Increasing the value stream mapping potential in an industrial process, with a dynamic model, based on data from an industrial ethernet bus

Panel: 2. Sustainable production towards a circular economy

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Francesco Benzi, Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, Italy
Riccardo Clava, University of Pavia, Italy
Ezio Bassi, University of Pavia, Italy

Abstract

The paper focuses on one of the main tools of Lean Manufacturing implementation, and namely the method called Value Stream Mapping (VSM), which is aimed at describing the factory as a Value streaming throughout the sequential process phases. The case here referenced to is a roof tiles factory, and the goal is mostly towards identifying any waste in the production operation and improving the energy efficiency.

The VSM is a visual tool, intended to give a vivid representation of the real process, therefore making it easy to identify possible bottlenecks or wasting. It takes advantage from a comparison in a unique map of three lines representing the flux of material, the flux of information and the time line. It can be considered as an excellent starting point to exploit the process evolution. Nonetheless, the modern technology in industrial automation makes it available a quantity of digital information in real time, so that a VSM could be significantly enriched and become a more powerful tool, to be used even in further phases of the industrial operation, including diagnostics and energy efficiency improvement. The paper presents a VSM companion, in form of an Excel based dynamic model, which is able to collect, organize and process the main data related to the process. The data are collected from a standard communication Ethernet bus, running throughout the plant, with a time interval as low as order of minutes or even seconds, so that only a proper and ordered storage can make them useful. Characteristics of such model are modularity and expandability. Examples of its use are therefore reported, such as calculation of the best distribution of industrial cycles during the year, or minimization of the energy expenses at a given production rate.

The final result is a VSM that keeps the advantages of its qualitative representation of a process, while allowing, when necessary, a quite simple implementation of a quantitative and dynamical simulation.

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