The goal of this blog is to educate you on Lean manufacturing strategies, and how your facility can become a Lean workplace. We’ll introduce you to a number of Lean tools like 5S, Jidoka, Kanban, and more. Learn how to take a Gemba walk, why the concept of Genchi Genbutsu is important, and even how to set up your own Obeya room. We hope to provide you with the tools needed to identify and eliminate the wastes in your facility!

Lean Manufacturing & Lead Time

6 min read Finding ways to improve your manufacturing facility can be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. There are many different strategies out there to consider. Cutting back on lead time is one of the best things that any company can do to cut out waste, get products to customers faster, and improve overall service. Understanding how lean manufacturing and lead time work together is extremely important for developing a good system that can benefit your entire facility. What is Lean Manufacturing? Lean manufacturing is a system that attempts to eliminate as much waste from a facility as possible. It

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automotive assembly line

What is the Toyota Production System?

3 min read It is certainly not uncommon for a company to develop processes and procedures related to the way that they produce their products. It is, however, very uncommon for one of these systems to become the foundation for how millions of businesses around the world engage in manufacturing. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is one of the most significant revolutions to the manufacturing industry since the assembly line. Learning about the history of TPS and how it is still followed today will give any business some important insights into how they can operate more efficiently. The History of the Toyota Production

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Six Sigma

What is Six Sigma?

2 min read In the manufacturing world, quality rules the day. Producing high-quality products that both meet company standards and customer expectations consistently is what manufacturing engineers dream about, what occupies their thoughts whether they’re in the office, at their kids’ ballet recital, or on the train heading home. Making high-quality products is tough enough, but to do it again and again with efficiency and uniformity, with minimal reworking needed? The challenge feels insurmountable. Lean manufacturing, an umbrella term for a series of methodologies that seek to deliver high-quality products or services as efficiently as possible, identifies waste as the enemy of any

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what is gemba

What is Gemba?

3 min read Gemba, a term first used by Toyota, means going to the real place where the action is. In the 1980s, ‘In Search of Excellence’ author Tom Peters popularized the concept when he talked about management by wandering around (MBWA). Like MBWA, Gemba walks take management to the front lines to see daily happenings. Gemba, however, is more focused. Find Where Value Is Created Gemba refers to “the real place,” the location where value is created in your business. In an industrial environment, that place is often the manufacturing floor where you create the products you sell to your customers. By

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Introduction to 5S

Introduction to the 5S Method

2 min read If your company is like most organizations, you’re searching for a competitive edge. Something that will reduce costs, increase sales, and make you more agile in a changing business environment. You’ve found it. Simply put, 5S is a systematic approach to workplace organization. But it’s also much more than that. 5S is about efficiency, competitiveness, and survival. It is a deceptively simple system that creates an organized and productive workplace. It’s not just about cleaning up and eliminating toolboxes. 5S creates a workplace environment that can adapt and succeed. Chaos and unproductivity are your enemies; organization and efficiency are your

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kaizen continuous improvement

Kaizen and Continuous Improvement

2 min read The best thing about kaizen – and the biggest reason that every company should adopt it – is that it does not rely on expensive, innovative solutions. Just the opposite is true. The core principle of kaizen is to make small, immediate improvements in the processes and standards of the workplace. But not just one improvement. Looking for ways to make small improvements should be part of everyone’s job, every day of the week. And after a period of time, all of these small improvements will add up to better working conditions, a higher degree of safety, more efficiency, and

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The Tools of Lean

2 min read Lean, the manufacturing methodology, impacts nearly every aspect of the business in order to reduce and eliminate wastes while maintaining or improving quality. Lean can be worked into virtually any part of a business and in any area in a facility. The scope of Lean is broad and can sometimes be seen as abstract. To achieve the goals of Lean and accomplish its objectives, there are many tools at your disposal in the Lean toolbox. The following are just a few tools that you can use when implementing or practicing Lean: → 5S: 5S is a tool used to organize and

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Introducing the House of Lean

2 min read Lean manufacturing is a systematic methodology used to reduce wastes in the process while improving productivity and sustaining or improving the value of the product for the consumer. Many concepts, principles, and strategies fall under the umbrella of Lean The concepts and principles of Lean manufacturing are often referred to as a house: a strong foundation of leadership and employees, the walls of the house that optimize processes, and finally the roof that signifies customer focus. The Foundation Just like any other house being built, the House of Lean will need a strong foundation. The foundation of the House of

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Understanding the Terms of Lean

2 min read The principles and strategies of Lean manufacturing are mostly derived from the Toyota Production System. Because this system is was developed in Japan, there are many Lean terms that are also Japanese terms like Heijunka or Jishuken. There are also a few English words in the Lean vernacular including Value Stream Mapping and Bottleneck Analysis. It can be difficult to fully grasp the concepts of Lean manufacturing without understanding the terms, so this post focuses on several common terms you will likely see or hear along your Lean journey. → 5S: 5S is a visual management and organizational system that is

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The Wastes of Lean

2 min read Taiichi Ohno, the pioneer of the Toyota Production System, formally identified common wastes found in manufacturing and coined it as the 7 Wastes of Lean. The 8 Wastes of Lean is simply an extension and update of Ohno’s original philosophy. Lean manufacturing breaks down different categories of waste: Muda, Mura, and Muri. Literally translated from Japanese, Muda means useless, and the original 7 Wastes of Lean fall under this category of the 3M’s. What are the 7 wastes of Lean? The seven wastes commonly found in workplaces are not industry specific and can be found in nearly any facility. The

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