Transforming Manufacturers

into Lean Enterprises

Creating Flow

  • Getting close to the process can be dirty work
  • Getting finger tip close to the process
  • Harold coaching on equipment maintenance practices
  • Implementing projects and leading teams
  • Speaking at global conference on strategic alignment
  • Leading managers and teams to the problem areas for 5 Whys Exercise
  • Teaching engineering entrepreneurship to UT grad students
  • Enterprise wide Value Stream Analysis with execs
  • Aligning to TPM principles before going to the gemba

Creating Continuous Flow (CCF) – Do you find it difficult to balance your operator-paced production lines to takt? Are your machines arranged as process villages with excessive capacity, labor, and work-in-process inventory? Are your production problems hidden? Do you experience excessive downtime from automation? Using the CCF methodology, we help your team turn your production process into a continuous flow process with minimal waste. This process can also be used to help you specify a new production process that will be productive from day one.

Making Materials Flow – Are material handlers working like “taxi drivers,” driving forklifts around your facility, mostly with forks empty? Is it difficult to see your production lines due to all the material stacked around them? Is material “touched” several times from the warehouse to point-of-use? Are process operators leaving their work area to retrieve needed items? Is it difficult to see what the problems are with your current material delivery methods? We create Material Delivery Systems (MDS) to reduce fork truck traffic and ensure material is delivered to point-of-use in small quantities, frequently, in a manner that is convenient to the process operator.

Visual Management – Can you easily determine the difference between what “is happening” and what “should be happening?” Can you determine if a process is on schedule? Can you determine when it got off track and why? Are your problems exposed so that you can readily identify them? Visual management is a collection of tools we use to help our clients expose problems. A visually managed plant is a necessary step in developing a problem-solving culture.

Leveled Production (Heijunka) – Do you carry excess finished goods inventory only to find out that you still are not able to fill customer orders in a timely manner? Do you carry excess raw materials only to find out that you still don’t have the raw materials you need to build your schedule? Do your suppliers complain about your erratic demand and struggle to deliver on time? Leveled Production is a methodology use to reduce the EPEI (every part every interval) of your production system, making it much easier to meet customer demand with lowered finished goods inventories. This is accomplished by producing in smaller batches and cycling through your product mix with greater frequency, providing you with a hedge against customer demand variation.

Pull Systems (Kanban) – Do you struggle to schedule all your processes with MRP? Do you have large inventories of internally produced components and subassemblies, but still struggle to have the right part available at the right time? Pull Systems are methodologies to control production through visual signals. Upstream processes replenish a supermarket or a FIFO that feeds subsequent processes and the “pull signal” is driven by downstream consumption.

Workplace Organization (5S) – Do you have trouble finding items that should always be available to your workers? Do you need special clean-ups when a customer or VIP is going to visit your facility? 5S is a term that is utilized throughout the industry but rarely performed properly. We ensure a system that will revolutionize your workplace organization, support standardized work (ultimately supporting flow) and create a system that is self-sustaining.

Standard Work – Are all of your operations run the same way by all people on all shifts? Do any of your processes require a “knack” to get completed correctly? Let us help you find the best way to run each operation and train all of your people to work it that one best way. We average 30% productivity gains brought about by the discipline of Standardized Work.

Quick Changeover (SMED) – Do you run large batch sizes because your constraint equipment takes too long to change over to a different part number? Our track record is a 70% reduction in downtime related to product changeovers.