Eta 2,880.606, Beta 27

Total Reliability (8.5-100%):


Loss = 116,126 (Metric Tons)

Process Reliability (%) = 8.5


8.5-11.8%: Loss = 1,187 (Metric Tons)
11.8-61%: Loss = 25,897 (Metric Tons)
61-64%: Loss = 2,981 (Metric Tons)
64-91.8%: Loss = 35,759 (Metric Tons)
91.8-97%: Loss = 26,787 (Metric Tons)
97-100%: Loss = 23,515 (Metric Tons)

Efficiency + Utilization (Production - Nameplate):


Loss = 48,859 (Metric Tons)

Hidden factory losses = 116,126 + 48,859 = 164, 985 MT/year. The hidden factory
losses represent 164,985/2775 = 59 days of normal output

70.4% of the losses are between the demonstrated line and the data points, and
29.6% of the losses are between the demonstrated line and the nameplate line
Further investigation is required to understand why stair steps exist in Figure 3 and
5. We need to know: are the loss gaps are due to things that fail or are due to grade
differences? Investigate this question by converting the data to Probit-3 format and
introducing different symbols for grades by putting each grade into a different dataset.
Probit-3 data format requires three distinct data entries: 1) the X-axis scale value (in this
case daily output), 2) The cumulative quantity occurred in % format (this
is Benards median rank shown in % format), and the total quantity of data points
used. For example the data will have the format 6.6*2.59*10 which would represent 6.6
the X-axis value, 2.59 represents the % Y-axis value, and 10 represents a data set of 10
data points. The Excel spreadsheet mentioned above contains the calculation for the 366
data points used for this analysis. By separating the data into grades of product produced,
each data set will maintain its proper X-axis value and the proper Y-axis value when the
method icon is used and the data format selected by use of the Probit icon for Probit-
3 methodology.
The data for Probit-3 is performed in four steps to avoid confusion and errors.
First, the probability plot position is computed using Bernards median rank equation
(i-0.3)/(N+04) which is described in C. R. Misches paper on A Distribution-Independent
Plotting Rule for Ordered Failures, 1979. The i value is the plot position number for
ranked data going from smallest
data value to largest and N is the total number of data points in the set.
Second, the data is collected in columns along with the product grade produced.
Third, the collected data is copied and pasted as special values to other columns so it ca
n be sorted accurately.
Fourth, the data is concatenated so it can be imported into WinSMITH Weibull in
column form for each grade.
Probit-3 data from the spreadsheet is copied and pasted into WinSMITH Weibull. Under
the magnifying glass icon, the fit lines are hidden, and under the point symbol type the
quantity is hidden. The probability plot is shown in Figure 7 with each
symbol highlighting a grade.

Figure 7: Probit-3 Plot By Grade


Compare Figure 1 (without grade symbols) to Figure 7 (with grade symbols). Note the
reliability problems are now identified as assignable to different grades.
The upper reaches of Figure 7 are shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Upper Right Hand Corner Data Magnified


Compare Figure 3 (without grade differences) to Figure 8 (with grades identified in the
legend). The reasons for the cutback zones are clearly identified as grade dependent with
transitions comprised of mixed grades.
Line slopes for the demonstrated output are assigned in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Demonstrated Production Lines By Grade


Figure 9 says grade B products are produced at 2632/2776 = 94.8% of the rate of grade B
products. Grade C products are produced at 2373/2776 = 85.5% of the rate of grade A
products. Grade B and grade C products run through the process at slower production
rates and the cutback zones are not properly identified as reliability problems (only the
down time and the transition zones). The redefinition of the hidden factory is shown in
Figure 10.

Figure 10: Gap Analysis Between Data Points And Both Trend Lines Restated
Total Production = 868,199.1 (Metric Tons)
Production Line = Eta 2,775.538, Beta 16.76324
Nameplate Line = Eta 2,880.606, Beta 27

Total Reliability (8.5-100%):


Loss = 116,126 (Metric Tons)

Process Reliability (%) = 8.5


8.5-11.8%: Loss = 1,187 (Metric Tons)
11.8-61%: Loss = 25,897 (Metric Tons) Transition zone, a hidden factory
61-64%: Loss = 2,981 (Metric Tons)
64-91.8%: Loss = 35,759 (Metric Tons) Transition zone, a hidden factory
91.8-97%: Loss = 26,787 (Metric Tons)
97-100%: Loss = 23,515 (Metric Tons) Downtime

Removing the grade production rates shows the Reliability Losses are:
116,126 (25,897+35,759) = 54,470 MT/year
Efficiency + Utilization (Production - Nameplate):
Loss = 48,859 (Metric Tons)

Hidden factory losses = 54,470 + 48,859 = 103,329 MT/year. The hidden factory
losses represent 103,329/2775 = 37 days of normal output

Based on the recognition of slower grades in production the losses are restated:
52.7% of the losses are between the demonstrated line and the data points, and
47.3% of the losses are between the demonstrated line and the nameplate line
Figure 10 shows the losses are about the same magnitude between reliability issues and
efficiency/utilization issues with almost half of the reliability losses associated with
downtime issues. Putting all the losses on one graph is shown in Figure 11. The graph
was captured as a soft copy in WinSMITH Weibull and pasted as a bitmap file
into Powerpoint. The colored zones were drawn by turning off the grid under the
drawing features. Also using the drawing features, the Autoshape/Lines/Freeform feature
was used. Simply click on where the freeform should start and remove your finger from
the mouse and pull the mouse pointed to where the line ends and click again with
repetition of the process to close the freeform. The colored zones of the freeform were
formatted for a transparency value of 50% so you can see through the colored zone to
find the symbols.

Figure 11: All Losses Shown On One Sheet With Grade Considerations

Of course reducing downtime for the process to reduce reliability losses is an important
no-brainer issue. Increasing the predictability of process output by eliminating problems
restricting output will increase slope of the trend lines. Variability in output reduction is
an important issue to reduce losses and make the payroll of the plant more
consistent. The low reliability is driven by the small amount of product A produced.
Perhaps technology improvements can be implemented to reduce the apparent losses
from grade changes.
None of these problems cure themselves. Youve got to make a change to get a
change! Fix the problems and generate wealth for the corporation!

Want More Process Reliability Information?-


Special Cause Variations, Common Cause Variations, and Process Reliability
Plots

Summary Of Process Reliability

Process Reliability Punch List

Production Output/Problems

Six Sigma

Coefficient of Variation

Production Reliability Example With Nameplate Ratings

Key Performance Indicators From Weibull Production Plots

Production Nameplate Rating

Process Reliability Plots With Flat Line Slopes

Process Reliability Line Segments

Automating Monthly Weibull Production Plots From Excel Spreadsheets

Papers On Process Reliability As PDF Files For No-charge Downloads


- New Reliability Tool for the Millennium: Weibull Analysis of Production
Data
- Process Reliability and Six-Sigma
- Process Reliability Concepts

Download a copy of this problem of the month involving process reliability plots
with probit analysis by clicking here.
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