Our goal is to make it much easier for you to understand the core concepts of lean manufacturing. We also cover related topics that are critical to improving manufacturing productivity, such as The Theory of Constraints. For many topics, we present both the theory behind the concepts along with a very practical implementation roadmap.
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Lean has a very extensive collection of tools and concepts. Surveying the most important of these, understanding both what they are and how they can help, is an excellent way to get started.
In order to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability, focus relentlessly on eliminating all aspects of the manufacturing process that add no value from your customer’s perspective.
Amazing improvements in productivity can be achieved through small daily increments. Each day, ask three simple questions (one each for Information, Decision, and Action) that lead to one specific action.
5S is a five step methodology for creating a more organized and productive workspace: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 5S serves as a foundation for deploying more advanced lean production tools and processes.
Manufacturers can achieve a significant structural advantage over offshore competitors by leveraging proximity to local markets to deliver new and highly personalized products with unprecedented speed.
Align company goals (Strategy) with the plans of middle management (Tactics) and work performed by employees (Operations) to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction at the same time.
Create a culture of continuous improvement where all employees are actively engaged in improving the company. Nurture this culture by organizing events focused on improving specific areas of the company.
OEE measures the percentage of planned production time that is truly productive. Many manufacturing lines are only 60% productive, meaning there are tremendous opportunities for improvement.
Quick and focused reviews of performance data during the shift enable mid-course corrections and immediate small-scale fixes that collectively result in significant improvements in performance.
Changeover times can be dramatically reduced – in many cases to less than 10 minutes. Each element of the changeover is analyzed to see if it can be eliminated, moved, simplified, or streamlined.
Every process has a constraint (bottleneck) and focusing improvement efforts on that constraint is the fastest and most effective path to improved profitability.
Getting operators involved in maintaining their own equipment, and emphasizing proactive and preventive maintenance will lay a foundation for improved production (fewer breakdowns, stops, and defects).