Lean Article

Anthony D. Burns’s picture

By: Anthony D. Burns

I had humble, that is, poor, beginnings. I didn’t even know the taste of real ice cream until later in life. One of the first impacts I felt of the luxury that technology brings was the diode my father bought for me to replace the cat’s whisker on my crystal radio. My high school was lovingly called “shack town.” I spoke as much English as a European refugee, because I had a stammer worse that King George VI.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest


Our August 11, 2017, episode of QDL looked at the role of technology in after-market service, stairs that help you up, Fidget Cubes, and more.

“Climbing Stairs Just Got Easier With Energy-Recycling Steps”

These stairs actually help you go up.

Jun Nakamuro’s picture

By: Jun Nakamuro

Japanese improvement techniques have been emulated across the globe for decades, and none carries more cultural weight than the theory of kaizen. When I expose Western leaders to lean practices in Japan, they often express that they have come away with a better understanding of “true kaizen.” They are clearly witnessing something in Japanese society that is not carried over in mainstream guides to lean.

Mike Richman’s picture

By: Mike Richman

The June 30, 2017, episode of QDL offered a wrinkle in time, of sorts: not only orbiting debris and medieval medicine, but moments in the here and now such as our interview with Keith Bevan of the Coordinate Metrology Society and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, and an on-the-go version of the Ohno Circle. Here’s a closer look:

Douglas C. Fair’s picture

By: Douglas C. Fair

Plant-floor quality issues tend to focus on a company’s technical resources. When products fall out of spec, alarms sound and all hands are immediately on deck to fix things. Despite large technology investments to monitor and adjust production processes, manufacturers are still bedeviled by quality problems. The issue is not a lack of technology. It is a lack of quality intelligence.

Michael Ray Fincher’s picture

By: Michael Ray Fincher

To meet the 2018 deadline for becoming certified to ISO 9001:2015, organizations are scrambling to overhaul their quality management systems. One major revision to ISO 9001 is the requirement to identify, evaluate, and address risks. Unfortunately, a tool most appropriate for these actions has fallen to the wayside. Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is the perfect tool to satisfy an organization’s risk analysis needs—provided that the technique is understood.

Robert A. Brown’s picture

By: Robert A. Brown

Lean thinking has taken its rightful place in the effort to improve efficiency in manufacturing. However, it isn’t fulfilling its potential in many areas, most notably with knowledge workers. This is due to a fundamental flaw in how lean is presented and utilized. With a better constructed approach, lean can be of value in nonproduction environments, including improving the efficiency and effectiveness of how people interact—a true boon to every business. For lean thinking, one size does not fit all.

Mark Whitworth’s picture

By: Mark Whitworth

Reading the Automotive Industry Action Group’s CQI-8 Layered Process Audit (LPA) Guideline, you might notice a line saying LPAs are “completed on site ‘where the work is done.’”

For lean manufacturing experts, this specific quote might bring to mind gemba walks, a method where leaders observe and solve problems on the shop floor. In Japanese, gemba means “the real place,” or in manufacturing, where the work is done.

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