Lean is the elimination of waste – the waste that reduces profit from business ventures undertaken with every step of our activity. We suffer losses from not maintaining quality standards, not using the full potential of our employees, producing in batches, solving problems superficially and debating instead of acting.
We believe that our blog will inspire you to act in the spirit of Lean. That it will convince you that Lean works in any organization and for any production process.
It will prove that it doesn’t matter whether we build airplanes or breed mushrooms, whether we operate serial or unit production – Lean will help you build a competitive advantage without investment, and pleasantly so. And above all, it will simply let you “…improve what makes you angry in your business and in the process of the production line.”
Vacation. What a beautiful time which, unfortunately, quickly comes to an end. From this year’s recreational leave in breathtaking New Zealand I have brought some interesting Lean observations: 1. Customer first. A broken fridge in the supermarket. In place of turning off the appliance or setting the ‘Slippery floor’ board next to the puddle, there is a well-marked mat that solves the problem – it’s not slippery, one doesn’t need to go round the board nor pay attention to the puddle [...]
My favorite definition of lean management is the definition of American entrepreneur Paul Akers: ”Fix what bugs you.” To me, it reflects the essence of lean: common sense and action. Often while observing lean implementations or reading studies, I notice excessive formalization and attempts at by-the-book implementation. Point by point, tool after tool. At the declarative level, we are all champions. I am too. But when it comes to action, it’s much worse. The creator of the Toyota Production System, [...]
Some time ago, in one of the groups at LinkedIn I came across a discussion on the downfall of Lean initiatives. According to the entry, approx. 95% of companies are not able to implement, maintain, but first of all profit from this system, based on the Toyota Production System. These figures have been recently confirmed by Art Byrne in an interesting conversation with Paul Akres. He claimed that according to his personal calculations approx. 4% of Lean transformations are [...]
One piece flow is the basis of lean philosophy. Transition to working in this system provides you with an immediate performance boost of at least 20% (from my experience) and reduced manufacturing costs. It is almost like a magic spell, yet only available to those who are not afraid to solve problems and to be in gemba. In short, one piece flow is the opposite of batch production. In this system, the time when the product is not worked on/processed [...]
My favorite definition of lean is the one applied by Paul Akers: ‘fix what bugs you.’ So little, yet so much. I often hear from the people I work with that the discovery of lean was the best and the worst thing that has happened to them. They simply look differently at a lot of things surrounding them and… they get upset because they see how much waste there is around them. At 9 p.m. I decided to do some shopping [...]
The beauty of Lean lies in the fact that we can improve our operating results immediately by using ideas that our employees have not only come up with, but sometimes even already implemented to great effect. All we have to do is… take advantage of these ideas. However, an idea can’t be used if it hasn’t been noticed. I’ve experienced numerous situations where employees performed differently in the presence of the manager or foreman, and when that person was absent [...]
8 ways not to waste resources. Are cost reductions, shortened production times and better quality aggregates possible without costly investments? The Japanese concept of Lean Manufacturing says it is! The most crucial thing is to solve problems at the source and to identify the different kinds of waste – factors that consume our time, people, energy, resources and money. The philosophy of Lean Manufacturing originated in Japan. It was established decades ago in response to Toyota’s company crisis after the Second [...]
Not enough storage space at an FMCG company – A case study of Lean Optimization in four acts. Act I ‘Why didn’t the BlackTlen 300 gel go to the customer?’ The plant manager was very upset at the morning meeting the next day. ‘Because the production line didn’t make it,’ said the planning manager. ‘Nonsense! How could we even make it, if the warehouse has stopped collecting finished parts from the production lines and we don’t have space to store them anyway? I [...]
Is it possible to increase efficiency, safety and quality, reduce costs and shorten production time without months of planning, trials and testing, endless meetings and presentations? Could these changes be permanent? Do we need experts to implement them? The Japanese concept of Lean Manufacturing assumes that the most important thing is to solve problems at the source, using the intellectual potential of the employees. There’s no shortage of problems in our daily work. From morning to evening, employees and their [...]
We need to improve the performance of the entire production line. We have identified the performance of the grasper and gantry excavator as a bottleneck. Preliminary suggestions talk about the necessity of: purchasing a bigger gripping device (grasper), installing more powerful drives, to speed up extraction. Following the concept of genchi genbutsu, ‘Go and see for yourself’, after day-long measurement and observations from the operator’s cabin, the stages of the extraction process have been identified together with their time in seconds (minimally [...]
Implementation of Lean at workstations usually starts with optimizing the overall workplace organization, maintenance of the tools and machines available to the workers, changing the way activities are performed, and joining positions. This delivers spectacular results. However, very often we skip the worker as a person, who also has professional desires and ambitions. Even the best set process handled by an unmotivated worker won’t provide optimum results. Is Adam Nawałka more familiar with tactics, techniques and physical preparation than Waldemar Fornalik [...]
The plant processing aggregates sought opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs. This was carried out for the following analysis. Stage 1 After analysis (P&L analysis, value stream map, process map, Pareto principle), the areas with the largest shares in the operating costs were identified: Stage 2 The first area that was subjected to observation was energy costs, identified in Stage 1 as the highest costs to the plant. The following chart presents the distribution of energy costs: Stage 3 In the subsequent stage, current levels of [...]