By Mark Boone, Program Manager, Texas Instruments, Inc.
In most complex manufacturing environments, equipment failures dominate. These failures are commonly referred to as ‘fires’ because of the chaos and damage they inflict on factory operations. For example, a key piece of equipment fails, creating a blockage in the production line. One or more personnel are quickly dispatched to fix the problem. The situation is dire, threatening to slow daily product starts and slip output goals. Those working the problem know this failure is of the utmost importance and know if they can just get the machine at an acceptable level, the stress from management will be lifted. Logic leads these personnel to suspect a specific component, which is then replaced. This paper discusses the best method of ensuring that this ‘patching’ of problems does not become part of the regular maintenance routine.