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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daily Lean Tips Edition #10

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #136 - It is easy to think that inventory solves production flow problems but in fact it just hides them.
Inventory occurs for a variety of reasons:

•The upstream process moves faster than the downstream process.
•Goods flowing from several lines to one process or goods waiting to go from one process to several different lines tend to pile up.
•There is waiting for machine changeover.
•Materials are purchased and processed for expected end-of-the-month rushes.
•Spare parts are purchased in advance for after-sales service.

Inventory adds cost without adding value.

Lean Tip #137 - Inspection identifies and eliminates defects from the production flow.
Inspection identifies and eliminates defects from the production flow. It does not add value because it does not eliminate the source of the defect but only its result. Once you change your focus from "finding" defects to "reducing" defects you are on your way to eliminating waste. Ultimately, lean production aims to prevent all defects from occurring.

Lean Tip #138 - Identifying and eliminating waste increases job satisfaction.
No longer will you spend hours looking for missing tools, waiting for materials to arrive, walking around piles of inventory, lifting and setting down heavy parts or tools, working in unsafe conditions, and all the other things you have to do that aren't essential to your job. When you identify and eliminate waste the frustrating non-value added aspects of your job will disappear.

Lean Tip #139 - In order to balance capacity and load without overproducing, you must implement advanced Lean production.
In order to balance the capacity and load without overproducing, you must implement the advanced methods of Lean production:

•Line balancing
•One-piece flow
•Pull production using kanban
•Quick-changeover operations
•Level production - small lots, mixed production

Overproduction is the worst of the seven wastes; it is the exact opposite of just-in-time production.

Lean Tip #140 - If you want the ability to see waste you must adopt the necessary attitude.
You must adopt an attitude that supports your ability to see waste. Waste is hard enough to find when you wan to find it; if you don't want to find it, or if your response to finding it is denial or resistance, then it will never be possible for you to root out waste and make your environment stress free.

Lean Tip #141 - Remember three essentials for fact finding.
Remember three essentials for fact finding. (1) Go to where the problem occured. (2) See the problem first-hand. (3) Confirm the facts based on your own observations.

Lean Tip #142 - Be a walker and an observer in your factory.
Supervisors and managers must continually walk through the factory to see that standards are being followed and to practice seeing waste. Operators need to continually examine their own operations to stay alert for new problems and new ideas for solving them that may come to mind as they do their jobs.

Lean Tip #143 - Look with the eyes of a child.
Young children looking for answers in their surroundings are always asking why. All improvement begins with the first why. Never cease looking and never cease asking that first why. As you practice this, the rest will follow.

Lean Tip #144 - Standards must be continually and systematically updated or waste will enter your operation.
One way waste enters into operations is when standards are not improved to meet changing conditions. Even standardization fails to sustain waste-free production if not systematically updated to take advantage of new materials, new technology, and worker improvement ideas. If the slightest defect occurs, the standard must be reconsidered.

Lean Tip #145 - Bring latent wast to the surface by implementing single piece flow.
If you are having difficulty finding waste, or there is no motivation to do so, you can jump-start the situation by introducing single-piece flow. Don't wait for the right conditions, just put it in place with the current conditions in one line. Suddenly, latent waste will be obvious to everyone.

Lean Tip #146 - There are three element needed to establish standardized work.
There are three elements of standardized work:

1.Takt Time: the rate at which we must produce a product or service to meet the customer demand.
2.Work Sequence: the best way and the order we know to do the work today.
3.Standard-work-in-process: the amount of inventory necessary to allow takt rate to be met and the worker to be successful in performing to the standard each time.

Lean Tip #147 - Implementing visual systems create a number of benefits for your organization.
Implementing visual systems in your organization create a number of benefits including:

•Workers can take command of their daily work
•Visual systems provide a common work language even when spoken languages differ
•Low cost and simple solutions
•Perserves key resources for other work
•Makes it easier for Managers to "see" abnormal condition in the processes they are responsible for

Lean Tip #148 - Increase your understanding of the power of visual systems with a Gemba walk.
Take a Gemba walk through your business. Make a list of all the visuals you see, categorize them by type (indicator, signal, control) and note how and where they are used. Can you think of any other places these visual methods could be used in your company?

Lean Tip #149 - Go to the production floor and look at the paperwork when trying to create continuous flow.
Walk the production floor and look at the paperwork for about 10 orders that are in WIP. Document the lot size for each order. Ask why the lot size is the size it is. If you were to cut the lot size in half what would happen.

Lean Tip #150 - Continuous flow uncovers a number of opportunities in your value stream.
The key advantages of continuous flow are:

•Shorter lead-times and less work-in-process inventory
•Easier to identify defects and process problems
•Keeps workers focused on value-added work and makes it easier to see where they are needed
•Allows for faster feedback and improves communication when problems arise
•Reduces many of the seven wastes associated with batch production

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