Process Mapping - Bullant Filters

Identify throughput and reliability constraints on an existing or planned processing line

The Bullant Filters are applied to flow lines found in the process industry. They are used to;

Bullant Filters are used on flow lines where a bottleneck (the Drum) is resident within a group of many interconnected and automated workstations, as shown below.

We enlist the help of operations personnel and use statistical methods to create a process map using the 3 Bullant Filters;

Like the alignment of holes in swiss cheese slices, an issue identified in all 3 filters is a Performance-Centred Improvement opportunity that can add the maximum value.

Performance-Centred Improvements

The Bullant Filters can be used to correct a single, mission critical reliability issue right through to a longer term, supply chain performance improvement strategy.

Demand Filter

The metrics used to monitor the performance of a flow line are summarised in a Demand Filter.

A Demand Filter contains the “data box” information for a Value Stream Map including;

  • UpTime (Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for the process industry)
  • Crewed Time
  • Utilisation
  • Yield
  • Running Efficiency
  • Financial performance measures including Octane.
  • Quality measures
  • Product Cycle Rates

The Demand Filter is also used to determine the most important products as measured by the time required on the line.

Capacity Filter

A Capacity Filter is used to document the capacity distribution of machines and buffers along a flow line.

A Capacity Filter includes:

  • Distribution of instantaneous machine capacities for the different running configurations
  • Buffer capacities for the different running configurations
  • Yield loss and giveaway

Reliability Filter

The Reliability Filter is used to establish how the efficiencies of different workstations, and the behaviour of the buffers, effects the efficiency of the total flow line.

There are 3 techniques that can be used to create the Reliability Filter;

Dynamic Modelling

Dynamic modelling can be used to demonstrate how the total efficiency of a flow line is effected by the performance of upstream and downstream equipment and buffers.

Attainment Sampling

Historical downtime data is used to establish the current efficiency of a flow line.

Criticality Assessment

The Reliability Filter can use a Criticality Assessment tool to establish the points of instability in a line. Points of instability are those parts of a production line where there is a special reason for unreliability, where normal reliability techniques cannot be applied.

Performance-Centred Improvements

Performance-Centred Improvements are opportunities that appear as constraints in all three of the Bullant Filters. They are high-impact and can shift the performance of a complex line in a substantial way. They are used for Operations Excellence Targetting.