“Lean Standard” ISO 18404 – A Questionable Idea …

iso-18404-errorRecently 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 …

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230 Years of Interchangeable Parts – A Brief History

Bolt and Nut
It fits!

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.

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Japanese Standard Pointing and Calling (Video)

Point and Call
I see you!

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.

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Lean Where You Least Expect It – Toilet Paper Origami

Toilet paper triangle fold Standardization, visual management, and process confirmation are some important elements of lean manufacturing. Here we have an example many of you are probably familiar with – toilet paper folding at hotels. This simple example can clearly demonstrate the value of Standardization, visual management, and process confirmation.

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