Tag Archives: Material Flow

The Power of Six: Relation between Time and Money in Manufacturing

Time is money. You know that. But with respect to product cost and lead time, there is a rule of thumb that estimates this relation. Let me present to you the “Power of Six,” discovered by Rajan Suri. This gives you a rough estimate of how the lead time of your products influences the cost and vice versa. This first post looks at the original work, and my next post applies this rule also to segments of the value stream. Continue reading The Power of Six: Relation between Time and Money in Manufacturing

Production Control with COBACABANA

The Copacabana is a very nice beach in Rio de Janeiro. Spelled slightly differently, COBACABANA is a production control approach. Here, COBACABANA stands for Control of Balance by Card Based Navigation (sometimes also abbreviated to COBA). It is an approach to manage a job-shop workload of custom orders using paper cards. A lot of paper cards, in fact, which also makes the method a bit complex, and I am doubtful if this method is practical. Let me show you how it works. Continue reading Production Control with COBACABANA

Delivery Sequences: FIFO, LIFO, and Others

Sometimes, when you need a part or product from your inventory, you may have more than one item in stock. Which one do you pick? In this blog post I want to present a few strategies for choosing which item to take. The most famous one is FIFO, but there are more options available. In my next post I will present similar strategies if you need to start production before the item becomes available. Continue reading Delivery Sequences: FIFO, LIFO, and Others

Point-of-Use Provider Routing

Ice Cream Sundae order
Just what you need …

This is my last post of a series of three posts on point-of-use providers (also known as mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider). In this post I will go into much more detail on the routing of the point-of-use provider. A less-busy point-of-use provider can handle multiple lines. Similarly, very busy lines may have multiple point-of-use providers. Here I will show you some more details on these possibilities. Continue reading Point-of-Use Provider Routing

Point-of-Use Provider Calculations

In this second post of my series on point-of-use providers (also known as Mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider), I will discuss the calculation of the workload for the point-of-use provider … although calculation is a way-too-big word for what is, in practice, guesswork with limited data of low quality. However, I hope it helps you with planning your point-of-use providers. Continue reading Point-of-Use Provider Calculations

Introduction to Point-of-Use Providers (or Mizusumashi)

Make to Order OktoberfestThe point-of-use provider, also known as Mizusumashi, water strider, or water spider, is a worker that supplies material to the point of use. Similar to a waiter bringing food and drinks (and beer 🙂 ) to the customer, the point-of-use provider brings material to the workers. The latter, however, merely refills materials rather than custom orders. This point-of-use provider fulfills an important role between the inventory and the final point of use. Let me give you the details: Continue reading Introduction to Point-of-Use Providers (or Mizusumashi)

A Good Standard Needs No Explanation

Standard IllustrationStandards are one of the backbones of lean manufacturing. For a standard to be good and used consistently, it should be self-explanatory. Additionally, you should understand it well enough to easily recognize deviations from the standard. I would like to give you an example of how my thought process works when exploring a standard. Continue reading A Good Standard Needs No Explanation