TPM Pillars—Eight Pillars of Total Productive Maintenance

What is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)? Total productive maintenance is a complete system for maintenance of equipment that aims at achieving an optimal production environment devoid of defects, downtime, stoppages and accidents. One distinct advantage of total productive maintenance is that it empowers the shop floor to work in a concerted manner to ensure that machines are functioning at their …

Lean Kata: Daily Improvement Practice Routine

After unsuccessfully trying to implement lean, most managers end up blaming the workers as being against lean. While resistance is to be expected in any change program, the reasons for lean implementation failure are many. But the most ignored aspect when trying to implement lean is the psychology of change within the organisation. Everybody behaves in a certain way because …

How 3D Printing Can Improve Factory Productivity

The main objective of lean manufacturing is to reduce the time it takes from when a customer places his order to the time the order is delivered. By removing wasteful activities along the value chain, there is a significant reduction in lead times and — ultimately — costs. 3D printing is proving to be a useful tool in eliminating some …

OEE: Calculation of Manufacturing Performance Ratio

OEE is a metric that is used for understanding the ratio of actual productive time to planned production time. Because of the low OEE in most manufacturing plants, there is a huge opportunity for improvement. WHAT IS OEE? Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metric answers the question – what percentage of the planned production was actually achieved? The ideal OEE of …

Beer Game: How the Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chains Happens

                      Exploring the Bullwhip Effect using the Beer Game | Source What Is the Bullwhip Effect? The bullwhip effect in supply chains is the increase in order fluctuations as one moves upstream. It starts with a small signal in the consumption of goods by a downstream step. This small signal is misinterpreted …

5s at Home: Use this Lean Manufacturing Tool to Declutter

  Clutter overflow by Puikkibeach on flickr (cc by 2.0) | Source The amount of disorganization in your house has now become a major problem, and you are wondering what to do with all the piles of materials that are building up in every available space. You decide to do something about it but do not know where to start, and it …

14 Lean Management Principles

A lean organization achieves its goals through the application of time-tested techniques and tools, backed by a firm philosophical foundation of continuous improvement and learning. Behind the lean paradigm are a set of management principles that when consistently applied, result in business success regardless of one’s industry. What is Lean Management? Traditionally, we expect management to be the function that …

What is Heijunka?

By definition, heijunka is a production leveling and scheduling tool that is used in lean manufacturing to utilize the available capacity within an organization effectively. Responding flexibly to customer demand increases profitability. The reality necessitates production leveling and scheduling in the business world where customer demand tends to fluctuate on a day to day basis but when looked at from …

How Poka Yoke Improves Safety

Thousands of workers die or get injured on the job in the US each year. Workplace injuries and fatalities are financially and socially  [PDF] costly.  Safety features are at the forefront of most product design. No one wants to be the reason a customer was hurt or killed because of poor quality or a dangerous feature went unnoticed. Rigorous testing …

Heijunka — Production Levelling in Manufacturing

Manufacturing products is not for the faint hearted. The coordination of resources required to convert raw material to the final product can be exhausting on a normal day. To add to this, customer orders may fluctuate from day to day — leaving the plant guessing on what and how much to produce. Wouldn’t it be nice if customer orders were …