Articles by Darren Dolcemascolo

  1. Factors Undermining Your Lean Implementation (And How To Correct Them)

    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.

  2. Putting It All Together: Lean Daily Management

    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.

  3. Total Productive Maintenance, Part 2: Autonomous Maintenance

    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.

  4. Total Productive Maintenance - Part 1

    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, 

  5. Leveling The Workload

    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.

  6. How To Implement Quick Changeover Into Your Med Device Manufacturing Operation

    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.

  7. How To Establish Consistent Production Though Lean Standard Work

    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.

  8. Utilizing 5S To Improve Med Device Manufacturers’ Productivity, Product Quality

    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.  

  9. When Continuous Flow Won't Work: Implementing Pull Systems In Medical Device Manufacturing

    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. 

  10. How To Achieve Continuous Flow In Med Device Manufacturing

    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.