Lean Features

Anthony D. Burns's picture
Anthony D. Burns
You’ve set aside Sunday afternoon to bake some cookies, but you discover you have run out of eggs. Your partner in marital bliss has gone out and taken the car. You call a couple of mates, and they...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
Today I’m looking at design from a cybernetics viewpoint. My inspirations come from cybernetics and design theorists Ross Ashby, Stafford Beer, Klaus Krippendorff, Paul Pangaro, and Ranulph Glanville...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
I have been immersed in the lean world for more than a quarter century. From the start, when some folks from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence showed me how quick changeover could save my...
Mark Rosenthal's picture
Mark Rosenthal
The idea of doing the little things consistently over time is a powerful one that we often overlook in our hurry to show a spectacular result this week. We don’t get results from the big action we...
Jody Muelaner's picture
Jody Muelaner
How would you like to go hands-free, maintain visual focus, and save time? These are just some of the benefits of using voice command to control machinery. Increasingly sophisticated natural language...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Several years ago, I was asked to address a startup meeting at a new client, a large manufacturer of medical devices. The company was resource-rich, but after several years of trying had not yet...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
Editor’s note: Read episode two in the Respect for People series here. I was standing in a back room of the Honolulu Museum of Art that was off limits to the public. In this one room, protected from...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
One of my favorite equations from Factory Physics, by Wallace Hopp and Mark Spearman (Waveland Press, third edition, 2011) is Kingman’s formula, usually represented as “VUT.” The VUT equation...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
More often than not, an effective implementation of operator-led visuality produces a 15- to 30-percent increase in productivity on the cell or departmental level, beginning with the implementation...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Reflecting on Douglas McGregor’s X and Y theories of human motivation, Shigeo Shingo took the position that each of us by nature has a dual tendency: sometimes lazy and self-interested, and other...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
A daisy rising from my brick walkway reminded me this morning, that even in the worst environment, there is a chance for growth. But this kind of individual heroism does not portend success for lean...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
Responsibility. It’s a hard word to come to grips with. What is the responsible thing to do right now? What is my personal responsibility? What is my responsibility as a team, family, company,...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
If I have been on a decades-long drive to make work more flexible, Alton Brown has been on a similar one in the kitchen. There is no shortage of rants on his various shows about “unitaskers”......
Brian Lagas's picture
Brian Lagas
‘Why are our changeovers taking so long?” If you’ve asked this question on the shop floor, more than likely you were met with blank stares by your employees. Open-ended questions like this are...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
I must confess up front that the title of this column is misleading. Similar to the Spoon Boy in the movie, The Matrix, I will say, “There is no lean problem or a Six Sigma problem. All...
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn's picture
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn
As some of you already know, I was in Ford Motor Co.’s corporate quality office during the early 1980s when, just after “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We” aired on NBC, we pleaded with W. Edwards Deming to...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
My favorite part of a recent podcast with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits (Avery, 2018), was the last five minutes, when he talked about a potential downside of good habits. When we decide to...
Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man's picture
Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man
When I first learned quality improvement back in 1989 at Florida Power and Light, the consultants who trained us taught a very specific way to draw a Pareto chart. They’d been trained in Japan, the...
Alex Bekker's picture
Alex Bekker
Do you know what a retailer and a tightrope walker have in common? They both have to balance. For the tightrope walker, the logic is clear. But what’s the balance that a retailer is looking for? A...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it follows behind the previous three revolutions of: 1...