FIFO (first in, first out) is one of the simplest and most basic ideas in manufacturing, and yields significant benefits. It is so simple that I don’t even want to call it a tool, since it is one of the fundamentals in manufacturing (and many other areas). In this post I want to take a closer look at the power of this most fundamental approach to material flow.
It is common in industry to measure the utilization or the closely related OEE. It is a bit more difficult, however, to set targets for these KPI. Often you hear people wanting or demanding an OEE as high as possible, with a long-term target of ideally 100%. That is often problematic. The utilization or OEE is unfortunately not a clear cut target that you can simply maximize. Let me explain…
In a recent discussion on setting up a new line, a question came up: Should we make a single line (or generally a production system), or should we establish two (or even more) separate independent production lines? There are usually a handful of arguments for either side, and cost is only one of them. Sometimes the issue is clear, but sometimes you have to judge the different factors to decide. This post will give you an overview of the different factors that are relevant. Let’s dig a little bit deeper on how to approach this issue.
In this post I would like to talk about another term that claims to be lean: lean staffing. It is NOT lean! It is an abomination. It is pretty much the opposite of what, in my opinion, lean stands for. It is a complete lack of respect for humanity. Let me explain you what it is, why it is terrible, and how to prevent this. Note that this post may include a rant here and there.
The Industrial Revolution is arguably the most significant change in manufacturing history. Since it was a gradual process over almost a century, the exact start and end dates are hard to pin down. However, for me one of the key dates is the start of the first cotton mill in Britain, the Cromford Cotton Mill by Richard Arkwright. Construction of this mill started in 1771, and production began 1772, which is 250 years ago, hence time for me to write an anniversary post on the Cromford Cotton Mill.
Yet another year has passed. AllAboutLean.com is now nine years old! I never though I would keep it up for so long, but your support and encouragement for my writing keeps me motivated. Many thanks! I am looking forward to writing many more years on the topic of lean. I also have more books planned (but this will take some time). Anyway, let’s review the year:
I am a strong believer in the advantage of flow shops. To me, job shops are an inherently chaotic system. While there are ways to manage job shops, these are merely (more or less) successful attempts to put a Band-Aid on the chaos. To me, only a conversion to a flow shop will bring underlying stability. In this post I would like to give you both historic and current examples of successful conversions from a job shop to a flow shop.
This post continues to discuss running a plant in a war zone. While the first post focuses on the difficult question of whether you should continue operations, this post looks at what you could do if you decided to continue running your plant despite the armed conflict nearby.