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Topic Title: VSM (about timeline, lead times due to internal transportation
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Created On: 11/20/2017 09:17 AM
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11/20/2017 04:36 PM
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Jeroen Teunen

Hi Guys,

I have a question regarding setting up a vsm and the timeline or lead time.

How do you visualize that a product in a bin goes from one area to the other area on a conveyor belt?

To be more specifically, this take appr. 120 seconds. Do I just draw a material line/arrow and write 120 seconds under it? Or do I have to draw a process box called 'move product'.

I don't know what's the right way to show this.

Thanks in advance for the comments.

11/27/2017 12:18 PM
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Eric Nelson

Hello Jeroen,

Just write it in as you would any other process. Create a process box called conveyor and record the cycle time as 120 seconds. That at least, is what I would do.

Best regards,

Eric N.
12/01/2017 10:36 AM
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David Apple

The map you create for the current state (or future state) will not contain all the details of the operation.
You could depict the conveyor as a process box. However, does that mean you will also show all the lifttrucks, handcarts and walking?
It is not so important that you depict a conveyor on the map as it is to depict whether it is push or pull or flow (I'm assuming it is a push), and how much inventory is on the conveyor.
The maps are not stand alone documents for depicting the current state. I include a plant layout and show the material flow pattern (you can call it a spaghetti diagram). I also include copies of forms and reports to supplement the information flow and data boxes.
When you look at the map and see all the components of the lead time, you typically find that the inventory has the highest time value. To reduce the timeline you then need to determine why the inventory exists and what you can do about it.
12/01/2017 10:36 AM
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Scott Alexander

look in the store on this website. there are books on mapping that will show you the conventions on creating a VSM as well as the 'thinking' involved in creating them.
12/01/2017 10:36 AM
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Joshua DSpain


When it comes to VSMs, the question of "how detailed should we get" always comes up. If the conveyor is something that is being questioned as a possible change for the future state, then I agree with Eric - just go ahead and make a box for it. But if it is a simple material move, then I would just put in an inventory arrow and measure the WIP on the conveyor. Trying to capture the specifics of every material move is more granular than I ever get with a VSM personally.

You can also try highlighting the topic as a possible future state improvement and run an A3 to see if you can improve it. VSMs are there to help you, don't think you have to follow any strict method or symbol system to get it right.
12/01/2017 10:55 AM
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Stephen Bailey

Parts being transported on a conveyor are not being processed, they are inventory. The VSM should help you visualize waste; I would say this was waste of transportation and waste of inventory.
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