CIP – Continuous Improvement Process, is a means of improving quality as well as product and production. To clarify what CIP means for a producing company, let’s have a look at manufacturing and assembly.
While in former days workers often had to fetch parts from different stations, nowadays planning puts a focus on short distances – this is one example for CIP. Or to have all necessary tools handy and ready for use with each tool having an assigned location. This also means that all tools have to be checked regularly to ensure a fluent, uninterrupted working process. Machines, tools, material supply and transport of finished products have to match perfectly.
CIP in manufacture and assembly also means to have clean working stations, where all necessary information is always available – visible and easy to understand, and if needed, in different languages. Handbooks should be as well specifically prepared for the respective working station.
Another example for CIP is error prevention: to construct parts and components according to the Poka Yoke principle. That means in a way, that they cannot be mounted in a false manner. One possibility is to mark the parts with colors. Another optiob is to shape them in a way that no other mounting is possible.
The idea behind all these measures is the principle of standardization as well as error elimination. This aims to track errors in the production process and to trace the error back to the point of origin, where it is eliminated at once. Another aim is to have working standards for repeating tasks. These standards are of course mandatory for all employees, and each employee can always bring in ideas for improving these standards.
This way, standards and error elimination help to improve and secure quality in the whole production process.