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

Is 'Lean' hype?


  • Total voters
    60

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
Well sorry for my poor English, what I tried to write was what I think the word should mean and I tried to tell that I know that it is not what TPS happened to be build up around. I will find documentation later for why I think my version is legitimate (if I forget plz remind me).

Its hard to critized TPS if you are not allowed to take out the single pieces. Yes the holistic approach is important, but that goes for everything in business, it must be integrated, right?

I must admit that it is goes several years back since I studied TPS, perhaps time for a recap..., though I recall my critics.
 
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Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
I found it but I wont qoute, I refer to "Triump of the Lean Production System" Krafcik(1988:44) the Chapter "Back to the Future". There is a description between buffered and lean referring to mainly the stock level.

For me the minimum/no stock level approach should be the root. Lean for me should be a subcategory word that goes together with buffer, not that you should do at the same time, lol, but its the same... ah need a word ... I mean you must reflect on both of them as an option and, of cause, related to the rest of the business the holistic approach.

- And that's it, don't start on this oh its a huge system, a philosophy, a way of thinking... Yes culture eats strategy early, we all know that. It's sociology, psychology and philosophy, not Lean made of I guess only engineering people?, you will never understand the humanistic world with a few courses or articles, sorry.

Let me explain further. Would you say that OOE, SMED or FMAE are Lean tools? Some would put them in the package, I say definitely not.
Recall the distinction between buffer vs lean stock. You can use OOE, SMED and FMAE with a buffer approach as well in a Lean or TPS.

Can you see where I am going. Bev D would you argue that the pieces you mention of TPS/Lean only works if you have a lean stock level approach, that they cannot work in a buffer stock level approach? The tools can be used to implement TPS yes, though I could come with others tools that could solve these issues too. My point is they are not unique and they are in my world not particular glued to lean.

On the other hand no matter what, you can never ever have a buffer approach and then say that you are going TPS-Lean, that would be nonsense right.
Saying we must go TPS/lean you have already decided on the stock level approach which might not be the best. So I end up with a quote anyway:

"In fact, we will see later that many buffered plants operate at high levels of efficiency and that many lean plants are relatively poor performers. " - again Krafcik(1988:45).

Of course the poor performers are just bad implementations right?

My point is that you must go a step beyond and first investigates what is the best stock level approach, do some Business Process Engineering, some basic analysis and reflections and then you can design a stock level approach, which might need to be dynamic based on for instance modern Business Intelligence tools, TPS would be really bad for this.

Optimal stock level calculations relative to risk is described in most operation Management books, there is nothing lean about that.

"The difference between lean production and mass production is not empirically sustainable". Against lean production, Williams et al., (1992:324).


So Conclusion:
I just argued that Lean is only about lean, and then at last that there is no lean about Lean, lol... hmm ...

Did I lost everyone here (including myself :) )?
 
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Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
Interesting discussion...but the comment that Lean is "BS" is not very useful. Lean has a lot of good concepts... Ties in well with Six Sigma, Baldrige, ISO-9001, 5S ... these are all programs with tools... and tools can be used well or used poorly.... The problem is not in the tools as they all draw from the same toolbox. The problem is in the users that use the tools...some are knowledgeable, and skillful...some are not so much. But, the tools are fundamentally good unto themselves.
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
Interesting discussion...but the comment that Lean is "BS" is not very useful. ....
When its true it is useful information. I have just tried to argue why.

I had another thread where I asked about how to separate the different systems and concepts floating around, nothing good ever came out of it.
All concept "systems" or packages I have seen so far, no matter what they end up talking about management and culture. Six sigma high levels expert seems to always end there.

If I can prove that an operative tool will give bad results and miss something (basically all tools), that the tool already exist/is a copy, or that a better method exist or its just very basic common thinking, I find it fair to call it BS, if people are charging high consulting prices for it.

Bev D did not want me to take pieces out, so instead I argued what I believe is the core basic or at least should be, and why that is problematic. I did this with references.
 
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Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
Mikael - you clearly do not understand what Lean is. Your belief of what lean is, is not correct. Lean isn't about stock levels. Lean is about increasing velocity and capacity through the continual reduction of waste. KanBan (or inventory regulators that limit inventory to min/max levels) are only a TOOL in a SYSTEM of tools to achieve the goal. You are debating a false definition of Lean.

I posted 3 critical articles on your other thread. I would suggest that fi you are truly interested in understanding Lean, that you read them and then come back. As it is you are just bashing something you know little about...

sorry if this sounds harsh but really we have a responsibility to truly understand our topics before we argue against them...
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
Bev D please with all respect, I actually do have references for my claim.
Have you read Krafcik? I think it is fair to state that stock level originally was/should be the root.

I have read late articles/book on the subject (I will see if I can find time to follow up on the the one you refer too, fair enough, I have done womack), and yes I do fully understand that it is much more.
My claim in my former post was, that since it was not sexy enough it was expanded . Though that it is conspiracy it does not change the fact, that in my world all this "extra" is not impressive at all.
I would like to cut what I think is actually bad, and use lean as a meaningful word compared to buffer.

Perhaps you read me wrong? You think I believe that all the Lean descriptions is only about stock level, I do know and fully agree that this is not true. I just "disagree" with these approaches.

I do think that you have read and know way more about TPS/Lean than I do, and I am open to the fact that I misunderstood it, and if I read Krafcik wrong please argue, but please understand that I did try to study it and when I come with quotes and references please do respect that it is not just something that I made up.
 
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Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
I respect the fact that you are quoting someone and you didn't make it up. But Krakcik isn't the expert. He didn't originate TPS or Lean. Eh is credited with coining the term 'lean', but all of those who worked with him (and he wasn't the lead) on The Machine that Changed the World from which the term Lean sprang into our lexicon would also tell you the same thing. He may have gotten it wrong or you are taking a single thing he said out of context. I repeat - despite your opinion, lean is not about stocking levels. that is simply and thoroughly incorrect. you can call a duck a train but it's still a duck.
read the masters. Kafcik isn't a master
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
hmm, I thought Kafcik and Womack worked closely together?

"Triumph of the Lean Production System" was from Fall 1988, his note 4 is interesting.
Its very long time since I went into "The Machine that Changed the World" but I think it is from 1990?
Yes, I know it was part of the program and research that goes years back, but isn't the same for Kafcik? I made another thread to discuss history btw.

Edit: oh sorry, I see that you found the other thread :) https://elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=69174
 
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Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
This is my last post in this thread.

Here is a blog concerning the original article that Mikael references. the original article (Triumph of the Lean System) is available for free at LEI's website.

This article was written in 1988 and it was based on research that was being done on the difference between Toyota and other manufacturers. It was BEFORE Womack or Kafcik or any other US citizen had much - if any - direct experience in the Toyota Production System. It does support the use of the Lean Management System, but it is clearly early days. None the less it appears that Mikael is mis-interpreting some points in the article (perhaps by taking them out of context?) or at a minimum not clearly articulating his point that Lean is BS.

Lean is a holistic system based on culture that accelerates value and creates capacity by continually reducing waste. Lean is not a collection of tools, nor is it reducible to one 'root' of a stocking philosophy. In fact inventory reduction is one of many results of waste reduction not a means unto itself. The articles I referenced in the history of Lean thread are listed below. If you are interested in a deeper introduction to TPS/Lean I recommend these articles.

"The Birth of Lean Conversations with Taiichi Ohno, Eiji Toyoda and
other figures who shaped Toyota management ", The Lean Enterprise Institute, Cambridge, Massachussetts
available at www.lean.org

"Remembering What Ohno and Shingo Said", Bob Emiliani and David Stec The Center for Lean Business Management Kensington, Connecticut. See this thread, post #3 for the article. it is attached. (thanks to Bob Emiliani for granting permission to post it)

Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System, by Steven Spear and H. Kent Brown. Harvard Business Review.
available at www.hbrreprints.org


Lean has been co-opted and corrupted by hack consultants that represent Lean as a set of tools and not always a complete set of tools. That 'fake lean' is just that: fake. It is not real Lean. Let me be clear: Fake Lean is deplorable. Fake lean is hype. Real Lean is not; real Lean is the Toyota Production System. TPS is NOT hype.
 
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Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
Thank you. I still think you might misunderstood my world, I will try to follow up.
I have at least 3 modes:


1. How it is today according to the experts (not the misunderstood).
So far what you have described and said, please, I think we fully agree here. So far I dont have the feeling that I misunderstood anything from Lean.
Likewise we can agree on the color, consistence and taste of beer. Though assume you like it and I don't, fair enough.


2. Early lean.
I refer to this source from 1988, I dont say that inventory level is the only thing mentioned. Though it is compared with the "buffer" approach and I read it like inventory is a central part of it. You disagree, fair enough, I might take an English course.
My claim is that from 1990 there was a shift, it was made more commercial (sexy), or should I say manageable, they would properly not admit that today, but I have noted your late source talking about origins, thx.


3. How it according to me should be used.
I dont believe in Womack TPS/Lean 1990 and up, and I guess you love it, fair enough, different worlds.

When I take my critical glasses on, I dont buy it, "so far", I have better options, and the only thing left that makes sense to me is number 2 approach, the rest is overhyped to me. You think I should read even more on the stuff I dont like, fair enough. If you haven't already may I suggest that you read the Against lean article.

If I should go truly into detail with my critical view and argue against both the tools that are not there and the whole holistic idea, it might take me a whole book and lots of time. I dont have that option, sorry.


Some like red some like blue.
 
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