Making it work might get the machine back up and running in half an hour, but if a quarter of the parts produced are then rejected, what was the point?
The paradox that our operators face daily is they often need to choose between “Make it work,”  versus “Make it right.”
Are you a “make it work” or “make it right” kind of guy?
Is yours a “make it work” or “make it right” kind of shop?
Keep your answer to yourself until you finish this short piece.
Make it workMake it Work.
How many times when you were working production and an obstacle arises, were you given this sage counsel from the boss: “We really need to get these parts out. Just make it work!” So using all of the brainpower of MacGyver, we cobble together some patch, blend of adjustments, shims, love taps with a hammer, regrinds, or other chicanery to get the process up and running- making it work.

Making it work...
Making it work…

And then the parts go to quality, where a substantial percentage of them are rejected, if not for the original issue, then for a new issue-an unanticipated but very real consequence of the “just make it work we’ve got product to ship” adjustments that you made. Bottom line, fewer parts than plan, fewer conforming parts than produced, fewer shippable parts at the end of the day, and very low earned hours of production, despite the time and materials used to “make it work.”
Can't Ship. Don't get paid.
Can’t Ship. Don’t get paid.

Make It Right
Professional machinists don’t buy the “make it work” instruction. They know that a part that won’t ship to the customer is a part that company won’t get paid for. It’s waste. A waste of the material, machine time, utilities, and their time to make a non-conforming part. Instead of trying to “make it work, professionals work on trying to understand the problem, determine its root causes, and then take effective corrective actions. Making it work might get the machine back up and running in half an hour, but if a quarter of the parts produced are then rejected, what was the point?
make it right
By taking the time to do more than just “make it work” with a cobbled together workaround, the professional eliminates the root cause and returns the process to statistical control, making it right.
Yes, maybe the machine was down an extra half hour or hour compared to the quick “make it work” fix that hopefully, but likely doesn’t, really get you back up and running good parts.
At the end of the day, I’m betting that more shippable parts will be produced by the “Make it Right” philosophy, than the “Make It Work” philosophy.  Urgent is not a synonym for Good. The tyranny of the urgent is the enemy of good.
Yes, we all know that we get paid when we ship good parts. We all know that we can only ship good parts when the machine is running. Nope- correction. We all know that we can only ship good parts when the machine is making good parts- under statistical control, using the approved process.  Make it work is at best a risky gamble – minimizing short term gain for longer term rejection. We shouldn’t be gambling in our shops.
Make it right.
Photo credit Make it work
Photo credit MacGyver
Photocredit Reject Tag
Photocredit Picard

Productivity-What Can I Do Today To Make My Shop The Most Money?
In the current economy, many machines are down for lack of work. This makes it essential to assure that the ones with work are up and running every minute that they should.
Can you meet this simple challenge in your shop? For every production machine that you have scheduled for operations, does it  have actual production uptime of greater than 50%? Actually measured in minutes of tools in the cut. Reported. Documented. Reviewed.
Any item that steals machine uptime is stealing money from your business.
Here are 7 steps you can take today to increase machine productivity in your shop:

  1. Record and investigate the causes of machine downtime in your shop.
  2. Record frequency – how many.
  3. Record severity– how long.
  4. Record by machine.
  5. Prepare a Pareto Analysis.
  6. Assign a cross functional team to investigate root causes.
  7. Implement corrective actions and review their effectiveness.

Solutions to system problems nearly always require a team approach.  Have the team study the issues identified in the Pareto Analysis not  just as specific delays, but as classes of delays. Then they can work on uncovering, and eliminating the organizational root cause of that class delay. In my experience, root causes are often institutional failings- inadequate training, inadequate maintenance, false economy on tooling, all of which are systemic problems requiring management attention.
Quality is everybody’s responsibility,” I often heard when I was on a crew.
The authority to permanently eliminate the root cause rests with management,” is what I muttered under my breath.
You are the Champion. The final arbiter.
Your team will  identify the problems, find  the root causes, and identify possible permanent solutions.
As champion your job is to help them “Make it so.”

"Make it so"
"Make it so"

Pareto Analysis , authored by Duncan Haugey, was found on the Project Smart website. Smart was launched in 2000 as a way to provide easy access to information about the project management profession.