Manufacturing Problem Solving
How to solve a Manufacturing Problem in only 3 DAYS!
Welcome back! If you’re new here, welcome to the Lightning Problem Solving Method, a fool-proof process for your worst manufacturing issues in as little as 3 days. After years of long-distance and on-site business consultation, I’m taking my manufacturing knowledge online. Consider this your hub for lean manufacturing and lightning-fast problem-solving. I’m glad you’re here!
Today, I’m tackling one of my favorite subjects. We’re learning about solving even the most grueling manufacturing projects in just 3 days. Seemingly impossible, right? Wrong! Solving manufacturing problems is only as complicated as we make it. In my experience, the Lightning Problem Solving Method can get to the root of 90% of manufacturing issues in 72 hours or less.
VIDEO: How to Solve a Manufacturing Problem in 3 Days
Too Good to Be True?
I know what you’re thinking – this is too good to be true! But I’ve seen this method at work. Let me share a story with you.
Most companies still take a traditional (or old-fashioned) approach to problem-solving. At one company, an engineer had been trying to solve a problem for six months before deciding that he just didn’t have the time. I was brought in to help, and the first thing I noticed was a stack of papers a mile high on his desk. He was happy to hand the stack over to me.
Don’t tell him, but I never looked at a single one of those papers. Instead, I gathered data at the line for two hours. Wouldn’t you know it, by the end of the day, I had found the root of the problem.
In another instance, an MIT grad had worked on a problem for three weeks without finding the cause. The manager waited until he left for a long weekend to bring me in. The problem was solved two days later.“You just have to be willing to get your hands dirty and ask the right questions!” Click To Tweet
I share these stories so you’ll understand that overthinking a problem won’t get you to the solution any faster. All you need to solve a manufacturing project in just three days is to use some logic, get out of your seat, and gather data!
Get out there and gather data.
Any engineer who thinks they’re too important to gather data isn’t worth their weight in salt. Problem solvers aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Meetings and paperwork don’t solve problems – people do!“A good problem solver should go out and gather all the data they need and then ONLY say what the data tells them. Nobody can argue against data.” Click To Tweet
Gathering data is essential because it allows you to back up your findings with fact rather than emotion. A good problem solver will never make deductions based on emotion. A bad problem solver might say, “I think that this is the root of the problem,” then blame the supplier. They don’t have proof that this is the cause of the problem, but they want it to be.“Bad emotion is: I have no proof but I “think” this part is the problem. Good emotion is: When I replace this part the noise goes away, yay!” Click To Tweet
Contrast is a problem solver’s best friend. You should always be comparing the good vs. the bad. Understanding the parts that never fail is essential to knowing why other parts do. Anytime you find contrast in a manufacturing problem, do a happy dance. Contrast is just logical!“Any time you find contrast, go ahead and do a little dance, throw a little contrast party, celebrate somehow, because you just made huge progress toward identifying your root cause!” Click To Tweet
If you have an assembly with multiple components, you need to find the single part that is causing the failure. In this video, I’ll show you how swapping out components can help narrow down the root of a manufacturing problem.
Use the same concept of contrast by swapping out components of a functioning machine and the malfunctioning machine. This way you can use the process of elimination to find the component that is causing the issue.
Create a Diagram
Most engineers only look for defective parts or locations. But comparing those to the parts that never fail is essential in developing a solution. Sometimes, the easiest way to do this is by creating a diagram.
In order to understand what makes components fail, you need to find similar parts that never fail. Time to compare and contrast!
A diagram like the one you’ll see in the video can work for a variety of issues, like:
- paint defects
- wind noise
- water leaks
- dirt specks
- flash locations
- print location on plastics
- bubbles and tears in composites
- nicks in your stamping
- rust in gears
Reproduce the Event
Another way to solve a problem with a hands-on approach is to reproduce the event. If components have been leaking, make them leak again. Or if components have been breaking, grab more parts and break them so they look the same as the parts that have been breaking in the field. Finally if you can reproduce the event, you can identify and solve the problem within three days.“This is why I’m here, online, doing these videos. By using the Lightning Problem Solving Method, 90% of all your manufacturing problems really can be solved in only 3 days.” Click To Tweet
Did you enjoy the video? If so, subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find more helpful problem-solving videos like these:
Why a Project Might Take More Than 3 Days to Solve
I’d love to hear from you guys! Leave a comment below with any pointers you have for solving manufacturing projects lightning fast. Or, if you need one-on-one help, send me an email to start chatting!
If this video has challenged the way you think about problem-solving, then you’re the perfect candidate for my new course. Join my program, the Lightning Problem Solving Method, so you can start your journey as a manufacturing mastermind. Get certified and ditch the old fashioned way of problem solving in one course.
Many companies find that they really don’t need a full-time problem solver. Instead they just need to hire an expert to find the root of their problems quickly and easily. Click here to learn more about consulting. You might be amazed at the problems I can solve for you in just three days.