1st Edition

The Product Wheel Handbook Creating Balanced Flow in High-Mix Process Operations

By Peter L. King, Jennifer S. King Copyright 2013
    219 Pages 88 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    219 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    The Product Wheel (PW) design process has practical methods for finding the optimum sequence, minimizing changeover costs, and freeing up useful capacity. So much so, that the DuPont™ Company and Exxon Mobil are just a few companies that have used the product wheel concept to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage.

    Breaking down a fairly complex design process into manageable steps, The Product Wheel Handbook: Creating Balanced Flow in High-Mix Process Operations walks readers through the process for designing and implementing the PW technique. It includes a case study taken from actual practice that illustrates the design process and its benefits. Describing how to apply the product wheel technique to any manufacturing operation, the book:

    • Details the steps required to implement product wheels
    • Explains why certain traditional manufacturing metrics should be reevaluated so they don’t inhibit product wheel performance
    • Defines the cultural foundation necessary for smooth product wheel design and implementation
    • Includes a real-world case study and several examples of product wheels being used by successful manufacturing companies—including BG Products, Inc., the DuPont™ Company, the Dow Chemical Company, and Appleton

    Many of the steps in wheel design described in this book are not new. What’s new is their application to production planning and scheduling problems, and more importantly, a clear roadmap explaining how and when they should be used in product wheel design.

    Supplying you with the tools to reduce the chaos often found in production scheduling, the book outlines a disciplined structure that will allow you to spend less of your time resolving schedule problems. Most importantly, it provides your organization with a stable platform to deal with abnormal events in a less stressful and more logical manner.

    Why Product Wheels?
    Process Industry Challenges
    Product Wheel Basics

    The Problem: Production Sequencing, Campaign Sizing, Production Leveling
    Challenges Facing Operations Managers—Production Leveling Challenges Facing Operations Managers—Random Sequence or Regular Pattern?
    Challenges Facing Operations Managers—Optimum Sequence
    Challenges Facing Operations Managers—Optimum Cycle
    The Insidious Nature of Changeovers

    The Solution—Product Wheels
    Product Wheels Defined
    Product Wheel Terminology
    Simultaneous Operating Modes
    Product Wheel Characteristics
    Process Improvement Time
    Benefits of Product Wheels
    Product Wheel Applicability

    The Product Wheel Design and Implementation Process
    Product Wheel Design
         Step 1: Begin with an up-to-date, reasonably accurate value stream map (VSM)
         Step 2: Decide where to use wheels to schedule production
         Step 3: Analyze product demand volume and variability—identify candidates for make to order
         Step 4: Determine the optimum sequence
         Step 5: Analyze the factors influencing overall wheel time
         Step 6: Determine overall wheel time and wheel frequency for each product
         Step 7: Distribute products across the wheel cycles—balance the wheel
         Step 8: Plot the wheel cycles
         Step 9: Calculate inventory requirements
         Step 10: Review with stakeholders
         Step 11: Determine who "owns" (allocates) the PIT time
         Step 12: Revise the scheduling process
    Product Wheel Implementation
         Step 13: Develop an implementation plan
         Step 14: Develop a contingency plan
         Step 15: Get all inventories in balance
         Step 16: Put an auditing plan in place
         Step 17: Put a plan in place to rebalance the wheel periodically
    Kaizen Events
    Prerequisites for a Product Wheel

    Step 1: Begin with an Up-to-Date, Reasonably Accurate VSM
    An Example Process—Sheet Goods Manufacturing
    A Value Stream Map
    Material Flow—Process Boxes
    Process Step Data Boxes
    Material Flow Icons
    Inventory Data Boxes
    Information Flow

    Step 2: Decide Where to Use Wheels to Schedule Production
    Criteria for Product Wheel Selection
    Analyze the VSM
    Forming 1
    Bonder 2
    Bonder 1
    Slitter 1

    Step 3: Analyze Products for a Make-to-Order Strategy
    Demand Volume
    Demand Variability
    Deciding on the Best Strategy for Each Product

    Step 4: Determine the Optimum Sequence
    Changeover Complexity
    Optimizing the Forming 2 Sequence
    Optimizing the Sequence in Complex Situations

    Step 5: Analyze the Factors Influencing Overall Wheel Time
    Time Available for Changeovers—The Shortest Wheel Possible
    Finding the Most Economic Wheel Time
    Leveling Out Short-Term Demand Variability
    An Additional Word about Standard Deviation and CV
    Making Practical Lot Sizes of Each Material
    Protecting Shelf Life
    Making to Stock Using a Trigger Point

    Step 6: Put It All Together—Determine Overall Wheel Time and Wheel Frequency for Each Product
    EOQ—The Most Economic Wheel Time
    The Shortest Wheel Possible
    Short-Term Demand Variability
    Minimum Practical Lot Size
    Shelf Life

    Step 7: Arranging Products—Balancing the Wheel
    Wheel Resonance
    Achieving Better Balance
    Wheels within Wheels

    Step 8: Plotting the Wheel Cycles

    Step 9: Calculate Inventory Requirements
    Inventory Components
    Total Inventory Requirements
    Inventory Benefit of the Wheel
    Customer Lead Time

    Step 10: Review with Stakeholders
    What to Review
    Who to Include
    Possible Concerns and Challenges

    Step 11: Assign Responsibility for Allocating PIT Time
    Appropriate Uses of PIT Time

    Step 12: Revise the Scheduling Process
    Wheel Concepts and the Production Scheduling System
    Visual Management of the Current Wheel Schedule

    Step 13: Develop an Implementation Plan

    Step 14: Develop a Contingency Plan
    Possible Wheel Breakers
    Steps in Contingency Planning
    Example of a Contingency Plan

    Step 15: Get All Inventories in Balance

    Step 16: Confirm Wheel Performance—Put an Auditing Process in Place

    Step 17: Put a Plan in Place to Rebalance the Wheel Periodically

    Prerequisites for Product Wheels
    Foundational Elements
    A Highly Motivated, Well-Trained Workforce
    Standard Work
    Visual Management
    Total Productive Maintenance
    A Value Stream Map
    SKU Rationalization—Portfolio Management
    Bottleneck Identification and Management
    Cellular Manufacturing and Group Technology

    Product Wheels and the Path to Pull
    Product Wheels and Pull
    Pull through the Entire Process

    Unintended Consequences—Inappropriate Use of Metrics
    Inappropriate Use of Metrics
    Performance to Plan (PTP)

    Cultural Transformation and Product Wheel Design—The Synergy

    Case Studies and Examples
    BG Products, Inc.—Automotive Fluids
    The Appleton Journey
    Dupont™ Fluoropolymers
    Dow Chemical
    Extruded Polymers
    Waxes to Coat Cardboard
    Sheet Goods for Hospital Gowns
    Circuit Board Substrates
    Fixed-Sequence Variable Volume
    A Rose by Any Other Name

    Appendix A: Cycle Stock Concepts and Calculations
    Inventory Components Defined—Cycle Stock and Safety Stock
    Calculating Cycle Stock—Fixed-Interval Replenishment Model

    Appendix B: Safety Stock Concepts and Calculations
    About Safety Stock
    Variability in Demand
    Variability in Wheel Time
    Combined Variability
    Using Safety Stock
    Example—Forming Machine 2 Product Wheel

    Appendix C: Total Productive Maintenance
    The Need for Equipment Reliability and Operational Continuity
    TPM Metric—Overall Equipment Effectiveness
    Forming 2 OEE

    Appendix D: The SMED Changeover Improvement Process
    SMED Origins
    SMED Concepts
    Product Changeovers in the Process Industries

    Appendix E: Bottleneck Identification, Improvement, and Management
    Root Causes of Bottlenecks
    Bottleneck Management—Theory of Constraints

    Appendix F: Group Technology and Cellular Flow
    Typical Process Plant Equipment Configurations
    Cellular Manufacturing Applied to Process Lines



    Peter L. King Lean Dynamics LLC, Newark, Delaware, USA, Jennifer S. King

    Peter L. and Jennifer S. King, authors of The Product Wheel Handbook, have provided excellent strategies for implementing product wheels and improving an existing product wheel process. ... Written in a clear, concise manner, this book is a how-to manual for product wheel design, implementation, maintenance, and continuous improvement. The authors integrate principles with concepts in a way that is practical and easy to understand. ... If you are tasked to implement product wheels or want to learn more about how they can lead to improvements, you will find The Product Wheel Handbook a valuable reference.
    —Book review by Alan R. Leigh CSCP, CPIM, and Randy Woehl appearing in APICS, January 2014

    Peter King continues to be a thought leader in the spread of advanced manufacturing practices throughout the process industries. His product wheel concepts and practices are an excellent resource for plants with multiple products sharing the operating assets.
    —Ray Floyd, Shingo Prize-winning author of Liquid Lean and member of IndustryWeek's Manufacturing Hall of Fame

    The authors have a gift for writing well, in a way that will keep the reader connected throughout this excellent work. It flows through the methodology in a well structured and logical way and could only be written by someone who has lived through product wheel implementation many times ... definitely a must-read for any Lean practitioner.
    —Henrique Fagundes, Senior Project Manager, DuPont

    The product wheel is a true landmark in the management and organization of the workplace. All manufacturing operations searching for a way to organize and level the factory should have this book.
    —Cash Powell, Jr., Editorial Board, Target Magazine; Association for Manufacturing Excellence; Lead Consultant, Center for Competitive Change, University of Dayton

    A clearly written guide to designing and improving product wheels ... . Pete and Jennifer King take you through a logical step-by-step process without ever resorting to simplistic recipes. This book will be valuable to businesses where both pull and push systems apply. Highly recommended!
    —Peter C. Compo, Director of Integrated Business Management, DuPont

    The Dow Chemical Company has used The Product Wheel Handbook for good communication and collaboration between functions. We highly recommend this book as it is a logical layout with step by step implementation instructions. ... Not only did our processes become more efficient but our teams were able to understand a new process that they can apply in different applications in the work process. We recommend this book to any company looking to apply lean concepts specifically in the process industry and also for leaders who are looking for applications to help explain such processes to their employees.
    —Martin Fernandes, Supply Chain Innovation Director, Dow Chemical
    —Shannon Hemmelgarn, Supply Chain Business Planner, Dow Chemical

    The views expressed in this review are of the authors alone and do not represent the views of The Dow Chemical Company