Standards. You know they are important for manufacturing. You know Toyota and hence lean uses them extensively. But you may also know that they are not easy. I was thinking about writing a few blog posts on standards for a long time, but… it is a challenging topic. Let me give you my thoughts on standards and how to use them in lean manufacturing. But before going deeper into the use of standards over a few blog posts, I’ll provide a quick introduction on standards.
Standards 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.
This post is the third in this series on how Toyota plans standard work. The first one was the production capacity sheet to define what capacity you have available. The second one was a standard work combination table to define when the operator is doing what. Finally, the third of the “famous three slips”, presented in this post, is a standard work layout sheet to help the layout and arrangement of the machines.
Toyota has a nifty way to plan the work of an operator using their standard work charts. In my last post I explained the production capacity sheet to define what capacity you have available. In this post we will talk about the second of the “famous three slips”, the standard work combination table to define when the operator is doing what. A subsequent post will show a standard work layout sheet.
Toyota is excellent with their standard work. They use a series of worksheets to simplify the creation of these standards. These are sometimes also know as the “famous 3 slips”. The first one is a production capacity sheet to define what capacity you have available. The second one is a standard work combination table to define when the operator is doing what. The third one is a standard work layout sheet to help with the layout and arrangement of the machines. While there are many different ways of doing this, I like the Toyota approach. Since this is a larger topic, I’ve broken it into multiple blog posts. Lets start with the Production Capacity sheet.
Recently I learned about a new ISO 18404 standard certifying lean and Six Sigma organizations. I think this is a highly questionable idea, with little benefit for the quality of lean manufacturing. This certification madness won’t make much difference for the quality of lean but will mostly siphon off money to the International Organization for Standardization and connected bodies for certifications of little practical value. Let me show you the details …
Today 230 years ago on July 8, 1785, Honoré Blanc demonstrated the first large scale interchangeability of complex mechanical parts in the courtyard of the Château de Vincennes by disassembling musket locks, mixing the parts, and assembling them again. While it took another 150 years for the idea to take hold firmly in industry, it all started here with 50 muskets. Time for a look back in history.
During my last trip to Japan, I finally took videos capturing the Japanese Pointing-and-Calling standard. Pointing and calling is a safety standard that started with Japanese train operators but now is widely used in industry. The idea is that whenever you confirm something, you not only look at it, but also point at it and call out your observation.