Blog posts tagged with Lean

Complete ANY Changeover in 10 Minutes or LESS

December 11, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED           A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.

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Improve Safety in Your Plant with Lean

July 05, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

In an average manufacturing plant, the presence of old industrial equipment, bad systems, or untrained workers can mean a higher risk of workplace accidents. In fact, studies show 94 percent of accidents occur because of unsafe actions, at-risk behaviors or poor decisions, while only 6 percent happen as a result of unsafe conditions, OSHA violations, and dangerous machinery. This shows that while compliance is necessary, it does not guarantee things will operate as smoothly as they should. Safety is about people, which means correcting behavior can be a challenge. But it’s possible to steer your employees in the right direction by engaging them during the continuous improvement process. The OSHA Safety and Health System Model consists of four categories: Management Leadership and Employee Involvement: Processes that involve the company coming together to brainstorm and implement solutions to plant issues Worksite Analysis: Periodic inspections and infra that track near-misses, safety incidents, and accident investigations Hazard Prevention and Control: Preventative maintenance performed to ensure the operation of a clean, organized facility Safety and Health Training: Information on how to keep the workplace safe Many lean manufacturing tools and techniques are designed to support these efforts, including audits, safety metrics, and systems that

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Build Communication by Going Gemba

June 21, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

In many cases, managers spend too much time at their desks, in meetings, and on their phones, which means they often rely on others to tell them what’s going on in their factories. Not having the necessary knowledge of day-to-day occurrences on your shop floor can not only lead to misinformed decision-making, but also an increase in safety hazards and apparent miscommunication between you and your employees. Thankfully, there are multiple ways of finding out what’s going on, one of which is known as “Gemba Walking”. Developed by industrial engineers Taiichi Ohno and Eiki Toyoda in the 1950s, Gemba is part of the famous Toyota Production System and stresses the importance getting you right where the action is, and meeting the people doing the actual work so you can see what’s happening for yourself. To start, pick an area of the factory and stand there for a prolonged period of time. Observe how your employees interact. Take notes and record questions that come to mind, some of which may include “Why are using this process for this task?” and “How can we improve on it?” These can be used in discussions later, especially those centered on devising improvement plans that

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A New Look at Lean Manufacturing

March 21, 2017 by MAGNET Ohio

It’s been more than a quarter-century since The Machine that Changed the World was published, in which Jim Womack and colleagues presented the Toyota Production System (TPS) and lean thinking to the Western world. A strong majority of manufacturers have adopted this methodology, and its principles have since spread from production to all functions (front office, finance, R&D, etc.) as well as to healthcare and other service industries. Some manufacturers have flourished within new lean cultures. But many other firms — maybe yours — have achieved some results from their lean efforts, but perhaps not as much as they had hoped. Or maybe your company is among the one-third of manufacturers not yet using lean or TPS. Whichever describes your organization, it’s time to take a new look at lean — and at five keys to implementation that will make lean work for you: Embed lean in your organization’s DNA: Lean isn’t about tools or techniques, but about changing how you think. Truly lean manufacturers have workforces — from the CEO to the janitor — in which every employee looks for problems (not blame), thinks about how to fix them, and then solves them. It’s critical that a leader (i.e.,

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Why "Lean Startup" is No Longer a Buzzword

January 11, 2017 by MAGNET Ohio

There is no “Perfect Business Model”. While this may seem like common sense, there are still a great deal of startup companies trying to approach their business with a “cookie cutter” approach. Company founders go through the process of developing a plan by assessing the opportunity, applying the problem to the assumed solution, and developing a five-year business forecast with information that is unsubstantiated and quite frankly, unknown. Recent studies show how customer-first methods are able to revolutionize the process, dramatically reducing the failure rate of startup organizations. In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, professor and principal investigator Steve Blank explored the merits of the “Lean Start-up” approach. The first contrast of the Lean Start-up approach regards the development of a framework. Using a template known as the Business Model Canvas developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, entrepreneurs are able to understand the building blocks to their organization, including categories such as Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Key Resources, and Key Partners. The business model canvas allows you to develop relationships within your building blocks, understanding the most successful approach to presenting your start-up. These approaches can be resource-driven, customer-driven, offer-driven or finance-driven as explained by Osterwalder.

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[M]NEXT: Why Small Manufacturers Matter

September 08, 2016 by Liz Fox

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), small manufacturers - companies with less than 500 employees – represent up to 99 percent of all manufacturers and account for 8.2 million jobs in the U.S. As a result, productivity among this group has continued to grow, leading to the idea of always improving in any way possible. To sustain results, it’s important to note that people matter just as much or methods or tools. MAGNET has a wealth of options for manufacturers who want to up their game through growth. Among the most vital is [M]NEXT, a new initiative focused on improving operations and employee engagement. Designed for small companies who want to grow, these workshops provide the knowledge and tools to implement Lean manufacturing principles, streamline operations, and foster more trust and communication between employees, thereby leading to top-line expansion and economic impact for the Northeast Ohio region. This series touches on a wide range of topics essential to manufacturers, including: Lean manufacturing and other fundamentals Kaizen, Kanban, and problem solving Utilizing Lean in office and administrative setting Talent pipeline, attraction, and retention ...and more! Take advantage of MAGNET’s world-class expertise and join the ranks of manufacturers that

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to Lean

March 28, 2016 by Liz Fox

In the previous installment of our blog series, we addressed how Lean manufacturing can foster positive changes in company culture. Higher morale, greater trust, better camaraderie – but how does Lean methodology really create the respect employees crave? As with any sector, manufacturing boasts leaders with an array of personal backgrounds and management styles. Those wanting to implement Lean as part of their operations are often looking for solutions to their short-term challenges, and whether it’s about meeting quota, enhancing equipment, or doing more with less talent, it’s important to think of employees as people instead of mere resources. Lean expert David Veech, a co-founder and former Executive Director of the Institute of Lean Systems, notes while drastic changes in operations can be a stressful process, morale should not be sacrificed in favor of efficiency. “Lean is a people-focused system based on a simple system: No one knows the work better than the people who do it,” Veech said in a guest entry for LeanBlog.org. “Lean emphasizes educating and cross-training workers and letting those who are closest to the work design the system.” Lean systems go far beyond basic methodologies of efficiency and streamlining. People are transformed as well as

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Lean and Company Culture

March 02, 2016 by Liz Fox

You’ve stocked up on basics and feel like you’re ready to implement on the factory floor, but how do you begin to “think” Lean? While equipping yourself with knowledge and strategy is the first step in your journey toward continuous improvement, it is not enough; in fact, focusing on tools and finer details can lead to short-term results that have little effect in the long run. Success through Lean means developing people as well as solutions. It is crucial for employees to look at it as a way of thinking in order to apply principles in an organized manner, and manufacturers who invest time and effort in introducing this school of thought to their staff members boast a higher chance in adapting to a Lean system. Old-school methods can emphasize end results over processes, but Lean principles exist more as a way of life in company culture. It is an ideology rooted in habit, and deliberate practice is often needed to get the blood flowing. In order for Lean implementation to succeed, the entire organization must participate and commit to 4 fundamental principles. Purpose: Thinking of your company, products, and employees can bring value to your customer base Process: Constantly

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Manufacturing 101: Just-in-Time Manufacturing

February 25, 2016 by Michael Boebinger

To anyone outside the industry, manufacturing topics may seem foreign or devastatingly simple. You might wonder why quality seems to mean different things, or why manufacturers always talk about Lean when we know that can be bad for posture. But while these might sound off-putting, most people are actually familiar with manufacturing concepts in their everyday lives. Among these ideas is Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing, a specific principle used in Lean manufacturing to improve processes. While it might sound like Justin Timberlake’s new watch collection, it’s actually about using what you need and having less clutter. For everyday life, it can be helpful to think about JIT in terms of how you might prepare a meal at home. Unless you have unlimited space in your kitchen, you don’t keep endless quantities of things you rarely use. If you had to drive out to get coffee beans before actually drinking your coffee every morning, it would waste time and money, making the endeavor a miserable one that would barely be worth the effort. Thankfully, the JIT ideology offers balance to the madness. You may get all your ingredients for the next day from the store on your way home from work, enabling

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Learn the 5 S's of 5S!

February 04, 2016 by Liz Fox

In the first of our Lean blog series, we discussed Lean 101 and how it can benefit a manufacturer. But what does it mean to actually apply those principles in an everyday setting? What schools of thought exist, and how do they differ from one another? Among the most widely accepted methodologies in Lean manufacturing is 5S, a philosophy that emphasizes the idea of ownership through organization of materials and process standardization. It is most effective when applied in a systematic way and enables employees to maintain the ideal efficiency and effectiveness of their workspace. While qualities find in 5S can be traced back to Venice shipbuilders in the 16th century, the approach we take today originated in Japan with the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) standards. Because of its efficiency, 5S experienced a universal boom by the 1980s, changing the state of manufacturing in the modern world and allowing an influx of goods to be produced. The principles of 5S were formed using five Japanese terms – later translated into English - that emphasized the importance of eliminating waste. This step-by-step process is based on improving production as well as enhancing quality of work and

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