Lean manufacturing is not a system dependent only on machinery. System is mainly focused on human resource of the organization. All the machinery are tools used to achieve the objective of lean manufacturing.
Currently, Six Sigma can be a way of life, or for the rest of us it can be a toolbox. Not every project needs a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) or a value stream map (VSM). It’s true these tools can be very useful and provide valuable information in understanding risks and process flow. However, they will take time and may be completely unnecessary. Choosing which tools are necessary and using them correctly is key. If there are any anglers reading this, they’ll know one all important phrase “match the hatch”. This basically means that you must be able to change your tool box (fly box) as needed where ever you are working (fishing). Even when you ask different master black belts about which tools to use, you’ll find that each one has their personal favorites.
If you are a small business owner, you may want to reconsider your direct involvement. Do you really know what is going on in YOUR business? What don’t you know? Why don’t you know? Answer these three questions and you may find out quickly what you don’t know.
There are obviously 5 parts to the program, sort, straighten, sweep, standardize and sustain. Once you have understood the concepts and decided to implement them, you will almost immediately see results, really.
Where is the payback?” The answer lies in the program processes and in the steps taken to sustain all efforts (the fifth S). Management and the 5S team seem to look at 5S as a once and done approach, or something you do on an annual basis when Upper Management visits the plant. The problem in this lies in the level of management’s understanding of material tubular lean, how to properly apply “Total Quality Methods” as well as tools and techniques for assuring quality. Management and the 5S teams take a compartmentalized approach or as I like to call them chimneys (Cylinders filled with hot air and smoke that have no connection to other parts of the organization).
Our first step was to build awareness with the plant manager, and then we focused on key hourly leaders, then machine operators, then supervisors and department managers. Here’s why…
If you can follow these lean concepts, you will save time and money in the long-run. To learn more about lean, just type ‘lean manufacturing” into a search engine. There are tons of articles and great books out there that will teach you all you need to know.