For some manufacturing companies, multiple independent machines cooperate to produce the finished product. Some machines produces more scrap, have more down time or run at lower speeds. This might result in long waiting time for the next machine. Obviously, capacity can be increased by increasing the efficiency (OEE) of the slowest machine, but also increasing the buffer between machines can improve productivity.
The machine with the lowest efficiency should have enough buffer to ensure that it never waits for the machine up-stream. If stop causes and stop duration are logged, analysis can reveal the increased capacity gained by investing in buffer capacity.
Some companies have manual logging of stops causes. In this case it is important to have clearly defined stop causes so that operating personnel selects the same cause regardless of who is at work. It is also important that the stop causes are defined in order to identify the root cause. As an example I experienced that the main stop cause was "Waiting for tank capacity". What was the root cause? Which tank was full? Why? It is not possible to improve without dividing this stop cause into several possible root causes. Lean Tech perform buffer capacity analysis, investigate production flow and help companies defining relevant stop causes.