The Van of Nerds in France—Aircraft Engines and Parts

The Nerds at LISI
The Nerds at LISI

This post looks at more plants we visited on our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022. The focus this time is the aircraft industry, in particularly the engines. We visited a major maker of aircraft engines, or their nacelles and thrust reversers to be more precise, Safran in Le Havre. But we also visited two suppliers for engine components. LISI specializes in high-performance bolts and screws for aircraft, but also has some highly advanced digital displays on their shop floor. JPB makes well-designed inspection ports for aircraft engines, for which they developed some really clever digital solutions, which they now also provide to others. It was definitely a set of highly interesting visits. Let me show you!

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The Van of Nerds in France—Overview and Aircrafts

The nerds and the van

In 2019 I organized an Industry 4.0 tour through southern Germany for a few friends. We called this the “Van of Nerds,” and you can read all about it in a series of blog posts starting here. The participants liked the van trip so much that we wanted to repeat this experience… and then came COVID. We held two online Van of Nerds mini-conferences (organized by our Nerd Torbjörn Netland), and finally, on September 5–9, 2022, we were able to take another real-world tour with our van of nerds, this time in France. The tour was organized thanks to nerds Franck Vermet and Michel Baudin.

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Toyota’s Master Craftsmen: Takumi

Japanese Master Brush Maker Yoshiyuki Hata
Japanese master brush maker Yoshiyuki Hata

You may have heard of Takumi at Toyota. Takumi in general are highly skilled artisans that excel in their craft. Despite Toyota mass-producing cars using lots of machines, they also employ hundreds of Takumi. This blog post takes a deeper look at what a Takumi is, and why they are so important for Toyota and other Japanese companies.

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What Is Ikigai?

Recently, the Japanese word ikigai has been popping up as a way to find happiness. While not quite a manufacturing theme, it is related to industry and to Japanese culture, and hence I decided to write a blog post about it. It is a lot of hubbub around a few good (but not new) ideas, wrapped in a out-of-context Japanese word.

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How to Reduce Part Variants

In my last post I looked at how to reduce product variants, and the inevitable conflict with sales. In this post I will look at how to reduce not the number of final products, but the number of part types that go into the final product… and here you often have a conflict with product development. However, like the reduction of the number of final products, this reduction in fluctuation has significant benefits for the company.

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How to Reduce Product Variants

Steering wheelsProduct variants drive up cost. The more variants you have for the same quantity sold, the higher your production cost. Inversely, if you can reduce your number of variants, you can reduce your cost. In this post I will give you some general suggestions on how to reduce your number of variants. Hopefully these inspire and help you to become more efficient.

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How to Reduce Your Lot Size Part 3—Customer, Machine, Leveling, and Tradition

This is the third and last post in my series on how to reduce the lot size. The first post gave some introduction and how to approach the problem of reducing lot sizes. The second post looked in more detail at how to reduce lot sizes due to changeovers, container size, and shipment size. This final post will look at the remaining causes of customer order size, machine batch size, the abominable leveling pattern, and tradition.

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