Category: Lean Enterprise

Who Pays for Waste

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What is waste? Waste (or Muda) is anything (activity or material) that does not produce value for the customer. There are two kinds of Muda. Type 2 Muda is waste we can see and quickly eliminate using point kaizen. Type 1 Muda is waste that is systemic, hidden in plain sight, and is very difficult to eliminate without a concerted, sustained and systemic effort. We will talk about that in the next issue. How wasteful is the average “non-lean” manufacturing company? In my practice, I have found that it is possible to double the production in the same space without…
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Workcell Empowerment

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Lean, which is adapted from the Toyota Production System (TPS), embodies much of the Toyota cultural and operational philosophies. One of the overriding philosophies of TPS is “worker empowerment”. Lean creates an environment that empowers workers, especially at the workcell, level, to act in favor of quality and productivity. This concept is in sharp contrast with the traditional western management philosophy, which believes those decisions are better left to the supervisor. To illustrate this how empowerment works, the author tells the true story of Fred (not his real name) who identified and helped stem a serious quality problem without any…
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