Whenever buffer occurs in your supply chain, regardless if inside the production or not, there is the risk of scraping or reworking all of the parts once quality issues occur. For that reason, in all productions you have to get rid of any buffer. As in some cases you cannot remove a buffer between two process steps completely, you have to define what kind of buffer it is, how big it has to be and how long it must stay there.
Why do you have to achieve Zero Buffers?
How do you achieve Zero Buffers?
Work in Progress Buffer between two Stations
- In case of a product changeover a huge buffer of work in progress parts can cause issues and decrease your flexibility.
- A huge buffer between stations gives your operators the feeling of safety. If something in their process goes wrong, they can cover that by enough WIP material between the stations. This on the other hand will hide the issue the particular operator had and blocks you from eliminating the issue.
- If the downstream process step figures out issues, he stops the line. At that point in time it could be that all the parts inside the buffer may have the same issue. Compared to an one piece flow, just that single part having that issue has to be scraped or reworked.