Pulling from overseas is of special importance, because without optimizing material flow from outside suppliers and especially from overseas suppliers, it will be very difficult to achieve high overall inventory turns and reduce working capital. (Note: I’m using the term “overseas” to refer to imports from outside of your country. Yes, I know that they may not literally come from across the ocean!) Reducing the amount of material at a workstation is important to save valuation production floor space, improve operator productivity, and reduce part selection errors, but the Point of Use inventory locations represent the smallest part of your total inventory.
There are many “schools” of Lean Manufacturing. Some are closely aligned with the Toyota Production System (TPS), and tend to use a lot of Japanese terms and concepts. Others have Americanized the TPS, and made it more culturally accessible in the United States and other countries. The approach to Kanban will vary depending on which school of thought you were trained in.
Welcome to Part 5 of a 5-part series on Lean Design. If you are still here after reading Parts 1-4, you are probably convinced of the importance of achieving “flow” in your business and manufacturing Value Streams! In this lesson I’ll summarize the four main paths available to you to build your skills in Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management, which I consider to be core knowledge for any Lean Specialist, Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer, or Material Specialist.
Welcome to Part 4 of a 5-part series on Lean Design. In Part 1 I made the case that the achievement of “flow” is a major goal in the design of a Perfect Value Stream, and in Part 2 I discussed different ways to measure flow and why this is important. In Part 3 I gave you a quick introduction to the design methodology itself. In this lesson I’ll continue that discussion with five hurdles that will need to be incorporated in your design to create the Perfect Value Stream.
Hurdle 1: Before You Fire Up CAD
Welcome to Part 3 of a 5-part series on Lean Design. In Part 1 I made the case that the achievement of “flow” is a major goal in the design of a Perfect Value Stream, and in Part 2 I discussed different ways to measure flow and why this is important. In this lesson I’ll cover the step-by-step method for designing a value stream that can flow. Think of this lesson as “Lean Industrial Engineering”.
Welcome to Part 2 of a 5-part series on Lean Design. In Part 1 I made the case that the achievement of “flow” is a major goal in the design of a Perfect Value Stream. In this lesson I’ll cover how flow can be measured, and be used for Kaizen, benchmarking, and product costing. We will then review how a company grew by 500% in a few years, by applying flow methods.