Lean Features

Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
There is a concept in lean known as a “monument.” It refers to a large machine, piece of equipment, or something similar that can’t be changed right away, and so you have to plan your processes...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
I wrote a piece a little more than five years ago about a variety reduction program (VRP), an amazing but little-known product-design optimization tool. At the time I referred to VRP as an idea...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Many moons ago, when I was just getting started on my lean journey, I visited a large automotive supplier to benchmark pull systems. My own factory had started a pilot kanban between two work...
Ken Voytek's picture
Ken Voytek
In a recent post, I examined the differences in productivity across small and large manufacturing firms, and noted that there were differences across manufacturers in terms of size. But it’s also...
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's picture
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
An improved titanium alloy—stronger than any commercial titanium alloy currently on the market—gets its strength from the novel way atoms are arranged to form a special nanostructure. For the first...
Steve Melito's picture
Steve Melito
How competitive is American manufacturing? By the year 2020, the United States is projected to take the top spot in the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI), a multiyear research...
Fred Schenkelberg's picture
Fred Schenkelberg
A fault tree analysis (FTA) is a logical, graphical diagram that starts with an unwanted, undesirable, or anomalous state of a system. The diagram then lays out the many possible faults, and...
Howard Sklamberg's picture
Howard Sklamberg
Globalization is posing challenges for public health. For the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), part of that challenge is the ever-increasing volume and complexity of FDA-regulated products...
Ryan E. Day's picture
Ryan E. Day
Sponsored Content In the most basic terms of engine exhaust theory, more flow equates to more performance. The aim is to improve the efficiency of your vehicle’s engine, boost performance, and...
Jason Furness's picture
Jason Furness
Here’s a “tales from the real world” extract from our book, Manufacturing Money (Amazon Digital, 2015). It offers an example of the “five focusing steps” to improvement, with a particular focus on...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
In this article I want to look at the concept of equifinality in relation to the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. In systems theory, equifinality is defined as reaching the same end, no matter what...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Twice in the last month I’ve heard the phrase “traditional lean” used in public presentations. In neither case did the presenter explain the expression, but one displayed a slide with a Venn...
Fred Schenkelberg's picture
Fred Schenkelberg
When products were crafted one at a time, the design and manufacturing processes were often done by the same person. For example, a craftsman would design and build a chest of drawers or a carriage...
Mike Beels's picture
Mike Beels
It’s amazing that, in this day and age, some manufacturers have not yet heard of “lean.” How are they surviving in today’s competitive market without it? The issue is that, in many ways, the...
Evan Miller's picture
Evan Miller
Sponsored Content PLZ Aeroscience is North America’s largest custom aerosol manufacturer and packager. It produces its own private-brand products and custom formulations, and provides contract...
Takehiko Harada's picture
Takehiko Harada
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the book, Management Lessons From Taiichi Ohno: What Every Leader Can Learn From the Man who Invented the Toyota Production System, by Takehiko Harada (...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
Colonel Paul M. A. Linebarger’s authoritative Psychological Warfare (Infantry Journal Press, 1948) defines propaganda as any planned communication with the  purpose to influence behavior, but...
Gwendolyn Galsworth's picture
Gwendolyn Galsworth
Visual scheduling is a plain, two-dimensional format that maps out which products, parts, or subassemblies need to be produced, and when, in what quantity, and in what order. Nothing could be...
Jim Benson's picture
Jim Benson
We are all cursed with “surprises” at work. We come in, sit down, get ready for the day. We select a task to start on, and about halfway through, it explodes on us. The seemingly simple task now...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
Quiz time: What significance does the yin and the yang have in discussing standardized training? I suggest that you pause and guess (and then read on for the answer). OK, we all get it, standards...