What is One-Piece Flow?

In my last post I went into detail on the concept and philosophy of flow. This post goes deeper and looks at one-piece flow. If you are working in manufacturing, you surely must have heard the term one-piece flow. However, despite it being ubiquitous, I find that this is still often not very well understood. I also sometimes have the feeling that it is also used as a buzzword merely to impress others. Well, let’s have a look.

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What Is Flow?

Everybody in lean talks about flow. You have to create flow! In particular you have to create one-piece flow. However, while this is true, I often find a lot of confusion on what flow means. Time for a post that goes to the basics and looks at what exactly flow is. My next post takes this up one step by looking at what one piece flow is.

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How IKEA Uses Drones for Inventory Management

In my last post I went a bit into the theory of where drones in manufacturing may be applicable. They are not really for transport, but there is a possibility to use drones to gather data – provided you don’t need an expensive pilot and there are preferably no workers around on which a drone could crash. In this post I would like to show you the use of drones at IKEA. This is pretty much the only case I know that is not a mere trial, test, showcase, or example, but an actual beneficial implementation that receives a wide roll-out, with dozens of warehouses and stores either already having drones or planned to receive drones soon. Many thanks to Omid Maghazei for the information and details, see source below.

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Drones in Manufacturing

A discussion of fancy new technology would be incomplete without mentioning drones. A simple Google search for “drone and manufacturing” returns around 72 million results. There is definitely a lot of buzz on drones and manufacturing. However, you probably have not yet seen a drone in manufacturing. This is because there are indeed very few cases of drones in manufacturing, and most of them are trial runs that never make it into regular production. Let’s have a look at what this is all about!

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The 6R Goals of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing aims to improve manufacturing. In this post, I would like to look at the 6R goals and clarify them. The 6R are right product, right place, right time, in the right quantity and quality, and at the right cost. It has a lot to do with logistics, not only for the final product, but also for the raw materials and intermediate components. Let’s have a look:

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How to Look Good at the Cost of Your Successor (Please Don’t!)–Part 3

This is the last of my three posts on how to benefit at the cost of your successor. And again, please don’t. This is more of a warning on how to damage the plant for the benefit of the manager. And again, I hope rather than someone using this as a to-do list, someone uses it to see dangers. This last post looks at the worst “trick” of them all, burning the goodwill of your employees for a quick buck. It also looks at the one easiest to see, selling the plant and renting it back.

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How to Look Good at the Cost of Your Successor (Please Don’t!)–Part 2

This is the second post in this short three-post series on how to look good while driving the plant into the ground. Again, the following is intended more of a warning on how NOT to do it, even though I fear some may use it as a checklist. My hope is that even more see the signs and can stop it, or at least not reward the person in question for this type of skullduggery. I will also talk briefly about how to recognize and counteract this type of behavior for the long-term health and success of your plant.

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How to Look Good at the Cost of Your Successor (Please Don’t!)–Part 1

This post series will be an unusual one. I will tell you how to look good in manufacturing at the cost of your successor. Of course, I do NOT want you to do that. Not only will there be no improvement, but instead the plant will be worse in the long run at the cost of a short-term benefit. This is a somewhat sarcastic post on the dirty tricks you can use to look good, while at the same time driving your (future) plant into the ground. The responsible managers of course will be somewhere else before the inevitable happens. Even though the approaches below are bad for the plant, I am sure some managers will use this as a checklist. But I hope that even more people will see it as a list of warnings for bad managers.

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