Monday, April 2, 2012

Motion Monday: A Lesson in Lean

LEAN MEAN MANUFACTURING MACHINE When we hired our new VP of Manufacturing Aldo DeAmicis this spring, part of what drew us to him was his varied expertise, particularly in lean manufacturing. The newest addition to our leadership team recently gave us a presentation about the basics of lean manufacturing. During the talk, he broke the topic down to five key points and a brief summary.

WHAT IS LEAN MANUFACTURING? Basically, it's cutting waste — all types of it. That means maximizing efficiency by strategically allocating resources, making the most of physical space, recycling old material and assigning employees to jobs that match their strengths and skill sets. It's a way of life for more and more manufacturers — and more businesses in general. It's a business philosophy that's increasingly gaining traction in the U.S. and across the globe.

THE FIVE 'S' LIST A lot of industry types break down the lean manufacturing doctrine into a list of five 'S' words, which we'll list here — just one of many methodologies used in the whole lean manufacturing experience (we'll be focusing on each of the tools in future blogs). Aldo referred to this same table during his presentation last week to sum up the foundation of lean.

[ SORT ] Separate what items you need and which ones you don't.

[ SET IN ORDER ] Find a place for all items absolutely necessary to getting the job done.

[ SHINE ] Keep the workplace, materials and tools in tip-top shape — clean and in working condition.

[ STANDARDIZE ] Come up with a set of standards to ensure optimal conditions and productivity.

[ SUSTAIN ] Manage and maintain that performance.

MOTION MONDAY CHALLENGE Now, time for a word search based on the above post. Flex your mental muscles, give this blog another quick read, [ print out the PDF ] and give it a go! Need an answer key? Just ask us to send one your way: All the best and happy #MotionMonday!