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Lean Manufacturing:

Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy of operations whose base objectives are increasing speed while eliminating all forms of waste. This is a highly focused methodology that emphasizes the reduction of non-value added activities in the manufacturing process, as well as in the processes that support manufacturing. A manufacturer that has adopted the lean principles uses the minimum amount of manpower, materials, money, machines, space, etc., to get the job done in order to achieve world class levels in cycle time and quality.

Lean Manufacturing focuses on eliminating 7 forms of waste from daily operations:

1. Waiting
2. Overproduction
3. Production of Defects / Rework
4. Excess Inventory and Raw Materials
5. Motion of Personnel
6. Transportation of Product
7. Unnecessary Processing


Lean Manufacturing Techniques Include:

+ Just-In-Time (JIT)

Our Just-in-Time (JIT) methodology is tightly coupled to the Toyota Production System, developed by Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo and others. It encompasses the successful execution of all manufacturing activities required to produce a product, from design engineering to delivery, including all stages of manufacturing, from raw material to final product. Central to the methodology is the use of Kanbans and pull systems to synchronize the end-to-end manufacturing process, resulting in lower inventories and higher levels of on-time delivery. When properly adapted to the organization, JIT supports Lean Manufacturing and has the ability to strengthen our client’s competitiveness in the marketplace, by reducing wastes while improving product quality and production efficiency. There are also strong cultural aspects associated with the implementation of JIT, supported by our philosophy around the application of cross functional teams.

 

+ Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)

A tool used to reduce the time it takes to change over a machine or a process, typically referred to as change over or set-up time. Set up time is measured from the time the last good part is completed by an operation, until the first good part of the next production run is completed. Dr. Shigeo Shingo pioneered the concept of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) in order to reduce the fixed cost associated with the set up. The basic concept behind SMED is the reduction of setup time (cost), which allows smaller batch sizes to be produced and results in shorter manufacturing cycle times and lower work-in-process inventory. This concept is especially beneficial as it allows the manufacturing system to quickly adjust to changes in production schedules, driven by design or customer requirements.

SMED identifies and isolates the two components of setup time: internal set-up activities and external set-up activities. SMED uses a simple approach to achieving short changeover times by using the following steps:

• Separating internal and external set-up
• Converting internal set-up to external
• Streamlining the steps in the process

 

+ Total Predictive Maintenance (TPM)

Total Predictive Maintenance was originated by the Canadian Air Force and then migrated to many high capital cost enterprises such as Airline, Power Plants, Mines and Semiconductor Plants. When a plant goes into a lean manufacturing flow, there is more emphasis on uptime of equipment. Cells where equipment fails begin to shut down the plant, and the plant maintenance people need to react quickly. Consequently, Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) become key metrics. TPM begins to focus on the diagnostic side of maintenance: anticipating where the failure will occur and when, reducing both diagnosis and repair time, and ultimately focusing on eliminating the root cause of downtime altogether. The goal becomes Zero Breakdowns and Zero Defects - a philosophy of continuous improvement.

 

+ Total Quality Management (TQM)

A very complete methodology that became popular in the U.S., at the same time as JIT in the late 80’s. TQM focuses on quality management systems, Voice of the Customer, the next operation as customer, total process yield, and Statistical Process Control. When a plant goes into a lean manufacturing flow, there is more emphasis on process and product quality. When processes are found to be out of control, cells must stop the process and quickly find and eliminate the root cause. This begins to shut down the plant, and the process engineers and management need to react quickly. Our TQM methodology provides the quality systems and process controls that support Lean Manufacturing and instills a culture of continuous improvement.

 

+ Six Sigma

A more recent version of TQM first developed by Motorola in the late 80’s and modernized by General Electric in the late 90's. Jim Lotterer, founding partner at BLMC, was one of the first practitioners at Motorola's Automotive Division to develop this methodology. Initially, six-sigma focused on attaining at least a 10 times improvement in all performance measures, in a two to five year time frame. BLMC works with clients to establish objectives for this type of rapid improvement. We then provide client teams the six-sigma tools to reach the objectives. Six Sigma has now expanded into design and white collar operations as a process to improve quality, eliminate non-value added tasks and reduce cycle time. It is generally used by operations for cellular improvements and by BLMC in end-to-end process improvement, across the enterprise.

 

+ Kaizen

Kaizen is a philosophy of continuous incremental improvement… It is the pursuit of actions whose output is intended to improve existing processes. During the course of a BLMC engagement, we implement organizational systems and mechanisms that help create and foster a climate for continuous improvement.

The nature of a restructuring project requires that very aggressive organizational goals and objectives are established. We use the basics of Kaizen in conjunction with the Design Teams to involve as many people in the organization as possible. These Kaizen or Continuous Improvement teams take the project from implementation to maturity. When we involve everyone in the improvement process, we find that results are attained faster and with less resistance.

 

+ Five S

5S is a philosophy of order. It focuses on cleaning, organizing, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. Part of the Toyota Production System, the five Ss are the first letter of five Japanese words for specific types of order. Many companies use English words to describe the five principles while trying to keep the integrity of the original Japanese meanings. A good example is:

  • Seiri (Sort)
    Distinguish between what is needed and not needed and remove all unnecessary items. Arrange all remaining items neatly and in efficient locations with all items clearly marked and labeled.
  • Seiton (Storage)
    "A place for everything, and everything in its place". Create visually marked places for all necessary items and maintain their correct placement after use.
  • Seiso (Shine)
    Cleaning and looking for ways to keep clean using schedules and guidelines.
  • Seiketsu (Standardize)
    Make standards clear, obvious, and useful. First discover all necessary information and standards and then create a visible and useful chart/checklist that aids in employee efficiency.
  • Shitsuke (Sustain)
    After defining the rules of engagement, creating systems that will help ensure that employees follow the rules.


    Some benefits of 5S include but are not limited to:

    Tangible:
    • Reduce Defects – Higher Quality
    • Reduce Waste – Lower Costs
    • Reduce Injuries – Increased Safety
    • Reduce Delays – Reduce MTTR, Increase On-time Delivery, Increase Productivity
    • Reduce Red Ink – Corporate Growth

    Intangible:
    • Makes the workplace more pleasant and efficient
    • Makes jobs more satisfying
    • Removes obstacles and frustrations at work
    • Makes communication easier
    • Provides opportunities for personnel to contribute to workplace organization

     

+ Pull Systems

Kanbans, perhaps the most widely known form of pull systems, also has it’s origins in the Toyota Production System. The Japanese word Kanban (Kan-Card, Ban-Signal or in English “Signal Card”) represents the information necessary to produce only what is needed, when it is needed. Kanbans signal the order, quantity, type, and location of what needs to be produced at a specific moment in time. They in essence serve as a work order that can visually control the Work-In-Process throughout the entire manufacturing area.

In order for Kanbans to be effective there must be systems in place that support the concept. The most important of these systems is the enforcement of adherence to Kanban Rules-of-Engagement. If the rules that govern the Kanban system are violated, the integrity of the kanbans themselves becomes corrupted. Some basic and simple rules that are fundamental and necessary are:

1. Do not send defective parts to the subsequent process.
2. The downstream operation draws only what is needed.
3. Refill only the exact quantity withdrawn by the subsequent process.
4. If there is no Kanban signal to produce, an operation must stop production.
5. Kanbans are returned to previous operations for replenishment
6. Very high levels of FIFO must be maintained. (>90%)

 

+ Performance Boards

We believe that it is essential to measure the right parameters. By creating performance boards within production cells, management will have clear visibility into the productivity and effectiveness of operations. Stand-Up meetings should be held around performance boards to analyze the past and plan improvements for the future. A hidden benefit of performance boards is human nature to perform at exceptional levels when their efforts are visible. Employees invariably strive to meet or achieve their goals when they know that their efforts will be viewed by anyone who enters their work space.
See Examples Below:

 

Hourly Target Shift
7:00AM
8:00AM
9:00AM
etc..
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Output 100/hr Day
98
2
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
100
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
FPY 95% Day
90%
(5%)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
95%
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
Linearity 100% Day
99%
1%
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
99%
1%
x
x
x
x
x
x


Daily Target Shift
MON
TUE
WED
etc..
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Output 100/hr Day
98
2
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
100
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
FPY 95% Day
90%
(5%)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
95%
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
Cycle Time 8hrs Day
7.5
(.5)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
8.2
.2
x
x
x
x
x
x
OEE 92% Day
90%
(2%)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
95%
3%
x
x
x
x
x
x


Weekly Target Shift
WW1
WW2
WW3
etc..
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Act
Var
Output 100/hr Day
98
2
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
100
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
FPY 95% Day
90%
(5%)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
95%
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
Cycle Time 8hrs Day
7.5
(.5)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
8.2
.2
x
x
x
x
x
x
OEE 92% Day
90%
(2%)
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
95%
3%
x
x
x
x
x
x
DPPM 50 Day
66
11
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
50
0
x
x
x
x
x
x
5S Audit A- Day
A
+1
x
x
x
x
x
x
Night
A
+1
x
x
x
x
x
x

 

+ Cross Functional Teams

Our cross functional team methodology is the key to the successful completion of projects. We work with our clients to establish cross functional teams and provide them the tools and training to see the true state of the operation… this gets them to the same level of understanding as we have, so that we jointly own the problem. We establish large cross functional teams, usually 15 to 30 people from the client who will be the basis for the design team, and ultimately the implementation team. A large portion of the team comes from the area being rethought. We look for the informal leaders that people will value hearing from and who can lead change. In a manufacturing project, we would expect 50% of the people to be operators or technicians, some percentage to be engineers, and some to be administrative. No Managers! After the first few weeks the design team owns the problem and feels responsible for the solution and is anxious to implement it. BLMC then moves to a teaching role and advisory position. We transfer knowledge as we work with the teams to analyze and design the To-Be state. But early on, they begin to take responsibility for the project.

 

 

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