Process flowcharts are a visual method of both mapping out and showing a process in a visual format which allows for easy understanding for everyone within the factory.
There are different formats that can be used to create a process flow chart from swim lane charts to icon image styles and flow diagram shape charts, the important thing is to map out the process, the equipment and tools used, and the steps within the process. This often allows the cross-functional team working on the project to identify steps that can either be removed or processes that can be combined in order to improve the overall workflow.
Developing Your Process Flowcharts
When developing the flow chart, it is important to focus on the actual flow as it would happen in production, this includes every step from raw material coming into the factory, quality inspection steps throughout the process, testing of sub-assemblies and final assemblies and all the processes that are involved with the production of a product including any product certification by external test houses.
If the flow chart gets too overwhelming it can be broken down into different levels or sub-sections, the top-level flow chart would be the holistic view showing the process from start to finish. Each sub-section or break-out chart would have greater details of each of the process sets, for example, the inspection process for incoming goods showing what, when, how…
Let’s look at some examples of different Process Flow Chart formats.