Chapter 8
The Process Control Manual
The process control manual (PCM) is an authoritative compilation of all the
information an operator needs to know to be able run a process safely and
within established specications. It covers the entire operation from start to
finish and is the basis of all operator training. It is the foundation for Point
4 of our Model Vision—training our workforce to be highly skilled profes-
sionals—which is our answer to Deming’s Point 6. But, more important, it is
another key to reducing variability because its primary purpose is to ensure
that everyone does everything the same way.
To be authoritative, this manual must be kept as current as possible. In
that context, all process or product changes must be incorporated into a
manual revision prior to implementing the changes in the plant. Also, for-
mal, periodic reviews are mandatory. To make that visible to users, the first
section of the PCM contains a running log of reviews or revisions, the nature
of the change, and the signature and date of the person who did the work.
To institutionalize the review process, the plant’s electronic “tickler” sys-
tem should have a complete listing of all manual sections and when review
dates are due (it is impractical to review an entire manual at once) and
should automatically send notices to production teams. The tickler should
be answered in writing by the department manager, certifying to the plant
manager that the manual has been reviewed and is now up to date. A sum-
mary report of overdue manual reviews should be sent to the plant manager.
The original documents for PCMs must reside in the plant’s computer
system. This makes all the plant’s manuals accessible to all employees.
82 ◾  Removing the Barriers to Efficient Manufacturing
Department managers are free to see how different departments perform
operations and can adopt what they feel is the best methods. Manual sec-
tions, checklists, and diagrams can be printed out by employees and studied
for their personal training and daily use. The one thing to watch for here is
security. Access to print proprietary information will have to be set up with
some levels of authorization.
The PCM should contain the following sections as a minimum:
1. Products or product components produced
2. Product specifications
3. Process description
4. Process diagrams
5. Raw materials used
6. Specific operating supplies
7. Detailed operating procedures for each job position in the process
8. The SMED (single minute exchange of die) procedures for this particu-
lar operation with a sample settings data sheet
9. Process readings sheet for parameters that are not computer monitored
10. Required tool list
11. General safety procedures
12. Locking and tagging procedures
13. Housekeeping checklists
14. Statistical process control methods used
15. Product attributes
As usual, we discuss each of these in detail.
Products Produced
This section is an introductory narrative that starts with a description of the
product and how it is used by the customer or in the next step in the manu-
facturing process. The intent is to show employees why their specific job is
important and what the consequences of error are. Explain the impact spe-
cific defects cause to establish clearly why these details are critical. This is
also a good place to introduce the “customer” concept. In other words, the
next person who receives the output from their operation is their customer,
whether they are inside or outside the plant. For some reason, customers
inside the plant do not appear to merit the same consideration as those

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