The Discovery of Lean | Narrated Prezi by Mark Warren

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Brief description on the origins of lean. Lean is an outcome of implementing Flow Principles + the TWI program





Michel Baudin‘s  comments:

This is a short version of a one-hour presentation I heard live a few months ago. Mark’s take is the result of more than 30 years of practical experience in all sorts of plants around the world and more than a decade of intensive research of original documents in numerous archives in several countries.

To understand where concepts and techniques are useful in manufacturing today, we need to know who invented them and for what purpose. The historical perspective is not a luxury, and the explanations of this history must be accurate if it is to enlighten us.

At historical research, Mark is a pro; I am an amateur. John Hunter thinks I have a “library full of dusty tomes.” In truth, I only have a few old books on manufacturing, half of them recommended by Mark.

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Achieving one-piece flow | Darren Dolcemascolo

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“Sometimes referred to as “single-piece flow” or “continuous flow,” one-piece flow is a key concept within the Toyota Production System. Achieving one-piece flow helps manufacturers achieve true just-in-time manufacturing. That is, the right parts can be made available when they are needed in the quantity they are needed. In the simplest of terms, one-piece flow means that parts are moved through operations from step to step with no work-in-process (WIP) in between either one piece at a time or a small batch at a time. This system works best in combination with a cellular layout in which all necessary equipment is located within a cell in the sequence in which it is used.”

Michel Baudin‘s insight:

In the current issue of Reliable Plant, Darren Dolcemascolo explains the concept and the value of one-piece flow in simple terms, including the prerequisites for it to work.

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Bodo Wiegand Up Close and Personal with Forklifts

Bodo Wiegand heads the Lean Management Institute, which is the German affiliate of the Lean Enterprise Institute. The following is a translation from German of a large excerpt from his  September, 2012 newsletter,  Wiegand’s Watch:

Lately I was again guided through a company that is Lean – according to its manager. How could I argue with him? After the obligatory tour he was quite euphoric when he asked me: “It’s Lean, right? What do we still need to do? ”

Well, what do you  tell someone who had a super-neat and great looking production line? 5S at its best, so to speak. But he had led me from front to back rather than back to front through the production process. And he was also proud of his warehouse, which he described as a very Lean supermarket. Then he showed the wonderfully marked transportation aisles, which turned out as freeways for forklifts. Everything was transported out of  the supermarket at maximum speed.

I asked him to take us to a place where you could see the whole production. Painstakingly, we then climbed onto a platform created earlier for the crane operator. Well, there we stood and took a look at his beautifully tidy company. Also from there you could see how much effort and energy was put into the 5S action, executed almost to perfection.

But then from the air we could see things that weren’t running so well. After 10 minutes with this a bird’s eye view, he still hadn’t noticed anything. So I asked him to put the forklifts on break for one hour. Soon he saw what happened. Some areas had used up their supplies in 20 minutes, while others were still not through with their stock after one hour.

The penny dropped. “Gee, Mr. Wiegand, it’s clear that not everything is matched.”

“Yes,” I said, “there is no flow in your production.”

The forklift traffic masked everything and made the production appear clean. No crates stood around, everything was in the supermarket. It balanced everything and covered the essentials. So, let’s not be fooled by operations without materials or nice tidy 5S islands of bliss. Believe nothing, without having seen and walked the value stream. Only then will you learn what is really going on.Afterward, we discussed flow kaizen intensively. At the end, he admitted that he wanted to test me, and that he really just wanted to have  the seal of approval as and audited Lean company. But the manager could not have known that I don’t like forklifts.