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 steps:

  • What data is currently available and used?
  • What data is currently available but never used?
  • 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 on.

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 product?
  • (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 calculation?
  • (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 losses.

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.