Applying Lean to Engineering |

“[…]Applying lean concepts to engineering is a complex task, but as Dearborn Mid-West Company discovered the increased efficiencies are well worth the effort. To manage that complexity Dearborn focused on five key areas:

  • Eliminating wasted work
  • Defining common communication protocols
  • Adopting a common technology platform
  • Building core knowledge in a scalable small team and tools
  • Scaling the team and tools to meet short-term bursts in demand.”

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Michel Baudin‘s comments:

This article is notable for what it doesn’t say as well as what it does. A common focus for Lean engineering is capping the WIP to keep engineers from dividing their attention among so many projects that they make no progress on any.

This article makes no mention of this as even being an issue. I assume this is due to the type of work the company does. The business of designing conveyor systems for the auto industry means working on large projects for a small number of clients.

When a project comes, it’s a 6 to 9-month job requiring a dedicated team, and their challenge is to put together such teams quickly when the need arises, as opposed to keeping engineers focused.

See on Scoop.itlean manufacturing