Monozukuri – Japanese Work Ethics

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Japanese word monozukuri (sometimes written as 物作り, but most often written as ものづくり). Literally translated, it means to make (zukuri) things (mono). Yet, there is so much meaning lost in translation. A better translation would be “manufacturing; craftsmanship; or making things by hand.” However, this translation also does not give justice to the weight and influence this idea has in Japan. Let me take you on a tour of the Japanese culture of monozukuri. Continue reading Monozukuri – Japanese Work Ethics

A Small Dice Game for the Kingman Formula

In a previous post I wrote about the relation between utilization, fluctuation, and waiting time, and its approximation by the Kingman formula. Let me show you a quick and easy dice game where we simulate a supermarket checkout to let participants experience the effect of utilization, fluctuation, and the (worse) combined effect of both. Continue reading A Small Dice Game for the Kingman Formula

Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 2

The spaces around your assembly locations are most precious. In my previous post I explained how to relocate or reduce the overall material quantity. In this post I focus on how to better use the area facing the worker. Ideally, all material should be within easy reach of the worker. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 2

Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 1

Assembly needs lots of parts. Especially if you have larger parts, you may find that you are running out of space to put them. Fear not, there are a number of things that you can do to solve this problem. This post will present you with all the solutions (that I know) to remedy a space shortage in assembly. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 1

Structured Approach to Material Supply for Assembly – Part 1

Supplying material for assembly operations can be quite a challenge. After describing the challenges in the previous post, I would like to show you in two posts what you need to consider when you want to create an assembly location. This is a somewhat structured approach on how to set up a material supply for your assembly operations, although you will still need some iterations to achieve a good solution. After that I will have a post focused on what to do if you are running out of space at your assembly location. Continue reading Structured Approach to Material Supply for Assembly – Part 1

The Challenges of Material Supply for Assembly

Assembly of multiple parts into one bigger part is a common process in manufacturing. It is also the most challenging one for supply logistics. If there is only one part that gets milled, drilled, coated, formed, or other wise processed, logistics is much easier. But if you have dozens or hundreds of parts that have to come together in different variants, it becomes much more of a challenge. In this post I will look at the challenges of supplying material for assembly. In subsequent posts I will show ways to address these challenges. Continue reading The Challenges of Material Supply for Assembly

Karakuri Kaizen Examples

After an introduction and description of the fundamentals of karakuri kaizen,  here are some different karakuri kaizen examples for a wide variety of uses. Most of them are from the 480 exhibits at the the Karakuri Kaizen Exhibition 2017 in Nagoya, Japan; others are from the 2017 OPEXCON in Stuttgart, Germany. Here is my attempt of a structured overview, even though some of the points below may be overlapping. Continue reading Karakuri Kaizen Examples