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Value Stream Mapping Introduction

Value Stream Mapping

What It Is Value Stream Mapping
It is a methodology for the visualization of materials, products and information flow within an organization toward the end of  identify problems, process time and resources waste and based in this information analyze, plan and execute improvements for the elimination of waste using lean tools. This methodology was originated  by the Toyota Company but it is now universally adopted.

Who Is Responsible for the Implementation of a VSM?
The department managers or senior supervisors, but the upper management must assume the compromise for full support otherwise it would not be successful, additionally the following departments must be involved, but all personnel within the factory must collaborate as required.

1) Manufacturing
2) Production
3) Material planning  
4) Quality  
5) Finances

The Value Stream Mapping is  Divided in two Sections:
1) The current or present state map  
2) The future state map

Current State Mapping Process
1) Inform to all employees of the departments involved what is pretended to be achieved
2) Get as much process information as possible, related to cycle times, change overs, line speed, WIP, inventories etc.
3) To visualize the map walk the process together with the key people of the departments involved and record all relevant  Information about process steps time, and people involved, work and inspection station layouts, product and information flow, value and no value added activities, unnecessary materials and people movements, any visible waste, obstacles in the process, bottle neck any other pertinent information.
4) With this  information prepare a table to visualize easily the data
5) Based on all information gathered on step 3 and 4, proceed to draw the current state map using icons to represent each stage or step using these conventional symbols:
6) Capture attributes from each process and display them in the map, (do not include exceptions to the process.)
7) Draw material flow and information electronic and manual.
8) During the VSM process assure that all involved personnel agree with the information being considered.
9) Start with the Customers and Supplier icons.
10) Insert the Production control and the Production manager/supervisor box.
11) From the Production control box draw electronic and manual communication arrows from
the customer and to the suppliers and Production manager including information periodicity and direction.
12) From  the Production supervision box draw the arrows toward the different process attributes boxes.
13) In the attribute boxes add the cycle time, change over time and the up time. Each attribute box represents a working station for a particular process or operation.


Value Stream Mapping Icons

Use these icons to design your Value Stream Mapping, please note that the first group of icons 1 to 13 is normally used for the outline of the current state map, the second group from 14 to 26 is used for the design of the future state map.


1-Dedicated process box

Is were specific process operations take place like welding , painting  normally add value but some operation could be none value added




2-Shared Process Box

This box represents  a work station were different process operations can be done





3-Attribute Area Box

Use this icon to represent specific measurable attributes to the process such as cycle times, working time available, number of operators, etc.  






This icon represents the amount of stock in process at hand in days, so the number 500 in the icon showed represents one day inventory.






5-Computer Data Bases






6-Electronic Information Flow

Internet, data nets, etc.





7-Manual Information Flow

Paper documents





Products and materials flow




9-Exceptions or Not Common Situations to the Process

No expected or random occurrences to the process must not be considered




10-Personally Verify Material Flow and the Required Quantity Level






11-Process Operators






12-Shipping Transport





13-Supplier or Customer  Facilities







14-Buffer Inventory

Inventory to assure customer demand






15-Safety Inventory

Inventory required to assure production due to process variations







A small process inventory controlled by Kanbas





17-Production Kanban

This  kanban card is used to trigger an order to supply materials or parts to be produced  by an upstream process in a production pull system




18- Withdrawal Kanban

This kanban card triggers a specific number of materials to be withdraw from the parts supermarket or downstream process in a pull production system




19- Signal Kanban

Is the kanban card  that triggers the need for replenishment of a material lot by the upstream process in a production pull system





20-Kanban Post or Station

Is the physical station for the cards where they actually will be picked up






21-Physical or Actual Material Pull

The pull or removal of  products from the downstream process to assure continue production flow




22-Heijunka Box

The physical container of the kambas for the schedule production day for the different customers by volume and product type and pitch requirements (units of shipment)






23-U Shaped Production Cell







24-FIFO (First In-First Out) Lane

A pre-designed amount of material inventory between process arranged to flow based on the first in is the first to out   





25-Material Expediter (Sometimes  Called Runners)

A worker dedicated to supply materials to the production cells and other just in time work stations






26- Kaizen Focus  (Area requiring Improvement)

Area to focus to obtain the value stream future state










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