After identifying the value stream for a product, the focus is on avoiding batch and queue between different steps in the process flow.
One must ensure that the next downstream operation has:
- only what is needed
- just when it is needed
- in the exact amount needed
Enabling flow without interruption, detours, back-flows, waiting and scrap presents a constant challenge.
General, the batch size should be reduced to the smallest possible size.
The end target is to enable single piece flow, meaning producing only one product at a time.
The benefits of continuous flow
- improved response time to customer orders
- improved resource productivity
- improved quality
- reduced lead time
- reduced space
- reduced cost
- optimization of all resources
- higher customer satisfaction
In a continuous flow process, work content per operator must be balanced to takt time.