OK, as a retired Toyota engineer in manufacturing, supplier, production and redesign for the assy line, the basic idea is keep to the production schedule, and avoid increased cost, no rework or downtime for the line (where you make money). The margins are very thin so every penny counts at 5,000 cars a week, on two shifts. This requires advance planning for any model changes or new parts introduction. Communicate with your colleagues across the board including any supplier contacts. You should take the attitude for your responsible area, be it parts, production delivery, supplier and assy issues, I want to know if you have any problems, don't have people tell you "We have no problems" that is an accident waiting to happen, no one has any scrap issues or rework issues in the supply chain or production line? The cost to run an automotive assy line when I was in the game (10 solid with Toyota in Fremont, CA ) and 35 as independent auto engineer for other plants, was about $1,000 PER MINUTE. Planning is essential and problem solving.
Gordon recommends the following next steps:
- Become familiar with statistics for analysis, software package are available.
- Gather data on you problem parts and assy area, daily walk the line on both shifts to see for yourself
- Talk to your Team and Group Leaders (and line people for their input if any on potential problems issues. You can always figure out if you need to go futher up the food chain to help solve the problem
- Understand Plan Do Check Action (PDCA) methods