Oct 2 2012
Jul 18 2012
This article discusses the “renowned lean manufacturing and ‘just-in-time’ production techniques of the Japanese manufacturers,” a wording that implies that all Japanese manufacturers use variants of the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is not the case, and it is particularly not true of Honda.
Honda is good at manufacturing, but uses methods developed in-house, based on the founder’s philosophy of self-reliance.Soichiro Honda was known for telling engineers: “Don’t try to find out what the other guy is doing, just solve your own problem!” He also got the company involved in racing early on so as to infuse the “racing spirit” in everything it did. The Honda Way isn’t just a rebranding of TPS or Lean, as so many companies’ “Production Systems” are; it is an original, autonomous development. The white uniform in the picture is part of it. Its purpose is to make stains stand out, so that their sources are identified and removed from production.
See on www.detroitnews.com
Jul 17 2012
Jeffrey Liker on what Lean really is. An interesting article, with which I have a few quibbles:
- The Shingo Prize rewards companies for looking Lean, not being Lean, as evidenced by the prize’s inability to predict competitive performance.
- The Machine that Changed the World and Lean Thinking introduced the word Lean, not the concept. It existed before, for a good 10 years, under a succession of names that didn’t catch on as well as Lean did, including TPS, WCM, and others.
- His conclusion is overly optimistic:
“At the end of the day U.S. manufacturers that invest in developing skilled, motivated leaders whose passion is to develop people who can improve processes in the long-term will beat the competition every time.”
I don’t think it’s true, because they will be competing against manufacturers elsewhere doing the same.
I also do not see this statement as an accurate summary of Lean. Under Alfred P. Sloan’s leadership in the 1920s, GM did everything the statement says. When Peter Drucker wrote Concept of the Corporation in 1946, GM was arguably the best run company in the world, particularly in leadership development, but, even looking back, you wouldn’t call it Lean.
See on www.manufacturingpulse.com
Jun 21 2012
TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. has been hammered by the strong yen, putting extra pressure on the automaker to stay lean and come up with new innovations to ride out the challenge, a senior executive said Thursday.
Note the statement that “…a line was extended in just 78 minutes by moving chunks of it and putting it together differently as though they were Lego parts…”
See on www.washingtonpost.com
Jun 18 2012
Another substantive contribution from Art Smalley, this time about standards.
See on theleanedge.org
Jun 1 2012
More about TPS in health care in Canada, this time about SMED applied to operating room turnarounds. This is not the first time manufacturing techniques cross over to surgery: 100 years ago, through motion studies in operating rooms, industrial engineers Frank and Lillian Gilbreth developed the method by which nurses make tools immediately available to surgeons.
“Surgeons are using Toyota management techniques to cut time between surgeries and halve overtime hours…”
See on www.thestar.com