none

SPECIFIC BUT FLEXIBLE STANDARDS CAN HELP AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING

31-05-2019
by 
in 

The critical task when implementing standardisation is finding the balance between providing employees with rigid procedures to follow, in order for them to meet challenging targets for delivery, quality and cost consistently, and providing them with the freedom to innovate and be creative. The key to achieving this balance lies in the way people write standards, as well as who contributes to them.

The standards must be specific enough to be useful, but general enough to allow for some flexibility. In repetitive manual work, standards are specific. In engineering, since there are no fixed quantities, the standards to be more variable. For example, knowing how the curvature of the hood of a car relates to the air/wind resistance of that body part is more useful than knowing a specific parameter for that curve.

Second, the people doing the work have to improve the standards. There is simply not enough time in a working week for industrial engineers to be everywhere writing and rewriting standards. Nobody likes following somebody else’s detailed procedures when they are imposed on them. Imposed procedures that are strictly policed become coercive and a source of friction and resistance between workers and management. However, people happily focused on doing a good job appreciate getting tips and best practices, particularly if they have some flexibility to add their own ideas. For example, Toyota uses standardisation as the foundation for continuous improvement, innovation and employee growth.

In conclusion, standardisation serves to establish the characteristics of a product, and quality and safety levels of products and services.

M Khaldoon (Kan) is an MBA (Aust), certified Six Sigma Black Belt, auditor and trainer, currently working at Sayfa as Quality and Continuous Improvement Manager. He has more than 17 years of experience in automotive, aviation and oil and gas with multinational organisations.

Related news & editorials

  1. 11.09.2020
    11.09.2020
    by      In , In
    As we entered 2020, nothing could have prepared Australians that we were set to face economic turmoil not seen since the Great Depression, borne out of a global virus.
    While we don’t know the precise effects of this virus nor in turn the economic consequences, what we do know is that we are... Read More
  2. 10.09.2020
    10.09.2020
    by      In
    This article isn’t all about how to ensure your investment in automation is the best value for money today, but rather about ensuring your investment in technology is flexible enough to create viable options for your business well into the future.
    This will save costs for your company many times... Read More
  3. 09.09.2020
    09.09.2020
    by      In , In
    Manufacturing will be crucial to Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    That has been acknowledged in the Morrison Government’s interventions to ensure that there is a stockpile of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators for ICUs.
    But the Government also needs... Read More
  4. 09.09.2020
    09.09.2020
    by      In , In
    There isn’t a single industry that remains unaffected by COVID-19. During the period in which all Australian non-essential retail stores were closed, and much of the population was required to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus, there was naturally a surge in online purchases and home... Read More