Lean Production for the Small Company  book cover
1st Edition

Lean Production for the Small Company

ISBN 9781439877791
Published August 7, 2012 by Productivity Press
295 Pages 189 B/W Illustrations

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USD $64.95

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Book Description

A hands-on guide to adapting Lean principles and the Toyota Production System to high-mix/low-volume environments, Lean Production for the Small Company uses charts, pictures, and easy-to-understand language to describe the methods needed to improve processes and eliminate waste. It walks readers through the correct order of implementation and describes problems and pitfalls along with time-tested solutions.

Explaining how to incorporate existing systems into a Lean strategy, the book starts with the fundamentals and builds on them to describe the full range of tools and processes needed to implement Lean. It outlines how to design factories for Lean manufacturing and demonstrates how to remove variations within business and manufacturing processes to achieve a smooth continuous flow of product that delivers your product on time to customers.

The tools, methods, and ideals discussed are applicable in any industry and all parts of your business—from manufacturing and sales to human resources. The text unveils new methods and tools that can help you reduce inventory, improve inventory turns, and facilitate raw material flow through the factory. It details how to use customer order demands to schedule the production floor, rather than using estimated production schedules. It also considers the accounting process and explains how to improve your cash-to-cash cycle time.

Drawing on the author’s decades of experience transforming high-mix plants to Lean, the text brings together coverage of the tools and processes that have made Toyota so successful. All the chapters in this book, when implemented, will result in a culture change that will transform your company into a learning organization that continuously eliminates waste and improves its processes.

Table of Contents

Who Should Use This Book
How to Use This Book
Brief History of Lean Manufacturing
Philosophy of Lean Manufacturing and Business Systems
Why Do We Need Lean Manufacturing and Business Systems

Fundamentals of Lean Production and Business Systems
Nine Critical Wastes in Business
Concerning Elimination of Waste
Fundamentals of Lean Manufacturing
The Five Whys’
Critical Importance of Management Commitment
Establish your Lean Team and Lean Leader
     The Lean Coach
     Lean Coach and Consultants
     Lean Team
     Lean Production and Your Employees
Some Will Leave Us (making the really tough decision, removing human roadblocks)
Lean Systems versus Six Sigma

Tools for Continuous Improvements
Step 1: Hands on
     Example: Order out of Chaos
Housekeeping 5S

Beginning your Journey
Waste Walk
     Plant Manager: Waiting (Idle Time)
     Materials Manager: Excess Inventory
     Finished Goods: Overproduction
     Production Manager: Overproduction
     Quality Manager: Defects
     Purchasing Manager: Environmental
     Planning Manager: Transportation
     Manufacturing Engineering Manager: Excessive Motion
     Lean Leader: Overprocessing
Current Lean Status

Value Stream Maps: The Amazing Tool (Critical to your Success)
What is a Value Stream Map and Why you Need It
     Why a Value Stream Map Is Critical to Your Success
How to Create a Value Stream Map
     Current State Map
     Creating the Map
     Gather Your Data
How to Read a Value Stream Map
Next, Compare the Current State Map to the Future State Map

Identify your Products
Continuous Improvement Projects
Identifying your Projects from your Maps
Which Project to do First
Machine Tools and Takt Time
Smoothing the Flow of Production
Balancing Product Mix in the Work Cell
Who Should be Audited?
Stabilizing your Process

Your First Kaizen Project Team
What is a Kaizen Event (continuous improvement event)
Team Make-up
Kaizen Event Process
Using Plan-Do-Check-Act
Kaizen Tool Box
Tool Box Inventory List

Continuous Flow
Step 1 - Determine Family Mix
Step 2 - First Production Cell
Step 3 - Create Goals and Result Chart
Stabilizing Your Process
Standing in the Circle
Standardize Work
     Using Standardize Work
Reducing Variability
Leaders Standard Work versus Work Instructions
     Team Leader Standard Work
     Managers Standard Work
Daily Production Meetings

Work Cell and Factory Layout
Work Cell Layout
Ergonomic Design
Work Cell Material Handling Design

Creating your Lean Road Map (Strategy Deployment)
Strategic Lean Manufacturing Plan
     Visual Controls and Visual Management
     Visual Management Displays and Controls
Andon Display

Production Scheduling
MRP and Lean Complement Each Other
What Finished Goods Should I Stock?
Types of Pull Systems
Organizing and Controlling Finished Goods Warehouse

How to Schedule the Production Line (Value Stream)
Pacemaker Process
Efficiency versus Changeover
Supermarket (Warehouse) Location in the Factory
Signaling Material Withdrawal from the Market
Batch Production Signal Kanban
Production Capacity versus Changeover Time
Determining Production Lot Size
Reorder Trigger Point
Working With Out Work Orders
Labor and Material Accuracy
Work Order Back Flushing
Cycle Count Inventory

Material Management
Raw Material Inventory Management
Loading the PFEP
What Data to Input First
Equations Used with PFEP
Planning Minimum Inventory Levels
Value of Frequent Deliveries
Quantity of Containers Required
Material Reorder Points
Updating and Editing the PFEP
Creating the Raw Material Market
Organizing the Warehouse
     Layout of the Supermarket
     Creating the Supermarket
How do I Expedite Parts?
Timed Delivery Routes
Basic Material Handling Information
     Creating Your Timed Delivery Routes
     Point-of-Use Rack Design
     Pull Signal Material
     Coupled versus Decoupled Routes (What’s the Difference)?
     Determining the Number of Pull Signals
Sustaining the Material Handling System
Supplier Replenishment to Your Warehouse
     Getting Started
     Finished Goods Replacement
     Tying in Finished Goods Warehouse to the Production Floor
Packaging Schedule Board
     How to Use the Packaging Schedule Board
     Sequence of Operation

Standardized Problem-Solving Method
Problem Solving
     Recognize You Have a Problem
     Elevate to the Next Higher Level
     Evaluate the Severity of the Problem
     Control the Expansion of the Problem
     Containing the Problem
     Preventing a Recurrence
     Inspect Every Job
     Where Do You Start Error-Proofing?
          General Inspection
          100% Inspection
          Error-Proofing Devices
          Immediate Feedback
     Statistical Process Control and Mistake-Proofing

Working with Suppliers and Partners
Looking for Suppliers
Seven Characteristics of Supplier-Customer Partnering
Outsourcing Products
Group Suppliers by Capability

Lean Accounting
Show me the Money
Performance Goals
Box Scores
What You Get For Your Effort
Profit and Loss (Income) Statements
Cash-to-Cash Cycle
     Calculate Cash-to-Cash Cycle

Achieving a Higher Level of Lean
Culture Change: Learning to Stop and Fix the Problem
Changing the Culture Change
     Key Ingredients to Cultural Change
     Team Leader and Stopping the Production Line
Creating a Culture that will Stop and Fix Problems (Get Out of Fire Fighting)
Using Metrics to Track Change
To Change a Culture, Change a Behavior

Final Thoughts
What have we Learned
Sustaining Lean Conversion
The Human Factor
Goals and Measurements
Rewards Help
Where do you Find People with Lean Business Knowledge?



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Mike Elbert is president of Elbert Lean Business Systems, LLC, a consulting service that helps businesses eliminate waste. A qualified Lean Practitioner, Mike is a leader in business and manufacturing processes and systems with an MBA in manufacturing systems from the University of St. Thomas.

Industries that Mike has worked in include electronic components, consumer electronics, heavy metal fabrication, precision machining, plastic and rubber molding, and medical device manufacturing. He spent more than twenty-five years as a manager of engineering, quality, product, and process design, and he understands the importance of planning, teamwork, and accountability.

During his thirty-plus years in manufacturing, Mike has worked in a diverse range of organizations, including small-, mid-, and large-sized corporations. For the past twenty-five years, he has worked with Lean manufacturing systems and its predecessors, focusing on improving manufacturing processes and equipment.

Mike believes that any business, including start-ups, can improve efficiency and income by identifying and eliminating waste from processes, including the extended supply chain. He offers a range of programs and services that include teaching Lean business systems, facilitating improvement meetings, and directing the overall transformation of your company to a Lean organization. Drawing on decades of experience in low- and high-volume production, he now focuses mainly on the implementation of Lean business and manufacturing systems while also providing many classical industrial engineering products.

After a career spent reducing costs and improving manufacturing efficiency, Mike now teaches and coaches others on how to achieve the same success. He is passionate about Lean business and manufacturing systems and their ability to improve your company, products, and customer satisfaction.

Mike has published articles and has been quoted in Industrial Engineering magazine, and was a columnist for the Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance’s monthly newsletter. He has taught seminars for the Minnesota Manufacturers Alliance, Minnesota Employers Association, and nationally for the Institute of Industrial Engineers. He is a life member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and a member of its Twin Cities Chapter 38.

Mike Elbert is available for private consultations on Lean Enterprise Systems, operations management, industrial engineering, and facility design. For more information, please visit his website at www.elbertleansystems.com.