Manufacturing Capability Management


What is the Manufacturing Capability Management?

Manufacturing Capability (MC) refers to the technical and physical limitations of a manufacturing firm and each of its plants. Three categories of capability include:

  • technological processing capability
  • production capacity
  • physical size and weight

Accialini Consulting helps organizations to assess their current capability and to identify the best strategy for improvement, which means:

  • improve the existing capability: if your technology is mature enough according to design and process requirements, this is the best solution to adopt; 
  • develop a new capability: if you are developing innovative products or you want to introduce a step change in your current process, you probably need to develop a new capability.

“I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself” E. Musk

Manufacturing Capability Management

Manufacturing Capability Assessment

The first step is to assess your current capability, whether it’s process capability or capacity. The goal is to find out the best approach for the customer:

  • Has been already followed a Concurrent Engineering approach?
  • Is there any margin to improve the current process capability?
  • Is it more convenient to implement a new process?

Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent Engineering, also known as Simultaneous Engineering, refers to an approach in which functions of design engineering, manufacturing engineering, and other functions are integrated to improve, among other benefits, the product capability, therefore robustness and quality. In order to meet the design intent, the final product must be properly designed from a manufacturing perspective. Accialini Consulting helps organizations to conduct a proper Concurrent Engineering assessment.

Manufacturing Capability Improvement

If the answer is to improve existing capabilities, then you probably don’t need to invest in new plants or machines, but you should find out smart solution to optimize your system.

This mostly implies the use of Lean Six Sigma tools to identify the root cause of your problems.

Manufacturing Capability Acquisition

If the result of the preliminary assessment is to develop a new capability, or if this decision came out after multiple attempts to improve the existine one, then the approach will be to follow the Manufacturing Readiness Level framework (MRL). 

The MRL framework is a Stage-Gate approach developed by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to assess the maturity of manufacturing readiness. Nowadays MRLs  are widely used in industry to mitigate risks associated to the implementation of manufacturing capabilities.

Therefore, next steps will be as follows:

If the answer is “yes”, the first step is to provide people involved in MCA projects an overview of MCA methodology.

When a MRL project starts, it is convenient to perform a preliminary financial analysis to identify cost benefits and potential gaps.

Stakeholders analysis is another important step to focus on. Indeed, it is fundamental to identify who are our stakeholders and how to behave with them in order to mitigate future risks.

What are your customer expectations? How to fulfill their requirements? To answer these questions, it is necessary to identify their needs. Most of the time, this phase is underestimated, but it happens quite often that customers don’t know what they want.

MRL are innovative projects, and by definition, innovative projects are associated with risks. Moreover, in case of manufacturing capabilities, we are often talking of big investments, therefore high risks. For these reasons, it is fundamental to prevent and mitigate risks properly.

In the project planning phase, the time schedule is defined, as well the budget and human resources.

The Project Charter can be defined as the heart of any organized effort to acquire new capabilities. It contains the reasons the project has been started, the goals, objectives, guidelines, and boundaries of the project. It is the “who, what, where, when and why” of the product development project. The Launch Pack consists basically in the collection of all the documentation generated in the previous points.

The last step is a kick off meeting, where the project, in the form of the Project Charter, is finally discussed with the Management and eventually bought-off.

Manufacturing Capability Management Masterclass

The Manufacturing Capability Management Masterclass aims to provide a well-structured methodology to manage manufacturing capabilities properly.

The course is structured in 5 main modules:

  • Manufacturing Capability Assessment: is the manufacturing capability in line with company’s expectations?
  • Concurrent Engineering: how to design products in order to improve our capabilities?
  • Process Improvement: how to improve our processes?
  • Capability Acquisition: how to develop/acquire new capabilities and reduce associated risks?
  • Process Control: how to monitor and control the new manufacturing capability?

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