Input Process Output
The IPO methodology catalogs the existing data
and data-flow in the factory. It tells you the source of the information, how
the data is processed into new data, and it is send to. However, not all possible
data is yet used or even available. Therefore the IPO methodology works in 3
- What data is currently available and used?
- What data is currently available but never
- What data is not yet available but could be
produced eventually by an extra investment?
The analysis starts on a high level...
- Which finished products are manufactured,
and what are the raw material requirements for this?
- What departments do we cross from the
receiving dock to the expedition?
- Which machines are involved? Are they set in
a line structure?
And goes on lower levels to get more detail of
what measuring points are available, where the process can be adjusted, and so
Once finished we go through the list op IPO's
and fire a number of questions to each of them:
- (I) If assay values, can we get more
measures on real-time basis? Will this narrow the variance on the finished
- (I) Will the process run more smoothly when
more information is supplied to the control systems?
- (P) At which point in the process is there a
calculation required? Is there an experience factor involved in this
- (P) Are there time critical processes? Is
there an estimate what the impact is when a process is delayed?
- (P) Are there processes executed on an
experience base, rather then controlled by measured parameters.
- (P) Do we have at some stage in the process,
same machines doing the same job simultaneously? Are the settings of these
machines different from machine to the other?
- (O) Does the process experience frequent
errors due to miscommunication of its previous process.
- (O) How accurate are the current figures of
The list is of course tentative.
A typical IPO project is done in a one
month span where the PROMES consultant has 2 sessions a week on site with
various people. We also ask that one person attends all the sessions.