The Plan for Every Part (pfep)



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The Plan for Every Part (PFEP)
By Chris Harris
Managers are making progress in creating areas of continuous flow as more managers learn about value-stream mapping and continuous-flow cells but many are having trouble sustaining steady output. The problem often is the lack of a lean material-handling system for purchased parts to support the cells.
These companies are becoming lean in terms of operating their cells, but they are still mass producers in supplying the cells. They lack the key elements of a door-to-door lean material handling system for purchased parts:

  • a Plan for Every Part

  • a properly located and managed purchased-parts market

  • a rigorous material-delivery route using standard work

  • pull signals to tightly link their areas of continuous flow to the supply of materials.

The consequence is starvation of processes, loss of flow, and a major waste of effort and money in keeping too much inventory and spending too much time hunting for missing items.


To introduce such a system, you have to understand everything about every part: How each part is purchased, received, packaged, stored, and delivered to its point of use. In fact, much of this information exists in your organization, but it is stored in many different places under the control of many managers and is mostly invisible. The first step in creating a lean material-handling system for purchased parts is collect all of the necessary parts information in one place – the Plan for Every Part (PFEP).
The chart below shows the most common categories of parts information for a PFEP. However, this is not a cookie cutter approach. Every plant is different. You might want to add columns that you need and take out ones that you don’t find useful. Furthermore, as conditions change, the specific items in your PFEP may need to change. The watchword for the PFEP is flexibility, so you need to insure that your information management system is able to accommodate continuous change.
PFEP Data Elements

Part #

Number used to identify the material in the facility

Description

Material name (e.g., frame, bolt, nut, yoke)

Daily Usage

Maximum amount of material used in a day through the entire plant

Usage Location

Process/areas where the material is used (e.g., Cell 14)

Storage Location

Address (location) where the material is stored

Order Frequency

Frequency that the material is ordered from the supplier (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, as required)

Supplier

Name of the material supplier

Supplier City

City where the supplier is located

Supplier State

(State, province, region, district) where the supplier is located

Supplier
Country


Country where the supplier is located

Container Type

Packaging type of the container (e.g., cardboard box, reusable tote, wire basket)

Container Weight

Weight of an empty container

1 Part Weight

Weight of 1 unit of material

Total Package Weight

Weight of a full container of material

Container Length

Length or depth of the container

Container Width

Width of the container

Container Height

Height of the container

Usage Per Assembly

Number of parts required for 1 finished product

Hourly Usage

Maximum number of pieces used per hour

Standard Container Quantity

Piece count of material in one container

Containers Used Per Hour

Maximum number of containers required per hour

Shipment Size

Size of a standard shipment in days (1 week shipment = 5 days)

Carrier

Company providing parts-transportation services

Transit Time

Travel time required from the supplier to the facility (in days)

# of Cards In Loop

Number of pull signals that are in the system

Supplier Performance

Supplier performance rating that includes on-time delivery, quality, etc.

Source: Making Materials Flow workbook, Lean Enterprise Institute, www.lean.org
You’ll want to make the information in the PFEP visible to everyone in the facility, and you’ll need to sort the PFEP by categories (e.g., part description, order frequency, container type, and hourly usage). So, you’ll need either a computer spreadsheet (such as Excel) or computer database (such as Access) to house the PFEP.
Most facilities start with an Excel spreadsheet. They may someday migrate the data into an Access database, but it’s important to use a tool that is user friendly and has sorting capabilities
Fill the PFEP

After selecting the application, the next step is to load the data in the smallest element possible. For example, don't put a container's height, length, and width in one column. Create a separate category for each dimension (width, height, and length). This is critical information for designing storage locations. Similarly, avoid putting suppliers' addresses in one column. Break them up into city and state so you can sort by these categories in case you want to set up an external material movement system (milk runs) among plants.


Begin filling the PFEP with parts data from one cell. Add data cell-by-cell for all the cells in the value stream. Ultimately, it will include comprehensive information on every part in the entire facility.
Smaller facilities that have just one or two simple value streams may be able to develop and fill the PFEP from the outset with parts information for the entire plant. For larger facilities, it's important to start with a scope that you can manage. Managers who try to develop the PFEP for large facilities with many value streams all at once and risk not getting the project finished. Or even worse, they take shortcuts that compromise the quality of the data. It's much easier to start small and expand on your initial success than to get in over your head, fail, and have to start all over again - or to simply give up.
Establish the PFEP with an eye to the future. Other cells and value streams will need to use the same fields and format, and they wanted to avoid any significant rework of the PFEP as the implementation branched out.
In addition to managing current parts for current products, you'll want to use the PFEP when developing new products by making a rule that no new product can be moved to the production preparation stage without documenting complete PFEP data. An accurate PFEP, developed and tested well before the beginning of production, will be a powerful tool for the development team in guaranteeing trouble-free launches at target cost.
Maintaining the Integrity of the PFEP Data
Once you get all this information - and it probably will take more than one person to gather it all - the maintenance of it is not that time consuming. But you have to appoint a PFEP manager. This is the only person in the plant who can change and update the document. When there are too many people with the ability to change one document, the information will suffer. The PFEP manager is not often a full-time job. It normally only takes 10 to 30 minutes daily depending on the size of your plant.

While smaller facilities can appoint one PFEP manager for every value stream in the entire plant, large facilities may need more than one PFEP manager, assigned to different product-family value streams. In our experience, fewer PFEP managers will usually mean a more accurate PFEP.



You should also institute a guideline that requires every part to be documented in the PFEP and approved by the PFEP manager before it could appear on the shop floor. This is aided by a PFEP Change/Add Request Form.


PFEP Change/Add Request Form

Apex Production Control

Standards Form




Part Information

Current Data

Change To/Add

Part #

13596




Description

Ferrule




Daily Usage

690




Usage Location

Cell 14




Storage Location

Market




Order Frequency

Daily




Supplier

The Cabby




Supplier City

Dayton




Supplier State

OH




Supplier Country

US




Container Type

EXP.




Container Weight (lbs.)

5

2.5

1 Part Weight (lbs.)

0.05




Total Package Weight (lbs.)

10

5

Length (in.)

12

6

Width (in.)

6




Height (in.)

6




Usage Per Assembly

1




Hourly Usage

90




Standard Container Quantity

100




Containers Used Per Hour

0.9




Shipment Size

5 Days




Carrier

Vitran




Transit Time

3 Days

2 Days

# of Cards in Loop

2.7




Supplier Performance

2

1

Explain the reason for change or addition:




Person submitting:

_________________




Position:

_________________




Date:

_________________




Approved by:

_________________

Production Control

Approved by:

_________________

Operations

Approved by:

_________________

Engineering




Source: Making Materials Flow workbook, Lean Enterprise Institute, www.lean.org

The person submitting the form only fills in the fields in the far right column that need to be changed or added to the PFEP.
By establishing a PFEP manager and developing precise guidelines for changes in any information in the PFEP, you ensure that the PFEP is always up-to-date and accompanied by a paper trail of changes. If done properly, this also makes it impossible to change a part on the floor without communicating that change to all affected departments.
For example, during routine operations your Production Control Department may use the PFEP as a quick reference to know what company supplies a part, where the supplier is located, and how long it takes to get the part. Operations could use the PFEP in an emergency, such as solving a problem with purchased-parts quality. Industrial Engineering may use the PFEP to reference container dimensions and design parts-presentation devices. If each of these groups could change the information in the absence of a formal process, the quality of the information would soon deteriorate.

The PFEP, once carefully established, filled with parts information, and properly managed, enables you to:



  • Begin creating a lean material-handling system and subsequently developing purchased-parts market, delivery routes, and pull signals.

  • Store pertinent current data on all parts in one central, accessible location.

  • Sort parts data by various categories, such as container size, supplier location, and usage.

  • Provide quick response to operations questions regarding parts and suppliers.

  • Extend the lean material-handling system to your plant-to-plant material movements.

Is the PFEP Lean?
Is development and updating of the PFEP a value-creating process? No, because it does not directly create value from the standpoint of the customer. Instead, it is important incidental work that will significantly increase the percentage of value-creating activities that occur throughout your plant.

Many firms believe they have the functional equivalent of a PFEP "somewhere in the system," and wonder if creating and continually updating a PFEP as a distinct data set really creates value. The answer is that when information is in many places and hard for everyone to see, value-creating activities throughout the plant can't be supported with accurate and timely information. Wastes of many sorts become unavoidable.



Plan For Every Part – Keys to Success

• Select a PFEP format that has sorting capabilities (most common is a spreadsheet or database).

• Load data in the smallest element possible (e.g., container size should be entered as three different dimensions – length, width, and height).

• Appoint a PFEP manager responsible for the accuracy and updating of the PFEP.

• Ensure controlled maintenance of the PFEP through a set of guidelines.

• Establish a system to update the PFEP – a change request form.



About the Author

Chris Harris began his lean training on the assembly line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and continued his learning at Toyota Tsusho America in Georgetown, KY. He has a master of business administration degree from Anderson University, Anderson, IN. Chris now helps companies with their lean implementation efforts as a member of Harris Lean Systems Inc. He is co-author with Rick Harris and Earl Wilson of the Making Materials Flow workbook, published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.


Making Materials Flow shows manufacturing professionals in operations, production control, and industrial engineering how to replace material-handling systems designed for mass production with a system for purchased parts that supports lean production. The workbook reveals the exercises, formulas, standards, and forms needed for implementation. The key implementation steps detailed in the workbook include:


  • Developing the Plan For Every Part (PFEP). This basic database fosters accurate and controlled inventory reduction and is the foundation for the continuous improvement of a facility's material-handling system.

  • Building the purchased-parts market.

  • Designing delivery routes.

  • Implementing pull signals.

  • Continuously improving the system.

(This article originally appeared on the NWlean website in April, 2004.)





www.lean.org Lean Enterprise Institute


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