Packaging Industry News interviews Ron Heiskell, founder of Reduced Effort, LLC

Q: Can you explain what occurs during a 1 week ReducedEffort Changeover event?

A: Its all about the operators looking at their work from a different perspective.  When you change the way people look at their work the way they work changes.  The amazing part is that this process can occur within 1 week, not months or years.  The focus for the week is reducing the effort required for a changeover, and when effort is reduced the time required to do the work automatically decreases.  Its a win-win for both operators and the company.

Q: How does your process differ from SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies)?

A: SMED focuses on reducing time, whereas Reduced Effort Changeover (REC) focuses on reducing the operators’ effort.  The REC process goes beyond SMED by: (1) producing demonstrable results within 1 week; (2) getting operators to buy into and support a lean culture; and (3) overcoming the operators’ reluctance to change.  

Q: How do you overcome their reluctance to change?

A: Typically operators have been doing it the same way for years, and as a result develop paradigm paralysis.  During the Reduced Effort event a combination of lectures, videos and team activities engage and motivate operators to shift their paradigms.  They work in teams to choreograph a streamlined way of working that reduces their effort.  When the effort is reduced the changeover downtime is automatically reduced.

Q: Are the new procedures sustainable?

A: Yes, absolutely.  During the event the operators develop the new procedures themselves, so they immediately take ownership of their work.  All management needs to do is support the team by empowering them to continue testing new ideas that will further reduce their time and effort.

Interview with Ron Heiskell

The ReducedEffort Process

• Reduces change over downtime

• Establishes best practice standard operating procedures (SOP's)

• Promotes LEAN on plant floor

• Encourages continuous improvement

• Sustains achieved results