Monday, February 26, 2018

7 Must Have Tools for Lean Factory

There are lots of tools in the tool box of continuous improvement for sure. Out problem solving can be improved by basic application of simple tools. Perhaps there are several simple tools that everyone should have at their disposal. In my experience these tools can help with many Lean efforts including visual management or 5S, value stream and process mapping, daily management and standardization:

Camera. A camera is a great tool document the process. You can use it to share best practices like in single point lessons, create visual standards, or even communicate defects and discrepancy. A picture is worth a 1000 words. Pictures are very effective at visually highlighting the improved appearance and order in the workplace.

Laminator. Customize your own visuals with a laminating machine. The use of visuals helps to ensure that the new standards remain clearly visible, readily understood, and consistently adhered to by all employees long after the Lean or rapid improvement event is over.

Label Maker. The right printing system can be an essential tool for creating an orderly and visually instructive workplace, allowing you to make signs, labels, tags, and more on demand.

Vinyl Chart Tape. Chart tape can be used in charting, plotting, and sectioning off various cells and diagrams. Using magnets as cell markers or placeholders along with a vinyl tape-created chart can turn any magnetic surface, whiteboard or not, into a sleek, low-maintenance chart.

Magnetic Adhesive Tape. Magnetic self adhesive tape is a perfect solution for a variety of signage projects. It is extremely easy to use, just cut, peel and stick. This is perfect for adhering labels, signs, and other visuals to boards and equipment, allowing you to move & reuse them.

Double Sided Tape. Double-sided tape is a versatile tool that comes in handy for many uses including mounting, sealing, and installing. Peel-and-stick adhesive tape can secure materials to a wide range of surfaces, including paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, and metal.

Post-it-notes. Post-it-notes have become a symbol of process mapping especially value stream mapping. Where ever there is a vertical surface you can create a map. They can also be used to identify waste in a cell like a red tag card for a 5S activity. I have even used post-it-notes to do a work balance table by cutting slips to represent the process times of various steps. They are great for daily action item tracking, too.  Post-it-notes are a versatile tool with lots of potential for the creative.

There is no one right tool for every job, but these can be used together to come with many effective improvement solutions. There are low cost, simple to use, and easy to store.  I believe everyone should have these tools in their toolbox.

What items do you find indispensable to your continuous improvement efforts? 

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1 comment:

  1. I suggest to have always some white pages and punched pockets along to name temporarely places where later signs will be hung up