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lean manufacturing
What is happening in lean manufacturing in the world
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Just don't start with 5S!

Just don't start with 5S! | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

How many failed implementations will it take before consultants stop advising clients to start Lean implementation with 5S?

 

Telling people to start by tidying up their rooms works as well with manufacturing organizations as with teenagers. Try telling a machinist in a job-shop -- who has spent the last 15 years making himself indispensible on a milling machine -- that he should label hand-tool locations to make it easier for somebody else to do his job, and see how far you get.

 

5S is finishing work that you should undertake once you have changed the mode of operation. In cells, machinists in cells, who run multiple, different machines and rotate between positions need visible locations for tools, and will willingly maintain them.

 

Yet the following is what keeps getting posted on the web:

"With [...] lean becoming increasingly [...] popular [...], a methodology that is [...] intertwined with lean, yet capable of being a stand-alone culture in itself, is that of ‘5S’. Whether just the first step in a bigger plan to implement lean throughout a business, or simply a cheaper alternative and less daunting efficiency solution for SME manufacturers; 5S would seem to be an ideal starting point."

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Kitchener manufacturing expert wins Queen's medal - Waterloo Record

Kitchener manufacturing expert wins Queen's medalWaterloo RecordKITCHENER — David Hogg, a longtime local management consultant, has won a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in promoting lean manufacturing consortiums.
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Insultants promote Lean in Malta - timeofmalta.com

A series of training workshops addressed to "professionals [...] in public service, manufacturing, utilities, and project management" culminates in a final event themed "Stupidity, a major obstacle to lean."

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Deploying an Automobile Manufacturing Process to Serve Patients Better

Deploying an Automobile Manufacturing Process to Serve Patients Better | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
On the face of it, lean manufacturing, which is used by Toyota and other major global companies, doesn’t seem to fit very well into the world of...
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Behind The Wheel | LogisticsWeek

Behind The Wheel | LogisticsWeek | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

A detailed account of Lean Logistics tools as used by an Indian car manufacturer.

 

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How An Aeron Chair Gets Built Every 17 Seconds

How An Aeron Chair Gets Built Every 17 Seconds | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

"Amidst all the doom-and-gloom about the death of American manufacturing, the one, simple fact that’s usually forgotten is that we’re still the world’s No. 1 manufacturer. No joke, and not a typo: We produce one fifth of the world’s total manufacturing output.The difference between how Americans once made stuff and how that stuff is made today is that manufacturing in the U.S. has reached a stunning level of efficiency that can be hard to really comprehend. Unless, of course, you visit a factory like the one that makes Herman Miller’s Aeron chair. We recently did, and saw a process which has yielded a 500% increase in productivity and a 1,000% increase in quality since 1998,..."

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Axiom Telecom receives Dubai Quality Award, for implementing Lean

Axiom Telecom receives Dubai Quality Award, for implementing Lean | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

A leading multi-brand, multi-channel distributor and retailer of mobile telecommunications devices, accessories and telecom services in the Middle East, Axiom Telecom was recognized for its commitment to customer service and implementation of several globally acclaimed corporate practices such as the Toyota Production System (TPS), 5s, Kaizen, A3 philosophy and customized all of these into its own approach which is the ' Axiom Improvement Management System (AIMS)' program.

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Nike reduces lead times through lean manufacturing | Official CIPS Magazine – Supply Management

Nike reduces lead times through lean manufacturing | Official CIPS Magazine – Supply Management | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Supplier factories that adopted lean principles showed defect rates 50 per cent lower than those that didn’t. It also revealed delivery lead times from lean factories were, on average, 40 per cent quicker. Productivity increases of 10 to 20 per cent and a reduction in the time taken to introduce a new model by 30 per cent were also reported from lean factories.
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It's Time to Rethink Continuous Improvement - blogs.hbr.org (blog)

It's Time to Rethink Continuous Improvement - blogs.hbr.org (blog) | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

Who else is shocked by a phrase like "Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, and other variations on continuous improvement..."?

 

Since when is Lean a variation on continuous improvement? Instead, continuous improvement is a component of Lean, which includes many features that are not continuous improvement.

 

Kaizen does not belong in a list in parallel with Lean. It literally means "improvement" and is used in Japan to mean continuous improvement.

 

Six Sigma is a method developed at Motorola to solve process capability issues and is not related to continuous improvement.

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IndustryWeek : So You Want to Reduce Your Costs? Don't Focus on Cost Reductions

IndustryWeek : So You Want to Reduce Your Costs? Don't Focus on Cost Reductions | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Focus on lean and get those cost reductions, and more.
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Just-in-time and disasters

Every time a natural or human-made disaster occurs, there are journalists and bloggers to see in the resulting supply chain disruption evidence that just-in-time (JIT) is wrong and should be abandoned as an objective.

This is based primarily on the perception that JIT means zero inventories. Since zero inventories means zero production, it is obvious that not all inventory is waste. What is waste is unnecessary inventory, which is a bit more subtle because it requires you to tell what is necessary from what is not.

There are telltale signs, like thickness of dust or the inability of anyone to tell you what materials are for, but that is the easy part. Beyond that, you have to figure out experimentally what you really need.

What JIT really is about is protecting yourself against shortages by vigilance rather than inventory. This means keeping accurate inventory data, monitoring the in- and out-flows, monitoring the discruptions that can be anticipated, and responding quickly to events.

The reason to pursue this strategy is that , while protecting yourself against shortages by inventories works with crude oil, it does not when you are dealing with thousands of items. If you try, you end up with full warehouses that happen not to contain the item you need today.

When a disaster hits your supply chain, the quick response cannot be yours alone. You need your suppliers' help, and that is why you cannot be in adversarial relationships with them.

Long-term, single-source agreements, the regular exchange of business and technical information, and collaborative problem-solving are all necessary to cement the relationships that make a joint emergency response possible.

 

 

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Komori Press Installation in Maine Celebrated by Governor LePage - What They Think

Komori Press Installation in Maine Celebrated by Governor LePage - What They Think | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Komori Press Installation in Maine Celebrated by Governor LePageWhat They Think"By staying two steps ahead with our technology and focusing upon lean manufacturing principles," says Rick Tardiff, President of JS McCarthy, "we have become a leading...
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GE Able to Bring Jobs Home Thanks to Lean Methodology

GE Able to Bring Jobs Home Thanks to Lean Methodology | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

More about GE's conversion from Six Sigma to Lean:

General Electric is able to bring jobs back to America after adopting lean manufacturing to improve efficiency.

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Turnaround is accelerating at Chrysler plants in Kokomo, Indiana - Indianapolis Star

Turnaround is accelerating at Chrysler plants in Kokomo, Indiana - Indianapolis Star | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Turnaround is accelerating at Chrysler plants in Kokomo, IndianaIndianapolis StarDuring a rare media tour of three of Chrysler's four Kokomo plants Thursday, Harlow and much of the plant leadership talked mainly about the difference that the World...
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Lean Thinking: Why Are Learning Organizations So Scarce?

Lean Thinking: Why Are Learning Organizations So Scarce? | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

From Pascal Dennis, brief and to the point, as usual.

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Hospitals look to Toyota automaker for efficient operating rooms

More about TPS in health care in Canada, this time about SMED applied to operating room turnarounds. This is not the first time manufacturing techniques cross over to surgery: 100 years ago, through motion studies in operating rooms, industrial engineers Frank and Lillian Gilbreth developed the method by which nurses make tools immediately available to surgeons.

 

"Surgeons are using Toyota management techniques to cut time between surgeries and halve overtime hours..."

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The OSKKK Methodology

The author of this PDF document, Greg Lane, "learned this simple method while working for Toyota. There is nothing profound in these simple ideas..."

 

OSKKK stands for the following:

1. Observe

2. Standardize materials, motions, tasks and management.

3. Kaizen 1 - Improve information and materials flow and process

4. Kaizen 2 - Improve equipment

5. Kaizen 3 - Improve layout

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Tesla Motors revives the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA

Tesla Motors revives the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

An article on how Tesla is reviving the shuttered NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, with a production line designed by Toyota Alumnus Gilbert Passin.  

 

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IndustryWeek : Thanks to Lean, Wabash National Keeps on Truckin'

When demand dropped off a cliff -- only to bounce back dramatically a year later -- a lean overhaul helped the truck-trailer manufacturer diversify and create the flexibility it needed to survive.
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Tera TPS - Toyota Production System: Recovery From Tsunami

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Lean and ISO-9000: Strange Bedfellows

Lean and ISO-9000: Strange Bedfellows | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

This article is a critical review of a book called Lean Startup that I have not read yet and won't comment about. The review itself, however, contains some surprising statements, about, for example, ISO-9000 being a technique that emerged as part of Lean, or a about Lean being "a system designed to produce a million identical, high-quality Corollas, Camrys, and Siennas."

I am used to thinking of ISO-9000 as the product of an international body that is unrelated to Lean, and whose implementation is centered on compliance with generic procedures rather than effectiveness. This is not exactly the Lean approach to quality.

The reviewer also appears to be confusing Lean with the system developed by Ford for Model Ts 100 years ago. Lean actually includes approaches to production for Low-Volume/High-Mix as well as High-Volume/Low-Mix environments.

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co: Fayetteville - Business Excellence Magazine

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co: Fayetteville - Business Excellence Magazine | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

A case study, presented by the plant manager.

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Big Trouble In Continuous Improvement Town | Blogs | Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations

Big Trouble In Continuous Improvement Town | Blogs | Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

I don't agree with everything this blogger says, particularly when he describes the establishment of the Roman empire as a "short term" fix. In my book, 400 years of peace and prosperity is beyond the short term...

 

On the other hand, I think he is right when he says that "Kaizen event" are not performing continuous improvement. As an oxymoron, "Kaizen Blitz" is even better: it mixes Japanese and German in a concoction that literally means "lightning strike of continuous improvement."

The so-called "Kaizen event" is a good tool when applied to the right opportunities, but there are two problems with it:

1. Its promise of instant gratification has made it popular in the US that all other means of implementing change are forgotten. It is a problem because it leads organizations to ignore opportunities that are too small or too large. Wrapping the feet of a welding fixture with aluminum foil to make it easier to clean is too small; redesigning the layout of a machine shop, too large. 2. It has misled particularly Americans about the meaning of Kaizen, about which there is an abundant Japanese literature that makes no reference to anything resembling Kaizen Events. In fact, the improvements that are called Kaizen are too small for Kaizen events and the two implementation methods for them are individual suggestions and small-group/circle activity. As a consequence, there is no Kaizen activity going on even in plants that run dozens of "Kaizen events" every year, and it is a lost opportunity.

The French did even worse by calling the same method "Hoshin Events," literally meaning "compass needle event." The equally unfortunate consequence is that it makes it impossible to discuss Hoshin Planning with them.

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Tool Crib Management & Its Role in Lean Manufacturing

Tool Crib Management & Its Role in Lean Manufacturing | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

This guest post on Mark Graban's blog treats an important but often neglected subject. It forgets, however, what I see as the number one problem with tool cribs: operators leaving their work stations to fetch tools. In some machine shops, you see a line of machinists waiting in line at the tool crib while machines and work pieces stand idle.
Instead, in a Lean shop, the tool crib sets up milk runs to pick up worn tools and deliver fresh ones. The tool crib is a support organization with the purpose of supporting production, not disrupting it.

 

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IndustryWeek : Commitment and Training are Essential for a Lean Supply Chain

IndustryWeek : Commitment and Training are Essential for a Lean Supply Chain | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

This article quotes Paul Myerson as saying that manufacturers preferred to "lean out within their four walls before working heavily with customers and suppliers."

While I have heard this from many sources, I do not believe it is true. Having worked both within the four walls of plants and on their supply chains, I have repeatedly seen manufacturing managers conclude that their manufacturing needed no improvement, and that all the problems were with suppliers.

Before Paul Myerson, I also wrote a book on Lean Logistics (http://amzn.to/wdy2Be). In 2005, it was the first on this subject. But I also wrote books on Lean Assembly (http://amzn.to/IR61YV) and Working with Machines (http://amzn.to/HTbzBj), both of which deal with what happens "within the four walls." Guess what? Lean Logistics sells more copies than the other two combined, and I don't think it is a better book. To me, it just means that its subject is getting more attention.

Actually, it is getting a disproportionate amount of attention, and too early. Manufacturers SHOULD focus on what happens within their walls first, and fix it. The vast majority, including many claiming to be Lean, have not. Until they do, they have no credibility with their suppliers and no business telling them how to improve.

 

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