Thinking Lean

Thinking Lean by Doug Rich and Dave Bassett, from the May 2005 edition of Manufacturing Engineering.

The first thing the kaizen initiative did was to simulate the process layout. This was accomplished through a series of steps ranging from AutoCAD and paper dolls to an actual scale model set up on a portion of the shop floor. By going through this exercise, we were able to review the logical flow of all process steps, which helped ensure that we reduced the distance traveled by each spindle during the manufacturing process. At one point we even had a person walk the entire production cycle of the spindle manufacturing process so we could track the actual distance that each part traveled from start to finish.

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