Friday, October 5, 2007

1.Lean Thinking

Definition: "Becoming ‘lean’ is a process of eliminating waste with the goal of creating value."

Note : This stands in contrast to definitions of lean that only focus on eliminating waste, which is too often interpreted as cost cutting – independent of its impact on value delivery

Two mindsets :

"Mass Production" Mindset
- Producer "push"
- Movement of materials
- High volume
- Inspection
- Expert-driven
- Decomposition
- Periodic adjustment

"Lean Enterprise" Mindset
- Customer "pull"
- Flow of value
- Flexible response
- Prevention
- Knowledge-driven
- Integration
- Continuous improvement

A Lesson From History

- 150 car makers in Indiana since the turn of the century --only 3 doing final assembly of cars in Indiana today (Honda, Subaru, and Toyota)

- Leading manufacturer --Auburn Motors --established an assembly line, but it was fixed for chassis --moving manually from one set of saw horses to another --and they resisted abandoning wood for steel in body frames

- What will people in the future say about a plant that had some group meetings, some new measurabes, some preventative maintenance, somen-station process control, some reduced in-process inventory, and some coordination among production, imaintenance and engineering?

Historical context: mergence of lean
Selected Elements of Toyota Production SystemImplemented over Three Decades:

- “Pull” vision
- Kanban (card) system
- Production leveling
- Reduced set-up time (Shingo)
- Jidoka (people giving wisdom to machines)
- Statistical Process Control (SPC)
- Quality Circles
- Kaizen (continuous improvement based onknowledge)
- Poka-yoke (error proofing)
- Adnon (visual display)

Case Example – Kanban:
1950s First kanban experiments
1960s Kanban introduced company-wide
1970s Kanban distributed across suppliers

Lean thinking: A mental model Womak and Jones:

- Specify value
- Identify the value stream
- Make value flow continuously
- Let customers pull value
- Pursue perfection


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