Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Lean Identity Crisis

Lean Identity Crisis

Lean Identity Crisis

Hello all,

New user here. I need some help. I had Lean Mfg. in college, it was a great experience. I'm at a company that has had some hardships here recently taking time studies to reinforce work they have altered in several large Kaizen events. The problem is that some of the plant is noticeably lean, while others are noticeably not. A technician who is working with me gathering data is throwing suggestions at me and as I have not actually worked in a lean environment til now I am having a hard time convincing him that a continued effort towards lean is the way to go. He want's large batch sizes for ease of use and less prep work between stations, and all these other things that I can't rightly argue with right now...

My question is what is a good way to get another reminder course in Lean principles. I'm going to start reading the machine that changed the world again tonight. But I want more. What do I do? Help please.

airfidget - IE

RE: Lean Identity Crisis

A simple start is reduce setup time. Group the fixture, mounting hardware and tools before the change over and reduce the setup time. These activities need to occur for every setup and will repeat through out the year.

In process changes such as having parts presented closer to the work station. If multiple parts are involved kit the parts and present them in the correct sequence and orientation for loading possibly in a cart/kit able to be moved to the fixture.

Remove variability in the sequences performed by the operator. Do the process the same sequence every time.

These are just a few examples of approaches my company uses. The primary operations we perform are welding, painting and assembly. Kitting the parts is the primary change allowing our greatest savings.


RE: Lean Identity Crisis

Thank you Bill.

I remember the tools I was taught in school but I'm looking for more a refresher course on the ideaology behind lean. My main problem is that our technician has all these questions and hasn't been lean oriented. I used to be able to preach it as well as practice it, but I haven't been in school for a while, and I forget some of the rational behind reducing the batch sizes and inventory sizes, running one piece flow instead of batches, removing that variability in the work instructions. I need some refresher course in Lean.

As I said I'm re-reading the machine that changed the world again to possibly get some refreshment of inspeirational philosophy, but I feel I'm not equipped to handle this student's real world questions.


RE: Lean Identity Crisis

My suggestion is to read a book. Or you can get these audio CD's that play in your car everyday on the way to work. I always like them. I felt like I was being lean learning lean.

I can tell you this, the basic principle of lean is very simple:

"Don't waste time doing something that isn't needed."

The first question you should ask yourself, and this is where you will always have disagreement with people undereducated in lean, WHEN IS IT NEEDED?

Should I make a batch of 30 because they will be need next week?
Well I only need 1 in the next hr. So should I make 1 because it is needed in 1 hr? and make the other 29 some other time?

This is an extreme example. But you get the concept. However, you don't start with order quantities, that is generally a rookie mistake. The first thing you need to do is find ways to make the part cost of 1 = the part cost of 30. That is Lean. After that you reduce the quantities per each order.

Feel free to contact us if you have specific questions.

StrykerTECH Engineering Staff

RE: Lean Identity Crisis

Bill has some perfect ideas! I might add the thought of point of use tooling and processes, changing the batch of in-coming parts to FIFO ques, and consider the scrap created if there is an engineering change, or a defect shows up. Batching is bad for quality! Part of the problem might be wrong sized machines - bad for quick changeovers (SMED).

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close