Mass Production & Lean: What’s the difference?

Mass Production & Lean: What’s the difference?

Mass production is not considered to be a Lean production method. At the height of its innovation however, it did effectively lower the unit cost of many goods and improved the efficiency of facilities. In the spirit of Lean and continuous improvement, it’s important to keep finding ways to improve the organization and over time,

Foundational Concepts of Lean

Foundational Concepts of Lean

Lean manufacturing utilizes a number of strategies and tools to improve the business by boosting productivity and eliminating waste. The following are just a handful of the most common Lean tools, many have been adopted from manufacturing in Japan and the Toyota Production System . 5S (The Visual Workplace) 5S is a system of creating

Six Sigma Principles

Six Sigma Principles

The Six Sigma methodology is one that focuses on creating quality products and eliminating defects. Though Six Sigma is a vast idea that spans a number of Lean philosophies and methods, at its core, Six Sigma is driven by three principles: Process Improvement— Companies should take consistent action to eliminate root causes of deficiencies within

What is a Gemba Walk?

What is a Gemba Walk?

Gemba walks are an important concept in your Lean toolbox. Managers and business leaders go on  (“go and see”) walks to observe firsthand how the production line is operating. The Objective of a Gemba Walk In businesses, managers often look to company leaders for direction. The value created by a business, though, exists out on

Heijunka – Creating Flow

Heijunka – Creating Flow

The word Heijunka is often used in the manufacturing industry, and it means sequencing, or smoothing of production. The idea behind this term is to help absorb sudden fluctuations or changes in the demand of the market. This is often done by producing several different models of a product, in smaller production batches. In practice,

Changeover – Creating Flow and Eliminating Waste

Changeover – Creating Flow and Eliminating Waste

For those in the manufacturing industry, changeover is a term which is used when talking about converting a particular machine, or a line from creating one product to another. The most well known example of this would be in the automotive industry where it is necessary to do a changeover when updating to a new

How to Organize Your Shop: Try 5S

How to Organize Your Shop: Try 5S

Are you needing some organization in your workshop?  Do you spend more time trying to find tools and supplies and less time actually working? Are you hoping to improve your efficiency and cut your waste down?  Would doing all of this help to improve quality to the customer and possibly even reduce prices? Well, you

Manufacturing Infographic

Manufacturing Infographic

Manufacturing Day is on October 5.  I hope they can fill all of these jobs they say they have just waiting for the right candidates. I’m not sure if all of that is because pay scales for some of these positions are only attracting less qualified applicants or if there truly is a line of

What is 5S and How Should We Implement It?

What is 5S and How Should We Implement It?

5S is, in the simplest terms, a method of creating, maintaining and improving a workplace which is clean, orderly, and has methods for detecting waste and errors built in. When used properly, it will help to identify areas where things are being done inefficiently, and come up with solutions for improvement. It will help to

Connection Between 5S and Lean

Connection Between 5S and Lean

In order to have a good understanding how 5S and lean concepts are connected, is important to first take a look at them separately. 5S is a way of measuring the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques. It is the foundation which is used to support lean manufacturing strategies from the beginning until full implementation. Lean manufacturing,

What is Kanban?

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a process management technique which can be used for a wide range of different things. It was developed using the Toyota “just-in-time” system, but it isn’t restricted to just manufacturing scenarios. In its simplest form, Kanban can be seen as a production system where new requests come in at one end and completed products come out

Lean and Kaizen are not meant to eliminate People

Lean and Kaizen are not meant to eliminate People

One of the most persistent problems companies experience when attempting to implement lean and/or Kaizen practices, is that people are always worried that it will lead to the elimination of jobs. Since the beginning of these methodologies, employees have feared that the increased efficiencies and other changes that take place will mean that there is