In this second post on the topic of milk runs, I will look at the organizational issues around the milk run: what kind of transport can you use, and what should the source warehouse be like. I will also talk about optional extras like repacking or kitting. Let’s start. Continue reading Milk Run Basics
Milk runs are a popular concept for material delivery within a plant and even across multiple plants. It is very much based on the philosophy of pull, keeping inventories down, and making material supply easier.
However, it is only suitable for mass-produced goods, or more precisely for identical components and identical parts, even if they go into different product variants. Additionally it can also be used with kitting. This post starts a series on the topic of milk run with an introduction to the topic. Continue reading Introduction to Milk Runs
In my previous posts I explained how POLCA works and discussed the pros and cons of POLCA. In this post I will explain how to calculate the number of POLCA cards. While POLCA is overall a feasible method, I do have some critical comments on the method to calculate the number of POLCA cards. Continue reading Calculating the Number of POLCA Cards
In my previous post I described how POLCA (Paired-Cell Overlapping Loops of Cards) is supposed to work. Now let me look at the advantages and disadvantages of the method. Overall POLCA is a valid method of managing job shops. If it is the right one for you depends very much on your production system. Continue reading Advantages and Disadvantages of POLCA
POLCA stands for Paired-Cell Overlapping Loops of Cards with Authorization and was developed by Rajan Suri around 1990. It is sometimes mentioned alongside kanban and CONWIP as a production control system. Let me explain to you how POLCA works. In my next post I look at the pros and cons of POLCA. In my last post of this mini-series, I will show you the calculation for the number of POLCA cards, including some critical comments.
The similar-sounding word Polka is also a Czech dance music and textile pattern, hence the colorful illustration of the polka dots on the left (don’t worry, more technical diagrams will follow below). Continue reading What Is POLCA?
In my last two posts I talked a lot about what jidoka is, and the underlying philosophy. Many articles do so. But there are almost no actual examples out there of jidoka. But without examples it is difficult to really understand a concept. A great historic example of this is the Toyoda Model G automatic loom from 1925. This is well known, but here I would like to show you how it connects to jidoka. I will also give you a more modern example of a product that you may even own.
In my last post I explained what jidoka is (at least in my view). The key part is to stop the line for any irregularity, and resolve the problem. Also try to make sure this irregularity does not happen again. However, this definition is far from universally accepted, and there are many different opinions. Here I will try to show the philosophical idea behind Jidoka as one of the two pillars of the Toyota Production System (the other is JIT). Continue reading The Philosophy and Practicality of Jidoka
Jidoka is a term commonly used in lean manufacturing, and widely considered one of the pillars of the Toyota Production System, the other being Just in Time (JIT). However, while the word jidoka is often used to impress others, the ideas behind it are much less frequently found outside of Toyota. Maybe this is because so many people interpret jidoka differently. In this first post of a three post series on jidoka, we look at what jidoka actually is. Continue reading What Exactly Is Jidoka?