Anyone adapting "lean" techniques to their shop?

Lean is the latest management buzzword of the day. MMSOL has an article on it. Classes, books, and consultants are everywhere. Yesterday I had a chance
to attend a lean seminar by Jerry Feingold. I really didn't have any preconcieved notions of what to expect. I thought lean was just common sense illustrated. It is but if you buy into the whole paradigm shift and Demings 14 points and elimination of waste as a daily thought process, it is much more than that. It is the reason we got our asses handed to us by the Japanese in manufacturing. An American who worked for AT&T taught the Japanese his lean philosophy because his peers wouldn't listen to him. Anyway, today I went to a customer who just needed some training on one of his machines. They make a machine as a finished product so they have an assembly department that is heavily Kaizaned. They tried to Kaizan the machine shop but got zero cooperation from the machinists. Yup, new task. I'm going to change their shop from a "push" to a "pull". I have to admit, I'm looking forward to this as an experiment. If it is successful I just added a new skill to my to my resume.
Has anyone else used any or all lean techniques?
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Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:47:27 -0700 did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    Can't say that I have. But as you observed "Lean" is just old fashioned common business sense. The less inventory on hand, the less capital you have tied up sitting idle.     And it is a holistic approach, you can't take just one element and apply that willy nilly. Company I used to work for, decided to implement 5S and Lean and all the rest. But from what I'm hearing, they're making a hash of it, too. I suspect that when things pick up, a lot of their good people are going to go find new Jobs where they can make real money without the mickey mouse.
    Sigh, and it used to be a good company to work for.
pyotr
[You know something is wrong when you get angry that management is screwing over your former foreman.] - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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on or about

I have seen used in several plants. The biggest problem is the people that apply the lean and kaizan stuff have no understanding of what they are doing. For instance, one company went through thier gauge dept and threw out all the gauges that had not been used in a long time. A week later the sent the head of the calibration department dumster diving at the scrap metal dealer to get some propriatory gauges that they needed for an umcoming job. The same thing happens with fixtures and special tooling,if it hasn't been used in a while, get rid of it. The Japanese have sold back to us what we used to know ourselves. Look at some pictures of US manufacturing plant going back 50 years.
John
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on or about

Well, Bill did say "If it is successful I just added a new skill to my to my resume." LOL I thought the idea was to add the skill and then sell it, not use a customer for a crash test dummy.
JC
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Not quite that dramatic. It's earning while learning. Kaizan in action. Think of the efficiency.
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Sat, 25 Apr 2009 19:37:31 -0400 did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    I understand there is a move to get rid of "extra" fixtures, the ones which haven't been used in X units time. I laughed, when I heard that. One, some of the orders have long cycles (order a dozen, then another dozen in 18 months); two, some of the jobs were outsource to another company when things got busy. They're now bringing that work back in house.

- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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on or about

A place for everything and everything in its place. The most used stuff held the closest at hand. Stuff not used often placed, recorded and stored for easy access.
John
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Sat, 25 Apr 2009 19:40:16 -0400 did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    Yep. What I learned back in the 70's in one of my earliest "real jobs". Everything has a place, and every place - a thing.
    I also learned "Might as well do it right the first time, you don't have time to do it over." and the variant "If you haven't time to put it away, what makes you think you're going to have time to look for it?"
tschus pyotr - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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Bill wrote:

The concept of Lean as I've seen it works well... IF everyone's on board. One shop I worked at did a test of Kaizan for just a section of the shop (the cell area)to get started. They set metrics of current throughput then post Kaizan. The results were pretty impressive. Still the machinists fought it every step of the way - until management told them it was their way or the highway. You and I both know that relative to most industries, machinists are the most stubborn folks around. I was pretty stubborn too until I got into the ME side of things. Now that I'm in a position to change a process to improve it, I'm not so stubborn. Plus, I like change!
-- Bill
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Yeah I'm wearing out the words paradigm shift. But it is fun and exciting to do new stuff.
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Let the Record show that "Proctologically Violated"
did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    New Zeitgeist - sounds like a planet colonized by Germans and not like a paradigm shift without the clutch.
pyotr
- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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wrote:

That tells me the event wasn't run or managed correctly.
Company I worked for years ago department heads asked for events and everyone looked forward to Kaizen events in their departments especially the machining departments.
Tom
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I get the pressure all the time to get lean, be more efficient, eliminate waste, etc. All lip service, no specifics on how to achieve all this are offered. I'm shown the lean examples from large manufacturers. How does this apply to a small machine shop?
Willing, but unable Dale
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There is an article in MMSOL about a shop that has adopted a modified version of lean. There is a short version of how it applies to a small shop. The challenge my customer wants is to set up their machine shop as a pull system instead of a push system. They make their own product so establishing parameters and envelopes is easier. The first project is a box that requires all 6 sides to be machined. A push system would run 6 batches of operations. With a pull system I set up 6 machines with each sequential operation being done simultaneously. After getting 1 part after all 6 operations are complete you now get a complete part at the end of the longest operation. Very cool to watch work. Sorta like the whole shop working as a 6 spindle acme grindley. Each machine will be pre set for each sequential operation. When assembly needs a part they will get it in minutes as opposed to hours. The nice thing is management is already sold on the idea, they just need a machinist to implement it. It's a unique opportunity I'm excited to get into.
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The best conditioned team won't succeed unless they play as a team instead of a group of individuals.

See above

Redefined or maybe just defined in the first place.

Don't be so sure of that. Somebody is going to have to pay fot the mess made during the last 40 years.
JC
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Indeed.
So then, we will be better off selling our young, instead of eating them.
Which, if PBS is correct, is already happening.
--

Mr. PV'd

Mae West (yer fav Congressman) to the Gangster (yer fav Lobbyist):
  Click to see the full signature.
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If you don't care - because you'll be dead - it really doesn't matter.

Wrong tense. Happened. The real difficulty will manifest itself when the next generation's lack of ownership takes root. This leads right back to the thread topic. Unless everyone involved in any enterprise feels they own it it won't succed except for a sliver of the group and isn't, therefore, sustainable. Less and less value is extacted or added with every iterration.
JC
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On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 10:33:52 -0700, "John R. Carroll"

----------- Problem is the use of the same word for two different things, and you both are right.
*INVESTMENT*, either as sweat and/or money, and stock ownership in a small corporation with a few other stockholders and the continual presence at the plant is far different than stock "ownership," where the stock is purchased on the secondary market, generally from speculator who wants out, with none of the funds going to the company, huge numbers of anonymous stockholders, only a few of who may be investors, and no interaction between these stockholders and the officers/management, who in general have no "hands on" (other than on the company assets).
I know of no stockholder meeting where a majority of the stockholders approved management's plan to continue to pay them selves big bonuses and maintain the stock dividend by borrowing money until the corporation goes bankrupt. I know of no stockholder meetings where management's plan to allocate over 50% of any profits, paper or real, to the executive bonus plan, regardless of the risks taken to generate these profits. Yet General Motors and Lehman Brothers implemented exactly these plans and policies.
It is difficult to determine at exactly what level of organizational size this occurs, but operationally, the major American corporations are beyond *ANY* control by their nominal owners, i.e. the stockholders.
Because they can bring the "house of cards" down, some of the major secured creditors and those with CDS insurance still have a hammer where they are providing revolving lines of credit and/or short term financing they can refuse to renew, they can occasionally affect corporate governance, such as forcing the removal of Chairman and CEO "Bonus Bob" Nardalli from Home Depot (now at Chrysler) after a series of increasing losses and increasing bonuses. (compensation totaled about 210 million $US for two years)
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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wrote:

Not really. You can't, and don't, own anything that can be taken from you. Unlike money, accomplishments aren't fungible.
JC
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On Mon, 27 Apr 2009 12:16:40 -0700, "John R. Carroll"
<snip>

--------- Again this depends on context and parsing.
A counter example.
At one time I was an ADL programmer/analyst [and would still be with some practice]. ADL for those of us with short memories stands for Applications Development Language which was the programming language for Vulcan/dBase by Ashton-Tate.
I spent a significant amount of time perfecting my skills, and had several commercial programs including RMMIS [standing for Returned Materials Management Information System] used by a Fortune 500 company.
However ADL/dBase passed from any major use and was replaced by SQL/Access among others, thus negating any "accomplishments" I had connected with ADL/dBase.
FWIW -- most anything can be taken from you, even life itself, therefore "accomplishment" is mainly another word for "head game."
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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