A milk run is a popular way to supply materials to multiple locations. It can easily be combined with a pull system like kanban, where it merely replenishes what was consumed. But what are the best uses for milk runs? And when do you use them, and when would another logistics system be better? This post points out where the milk run shines and where you should consider alternatives.
One-piece flow—while often defined differently—is one of the True Norths in lean manufacturing. Get your material flowing! In theory that is easy. In practice, however, there are many obstacles standing between where you are and where you want to be, also for one-piece flow.
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.
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:
Screws, or more generally fasteners, are a main staple in most industries. Recently I visited a factory and saw a nice way to automate the procurement of screws and other fasteners. This Industry 4.0 solution is part of a vendor-managed inventory (VMI), where you not only buy the screw, but also the service of always having enough screws, and let the vendor manage the hassle of making sure there are enough screws. I found the example in this factory quite neat, and hence decided to tell you about it. Let me show you.
Just in Time (JIT) is a powerful tool in lean. However, it is not an easy tool. Using it without understanding the requirements can quickly make things worse. I have written about related topics before, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, Just in Time was often blamed for a lack of material, usually by people who do not understand how just in time works.