Interesting Discussion Lean Manufacturing Concepts - Is 'Lean' hype?

Is 'Lean' hype?


  • Total voters
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  • Poll closed .

psyched1

Involved In Discussions
I really like Bev's drunk driving analogy so I'm going to continue with it. So the TPS implementation is failing because your (I don't mean you specifically, please don't take offense) not doing the root cause analysis, poke yoke, and other quality steps, and then you blame it on TPS. That's like blaiming the perfectly good vehicle for getting stuck on a muddy road even though you didn't try putting it in four wheel drive.

TPS/lean/demingism (whatever you want to call it) works. It's a perfectly good vehicle to bettering the capabilities of your factory. It's all about making the vehicle run in your environment.
Since I am not doing the implementation I don't take it personally. :cool:

The point I'm trying to make is the vehicle was not perfectly good (out of alignment, missing a wheel and headed off a cliff) but the results of a flawed quality system.

Without a solid design process based on compliance to a quality system we attempted lean. Implementing lean over a flawed system only allows for you to make more bad product faster or in lean terms gives you a greater chance to pull the chain and stop the process.

The question should be which comes first the chicken or the egg. I believe without a structured quality system based on prevention, lean will as my previous company did fail.

Lean is reactive and not preventive. Many have stated that you must fail to implement new corrective actions why not plan ahead using FEMA's, Control Plans, etc. Then again if your company was not failing you might not be implementing lean in the first place. :notme:
 
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W

wmarhel

Yes our training was done by a state funded contractor who spent two days recreating a factory that built an electronic gadget that turned on a small light bulb.

When some of us began to ask questions about how we were not facing realistic properties in the training (design flaws, machine downtime and poor product from suppliers) we were ignored shut down and the instructor moved on. :whip:
Sounds like you had utilized the local MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership), please correct me if I'm wrong. If it was a MEP then this is pretty typical from what I've experienced with them in multiple states, with the only advantage to them being that the state picks up some of the tab.

Wayne
 

psyched1

Involved In Discussions
Yes thats correct but I wasn't trying to point to the obvious perp.

I think they would have got better buy in by answering our questions even if they reflected poorly on the system he was peddling or he said he did not know. After all we are in the "Show Me" state.
 
P

potdar

Without a solid design process based on compliance to a quality system we attempted lean. Implementing lean over a flawed system only allows for you to make more bad product faster or in lean terms gives you a greater chance to pull the chain and stop the process.

The question should be which comes first the chicken or the egg. I believe without a structured quality system based on prevention, lean will as my previous company did fail.

Lean is reactive and not preventive. Many have stated that you must fail to implement new corrective actions why not plan ahead using FEMA's, Control Plans, etc. Then again if your company was not failing you might not be implementing lean in the first place. :notme:
I think we are straying. Do we all believe that Lean only means higher production at lower cost?

I believe a rethink is called for. Lean thinking / implementation starts with the concept of VALUE, on to charting the VALUE STREAMS, and then onwards to optimising FLOW, implementing PULL, finally aiming at PERFECTION. The sole aim of the exercise being to maximise the VALUE in the eyes of the customer. The word has not made an appearance so far in this thread.

After WWII, the Japanese started as a war ravaged nation with no resources churning out cheap low quality goods. Nothing different than what the companies that failed (discussed here) are doing. They used Lean and are successful today.

If our examples have failed, thats because they have not understood what the Japanese did in the name of Lean. That would also reflect on the implementers and their gurus.
 
E

Ernst Kong

I kind of disagree that lean is only for stable manufacturing companies. I work with (not for) a company that makes solid rocket motors for NASA and the defense department. They have been going "lean/TPS" for about 8 years. The differences it has made there are amazing and they are not necessarily a "stable" manufacturing environment. Many of the motors they make for NASA are one of a kind or come in orders of 5-10. I wouldn't call that stable.
stable = stable workforce , for which trust can be built upon.

One pre-requisite I observed during the implementation of Lean is that we need to address employees initial fear towards change, and trust that their jobs are secured, their opinion will be judged solely on fact not rank.

Also an ernomous amount of training is required , in my case > 200hrs/6mths for recruit and >80hrs/yr for all staffs, so it helps to have a stable workforce as to avoid unnecessary resource drain. Personally I don't any chance of suceess for company manned by temps. The culture just isn't there.

I believe lean provide the most benefits to manufacturing companies, viv-a-vis innovation-driven companies looking for breakthrough.
 

psyched1

Involved In Discussions
Organizations hiring temps are not in the correct mindset for lean nor are companies who purchase from the lowest cost vendor without regard for quality.

If we consider value is design a value added item? The customer will pay for the product they usually do not care about the design. Is that why Lean/TPS avoids design engineering?
 
P

potdar

If we consider value is design a value added item? The customer will pay for the product they usually do not care about the design. Is that why Lean/TPS avoids design engineering?
Value is directly proportional to utility and inversely proportional to cost. Both need to be worked on to improve value.

Lean thinking process recognises three aspects of operation as means of improving value:

development of new products - to improve utility.

customer service aspect - affects both cost and utility.

physical production - reduce costs using what have come to be known as 'lean techniques'. You will find many techniques here designed to take care of newly designed, even onetime jobs (e.g. SMED).

If TPS ignored engineering developments, everybody wouldn't want to drive a TOYOTA today.

The very fact that these systems are also relevant (not so relevant - the half empty half full syndrome) for even a job shop is proof enough that the engineering change aspect has been given due weightage.
 
D

duecesevenOS - 2009

Also an ernomous amount of training is required , in my case > 200hrs/6mths for recruit and >80hrs/yr for all staffs, so it helps to have a stable workforce as to avoid unnecessary resource drain. Personally I don't any chance of suceess for company manned by temps. The culture just isn't there.
I agree and disagree with this. I totally agree that a company that is manning their workforce with temps does not have a good "culture" for lean. Using temps is all about short term gains at the cost of long term goals and that is contrary to everything TPS. There is an enormous amount of training that goes into changing the culture from bank to pull so some continuity is necessary.

A company that has established a working visual factory and has standardized it's work practices has a huge advantage in situations of high turnover. You are eliminating a lot of the on the job "training" that is much harder to get sometimes. I think the classroom training is just a LOT easier to see in the bottom line than the much more dangerous (think of how many times you are out there troubleshooting mistakes for the new guys in your workforce) on the job training.

Also, once it's established, there is no training. Toyota doesn't do any training on how to run a pull system. It just is the way it is. I know most people aren't willing to wait the 50+ years it took Toyota to get to the way they are now but don't expect to surpass them anytime soon. Luckily we don't have to reinvent the wheel so it shouldn't take more than 10-15 years :rolleyes: ;)
 
E

Ernst Kong

Toyota rely on its team leader to provide informal training to workers,espeacially in multi-tasking and sharing of experiences, which I think is highly successful.

However I prefer the planned sessions for workers in which I can 'trace' their progress, and decide on the next course of actions. On the other hand, with the use of training material, I kinda obtain some written procedure how thing are done that normally stubborn technician are not willing to put it down to paper.

Well, there is no perfect way, but the most appropriate way to get things done.
 
E

Ernst Kong

If we consider value is design a value added item? The customer will pay for the product they usually do not care about the design. Is that why Lean/TPS avoids design engineering?

No other automotive maker cares more about design than Toyota. Other design cars, Toyota design car AND the system to build cars.

Why 73% existing owner would buy another Toyota, why BIG 3 lag by a hefty 40%? The value of design shall be judged by customers, not you nor I.
 
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