This article is about an organization that can best be described as a “rudderless ship,” where Lean thinking was embraced, but implementation was scuttled by shifting priorities and reorganization, among other things.
In recent editions of Thinking Lean, we introduced tools and methods to support continuous flow and pull systems. Here, we will examine Daily Management, a key methodology for making lean thinking part of daily work, rather than thinking of it as a special project or add-on to “normal” work.
Over the last few editions of Thinking Lean we have been talking about tools that support continuous flow and pull systems. In the last edition, we began a two-part series on total productive maintenance (TPM). In this edition, we will talk about autonomous maintenance.
Continuous flow manufacturing will not allow for frequent, unplanned equipment down-time. In this two-part analysis, we will explore the methodology of Total Productive Maintenance,
In the last edition of Thinking Lean, we discussed quick changeover, a system for reducing setup time on equipment and allowing for smaller batches. In this edition, we will cover a more generally applicable concept known as leveling production.
We have been talking recently about tools that support continuous flow and pull systems. In this edition, we will cover one of the most important lean tools for medical device manufacturers: quick changeover. Being able to quickly change from the manufacture of one product to the next enables continuous flow and pull systems.
Previously in our Thinking Lean series, we talked about 5S, a workplace organization system that supports the implementation of continuous flow and pull systems. In this edition, we will cover a foundational tool of lean known as standard work, a repeatable work method utilized to meet process or customer requirements.
Much more than just cleaning up and organizing, 5S remains a very popular but misunderstood lean concept. It is foundational to enabling flow and pull systems, as well as instilling the discipline to work toward just-in-time and built-in-quality, two key pillars of lean.
Continuous flow is the least wasteful method of connecting processes within a lean value stream. But in some cases, continuous flow is not feasible. In this edition of Thinking Lean, we will talk about pull systems, which should be utilized in just such scenarios.
In the last two articles of our Thinking Lean series, we covered the value stream mapping methodology, which enables organizations to analyze and improve order fulfillment, product development, and even support value streams. In this article, we will talk about one of the key elements of a lean future state, creating continuous flow.
In this edition of Thinking Lean, we are going to complete our two-part series on value stream mapping. In the part one of the series, we addressed the concepts of value stream identification and current state mapping. In this article, we will talk about mapping the future state and creating a value stream plan.
In this edition of Thinking Lean, we are going to address value stream mapping, which is a high-level, strategic methodology for developing an improvement plan for a product or service line. Value stream mapping is used to identify and then work toward a future state following the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) methodology introduced in our last article. Value stream mapping can be used in the medical device world for analyzing and improving order fulfillment, product development, and even support processes.
In the first installment of Thinking Lean, I introduced the basic philosophy of lean and an overview of its tools and methods. In this article, I will talk about the most foundational aspect of lean — lean problem solving — and will provide a step-by-step process for applying this approach within a medical device company.
This is the first in a series of articles on the ways that medical device manufacturers can transform their operations — and gain a competitive advantage in the market — by implementing lean strategies. In this installment, Darren Dolcemascolo, senior partner and co-founder of EMS Consulting Group, discusses the framework for lean manufacturing and why it is particularly useful to those in the medical device industry.