Maintaining Weak FIFO in Parallel FIFO Lanes

Sometimes you would like to put more material in a single FIFO lane than the space you have available. In this case you would have to use a combination of two or more parallel FIFO lanes. In my last post I described how to maintain a strict FIFO sequence in parallel lanes. This post looks at an easier but less accurate method. Continue reading Maintaining Weak FIFO in Parallel FIFO Lanes

The Power of Six: Relation between Time and Money in Manufacturing

Time is money. You know that. But with respect to product cost and lead time, there is a rule of thumb that estimates this relation. Let me present to you the “Power of Six,” discovered by Rajan Suri. This gives you a rough estimate of how the lead time of your products influences the cost and vice versa. This first post looks at the original work, and my next post applies this rule also to segments of the value stream. Continue reading The Power of Six: Relation between Time and Money in Manufacturing

150 Years after the Birth of Albert Kahn

Albert Kahn PortraitAlbert Kahn (1869–1942) is an often unknown but very influential figure in the history of manufacturing. An architect by trade, he revolutionized industrial architecture, and is often nicknamed the “Architect of Detroit.” Most modern factories have a design that goes back to his innovations. Since he was born exactly 150 years ago on March 21, 1869, it is a good time to look at his achievements. Continue reading 150 Years after the Birth of Albert Kahn

The Toyoda Model G Loom (with Videos)

Toyota Motor originated from the Toyoda loom factory, where Sakichi Toyoda invented looms. Probably the most famous one is the Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom. This loom touches on many points that are part of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing. During my last visit to Japan in September, I made some videos detailing many of the features of the Toyoda Automatic Loom from 1924. Be advised: Lots of images and videos ahead! Continue reading The Toyoda Model G Loom (with Videos)

Production Control with COBACABANA

The Copacabana is a very nice beach in Rio de Janeiro. Spelled slightly differently, COBACABANA is a production control approach. Here, COBACABANA stands for Control of Balance by Card Based Navigation (sometimes also abbreviated to COBA). It is an approach to manage a job-shop workload of custom orders using paper cards. A lot of paper cards, in fact, which also makes the method a bit complex, and I am doubtful if this method is practical. Let me show you how it works. Continue reading Production Control with COBACABANA