Start Up production checklists

A production start up checklist is a pokayoke, in lean terminology, which is designed to avoid mistakes and production issues once the production line has commenced. A start up production checklist may also prevent workplace accidents and remind process operators and technicians about preventive safety measures that must be taken before operating machinery or plant. In heavy or hazardous industries like oil and gas or mining these checklists are standard items for most processes.

Production Start-up checklists may vary in composition and formatting but generally cover items that are essential to be performed before starting a process or machine, these tasks are to be performed to avoid damage to the plant, operators or people in the area and to reduce process issues which may result in any kind of waste. Any waste or damage in this way may result in not only lost productivity but may potentially have large consequences for the process or company in question, thus these mistakes must be avoided.

Start- Up Checklist an example of Poka-yoke error proofing

Poka-yoke, a Japanese term in lean methodology that means to avoid mistakes, are items that avoid production or process workers or systems making errors thus error proofing tasks and parts of different work methods. They can range from simple administrative error proofing controls to engineering solutions such as fixtures or structural items that ensure components are attached in only a certain way.

An example could be when a printing press is started operators regularly forget to adjust paper feed settings to the required size. This can cause a failed start and production waste. therefore an error proofing or poka-yoke solution may be implemented such as including this on a start-up checklist to check an adjust the paper feed setting or an engineering control such as an alarm which prompts the operator to review and adjust the paper feed setting before the machine is able to commence production.

Production Checklist other uses

Start-up checklists are also used in other applications or organizations apart from manufacturing. One common but related use is in performing maintenance on plant and equipment. Some plant and equipment can be quite large and complex thus may need several tasks to be completed before performing maintenance or before putting it back into operation. Some of the check lists that can be found in production processes can be:

-Production Shutdown list, This is a checklist used for a shutdown process of a production plant or operating system covering critical steps to safely and properly terminate the process and leave the plant or process in good condition to be recommenced at a later time. Some end of day checklists at fast food chain restaurants are a type of production shutdown checklists.

-Maintenance Start Checklist, This type of check list will usually cover checks and plant and equipment isolations or lock outs needed to be performed before maintenance activities can commence. These checklists may also cover spare parts, tools and labour needed to perform these tasks. These may seem simple and logical items to have before commencing maintenance but in operations where these items may be scarce or have substantial lead times they may be well justified.

Production checklists aim to avoid process waste and losses

In our experience when production start-up check lists are well built and followed diligently, errors are avoided and production starts and continues smoothly by operators being at their work stations doing what they need to do without many interruptions and problem "fire fighting" which contributes to confusion, wastes and mistakes. Production start-up checklists are especially useful in continuous production lines such as plastic sheeting/roofing, smelting or large kiln processes where mistakes in commencing production may cause substantial delays and production waste or losses.

To write and build a production startup checklist check our Production start up checklist template page.

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