In my last post I showed you an overview of the Toyota KPI dashboard. This time I will look in more detail at the first (and arguably most important) section on safety. And, while I’m at it, let me also tell you some more about safety at Toyota.
Dashboards, in their many forms, are essential to track the performance of a production system. In this post I will talk more about the Toyota shop floor dashboard. A lot of the information is from Toyota in Japan, but the images are from Toyota UK. Keep in mind that the dashboards are not a rigid standard and there may be differences in how they are implemented in the different plants. For one thing, in Japan they are in Japanese, and in the UK in English, but there are also differences within the KPI itself. Let me tell you more in this short series on the Toyota KPI dashboards…
A key part of managing your shop floor is understanding the current state of the shop floor. And KPIs are an important part of understanding the shop floor. But this is also not always easy. In my experience, the three most common pitfalls are to underestimate the effort (and hence the cost) of measuring a KPI, to overestimate the accuracy of a number, and (worst of all) to believe that the numbers tell you everything. Time for a reality check…
Some factories work around the clock. But more commonly, factories ramp up at the beginning of the week, workday, or shift and then ramp down at the end. I often have the feeling that this is a somewhat neglected topic despite its influence on safety, quality, and efficiency. Hence I would like to take a closer look at the ramp-up and ramp-down procedures in industry, and how to optimize them. This first post will look at how to prepare a ramp-up before actually flicking the switch of the process.
In my last post I looked at the preparations for a proper ramp-up or start of a machine or process. This post is the second part where you actually press the button and start the machine. I will also discuss the ramp-down procedures, as well as a SMED-like approach to improve the ramp down and up again process.
It has been ten years since I started this blog. When I first posted on September 1, 2013, I never though that it would go on this long. But it has. Now there are 525 blog posts (or 663 if you include the Chinese and German translations) and a total of 765 000 words with (mostly?) high-quality content on lean manufacturing and related topics. Time to look back and also to celebrate!
Work standards are a key component to continuous improvement. A standard is a tool that (if used correctly) prevents drifting away from a best-practice approach to do a task. Hence, I sometimes read that everything needs a standard. However, I don’t quite fully agree with this. Let me tell you when standards are helpful, and when maybe not.
Kaizen (改善), or continuous improvement, is a cornerstone of lean manufacturing. If you stop becoming better, you will fall behind. But not all improvement activities are equal. There are different ways to do kaizen projects suitable for different situations. Let me give you an overview: