Anyone adapting "lean" techniques to their shop?

wrote:


BAMMMMM!!! Well, almost a BAM.... "mindfuck" is actually the term of art.
You'll become scatological yet... I've already seen glimpses. :)
Unfortunately, the scatological is the likely precursor to helpless sputtering, and incoherent mumbling/grumbling.... that, and pursuing the Occult. goodgawd....
Ahm hopin for a few more good years of scatting.
--

Mr. PV'd

Mae West (yer fav Congressman) to the Gangster (yer fav Lobbyist):
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IMO, everyone benefits from a well organized, well lit, clean, ergonomic, productive, save environment.
Part of a Kaizen 5S event
Screw Machine Collets & Pushers Before 5S http://tinyurl.com/csfnys After http://tinyurl.com/cj5spz
Polishing/Deburring http://tinyurl.com/cosurz
------------
Process improvement
CNC Barfeed Lathe Department http://tinyurl.com/d8c9zf Photo was taken during event, don't know why I didn't take/keep a photo when finished. We were placing a setup, operate, inspection, computer work station connected to the network for every two CNC's. If they were planning on doing a setup they go to the online tool crib to get tools. They didn't need to order individual tools etc. everything is already set up in the system before the job is ever released to production floor. They tell the tool crib they are planning on setting up machine number ??? tomorrow morning for work order ???? operation number ??? at 8AM. 7AM the following morning a tool crib attendant drops a cart off at the machine to be setup with all the tools, inserts and inspection equipment needed for that job. Material handlers deliver the material for the job and load it into the machines material queue a minimum of two hours before the job is to be setup. When finished with the setup put previous jobs tools, gages, etc. on the tool crib cart and moved to queue area where someone picks it up and returns it to the tool crib.
http://tinyurl.com/d77jhc http://tinyurl.com/d9etxa
The CNC lathes pictured were about 15 years old when I took these photos quite a few years ago and have since been phased out to be replaced with newer machines to keep a competitive advantage.
Great thing about this companies Process Improvement is that it had it's own budget. So when we went into the Screw Machine Department and Kaizen team decides (machine setup/operators say) they needed Lista Cabinets so the tooling could be stored neatly and organized near the machines the Process Improvement Budget pays 50% of the cost and the rest comes from the Screw Machine Departments Budget.
Tom
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wrote:

---------- A major problem is that it is difficult to "pencil-whip" the numbers in a small shop.
An other serious problem is that the people demanding "Lean Manufacturing" do not understand what L/M means, and have no idea of what is involved, either with "Lean Manufacturing," or manufacturing in general. They just like the name, sorta like "Lean Cuisine," and have visions of free money falling from the sky without effort on their part.
As indicated in another post in this thread, one of the first things that should happen is the development of a list of "problems" stated as single simple declarative sentences and how these are measured. This list should then be rank ordered, with all "management" signing off on the problem definitions, metrics and priorities. Otherwise you will be sweeping sand against the tide.
Even with this agrement on prioritization, there is still the problem of pilfering the progress, or even sabotage, for example a quick change over of tooling may be developed [called SMED for single minute exchange of dies] but the down time for machine set up is still not decreasing, and therefore machine utilization and production is not increasing.
Frequently it will be determined that as the time required for set-ups is decreased, someone in "management" is reducing the number of tool setters and set-up personnel, thus both negating any benefit of the program on machine utilization and productivity, and alienating some of the most vital and hard to replace/train employees in the direct production process, thereby stopping any input from this critical source. On paper this generates considerable immediate cost savings (as these are generally some of the most senior/highest paid hourly employees), albeit much larger long term losses. This also kills any chance of other hourly employee involvement.
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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Hey Dale, how is your 6 pallet EC400 doing? She still gettin' the job done?
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26 Apr 2009 02:42:10 GMT did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    Same as for a large shop: cut the crap.
    Of course, in a large shop, the economies of scale come into play, both in good things and in 'bad' things. Is a 1% savings worth the effort on a thousand dollar job? Will you save more time after making the changes than you spent on making the changes? Yeah, I know, a tenner here, a tenner there, soon you are talking real money. But can you afford to be cost effective?     One writer I know of says he programs quick and dirty, because he needs to crunch the numbers once, maybe twice. Twenty minutes from start to end of run is fine - it doesn't matter how clunky his code is, he needs answers soonest. It doesn't matter if he could write tighter code that will generate results in 10 minutes if it takes him two hours to do that.

- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:47:27 -0700, "Bill"
<snip>

<snip> ---------- This is exactly correct and is the most telling sentence in your entire post. It is also the key to most of America's manufacturing/industrial "problems."
The problem is that "management" wants the employees "fixed" and is not willing to change a single one of their own behaviors/practices.
To make any of the programs work requires total long-term commitment and significant change in all aspects of company operation.
Anything less and they are just playing games.
Another problem is that there is generally a considerable preparation phase, and just about the time a newly introduced program starts to gel and begin generating results, it is dropped and the latest and best is implemented in its place.
If reorganization and "new, innovative programs" were the answer, GM would still be the #1 car company in the world, as this is all they have done for at least the last 30 years.
As a very smart man told me "A mediocre plan that is well executed will generally outperform a good plan that is poorly executed, and will always be better than a perfect plan that is never executed."
As some one that has been there and done that, don't get too committed to implementation of "lean and mean," or what every catchy title the HR people come up with. If you are a new hire with the company, talk to the old-timers and find out how many other "world changing" programs they have been put through and how long these typically lasted.
One typical result of repeated program implementations is an employee attitude of agreement with anything as "this too shall pass away." One poster mentioned the example of the disposal of vital jigs, fixtures, gages and other tooling for scrap. This is far from unusual occurance, and more than likely happened more than once at that company. The hourly employees are not stupid. When the suits say "dump," they "dump."
Get your resume up to date and start looking for another job, because someone is going to be the goat when this program dosen't work any better than the last five or six did.
One technique that can be helpful to gain insight into the company dynamics is to take repeated surveys to agree on the identity and rank the major [top 10] problems within the organization.
Two things to watch for:
(1) There is no general agreement as to the identity and priority of the problems; and
(2) Even with agrement on identity and priority [generally after much work on your part], the items may well have little or nothing to do with what the new program can plausably be expected to correct. For example if one of the identified problems is failure to make promised delivery dates, and sales/marketing keeps accepting orders for delivery in 2 weeks for products requiring 8-10 week lead times for just the materials, "lean and mean" can do nothing.
In the US at least, the huge majority of these "programs" were an attempt to solve non-technical problems by technical means, (i.e. "on the cheap") which always fails.
Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut, and you can learn a great deal.
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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Yes. I also teach some basic 5S and set up time reduction. Some people get it and do well. Others cop an attitude and bitch about how it's stupid and a waste of time.
I will say there have been some very bad executions of "lean" by clueless engineers who think it's all about throwing shit away and mopping the floor at regular intervals.
I also know places that can change a six spindle Acme over in an hour. Last piece off to first good part on completely different workpieces where everything is changed out. That's a powerful competitve advantage, but the journey ain't easy.
--

Dan

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Sun, 26 Apr 2009 04:08:04 GMT did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    And you have to have people who have "bought in" and know their shit as well. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:08:11 -0700, "Bill"
<snip>

---------- And your altitude determines your attitude.
One major reason for lack of active cooperation and possibly passive resistance is that in the past, "cooperation" has meant lots of additional work for no observable result, lay-offs, cuts in pay, and more "hassle" in the days work.
Another major reason is that increasingly "management' is seen as both greedy and having their head up their a$$, and they are felt to be one of the primary causes for the company's problems in the first place. Why do any favors for people you don't like or at least respect?
The WIIFM [What's In It For Me?] employee factor is never addressed.
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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On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 23:12:22 -0400, Kirk Gordon
<snip>

<snip> --------- Always nice to see another survivor of the SPC wars.
As I was reading your most informative and accurate post I had to keep checking the sig to verify that I had not written it. This exactly parallels my experience at two companies and several divisions within one of those companies in attempting to implement SPC.
Your record of conversation seems to be standard management response.

Any survivors (with good war stories) from the earlier MRP & MRP-II efforts? Anybody remember Oliver Wight?
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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On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 23:54:18 -0500, F. George McDuffee

SPC.....grrrrrrr While at Tornos, we did some sample parts for a potential customer of a TOP-200. The TOP-200 was an amazing machine. Probably about 10 years ahead of it's time.
Anyway, these were some rather complicated parts, with pretty tight tolerances. I didn't do the demo, one of our other tech's did, but I was there to see it happen (was there for a different customer demo at the time). We had to keep the demo parts in order so the customer could run their SPC magic on them. The parts, BTW, were absolutely perfect.
The customer rejected the parts!
According to SPC rules, there is no such thing as a perfect machine (tooling, etc.), and there must be variation of some sort.
The parts flat-lined on their charts. They thought that was impossible. IIRC, they suspected us of inspecting the parts and only sending them the good ones.
We wound up having to run a macro to make the parts vary by a couple of tenths in order to pass SPC.
Matt
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Bill wrote:

Bill:
    You sure threw a hand-grenade in a hornets-nest.
    Like most everyone, I've read some articles on Kaizen, Shainin, Kanban, Sig Sigma, JIT, Lean Manufacturing, and whatever trick term of the week is being focused upon.     IMO the more levels of management there are between the owner(s) and the end producing employees - the more chance there is for inefficiencies to creep in.     Not saying a small shop couldn't benefit from optimization, but some of the Lean techniques can become irrelevant on the lower end of the scale. An example: In JIT (Just In Time) manufacturing parts and procedures are timed so that the cost of inventory is reduced. But in a small job shop, when a machine is setup and already running parts it's often more beneficial to make a some extra parts that repeat regularly, especially if there in nothing pressing in the pipe. That way on the next order all the parts needed might be in stock so a separate setup isn't needed. But small shops don't have the expense of warehouses full of inventory. This is an At The Time judgment where rigid adherence to some Lean procedure may not be financially advantageous. Also, when work is slow parts can be made for stock rather than laying off workers.     What I believe is more important in a small shop are employees that have a team member mind-set and help each other to get product out the door in the most cost effective manner.     We used to have weekly meetings to go over past jobs and bring up any problems in regards to tooling, machines, material, or anything else that might effect work flow.
--
BottleBob
http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
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wrote:

Ayup....at least half the shops in Californai are using lean techniques.
They laid off at least 25% of the help..and a number of the owners simply locked the front doors and walked away.
Gunner
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Dudn't get much leaner than that. Basically a pithy denouement to my rant.
--

Mr. PV'd

Mae West (yer fav Congressman) to the Gangster (yer fav Lobbyist):
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My boys in VT call it lean management: "Ayuh, they lean on the help till ya keel ovah!"

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Our "lean" manufacturing efforts are pretty basic, but very effective:
-Ask the operator what he hates doing the most. -Ask him why. -Spend some time and money to make that task easier and less error prone.
This simple process can apply to everything from cleaning the shop, to packaging, to running parts, to deburring, and everything in between.
I had an office "lean event" at the end of last year to make my life easier. A seat of JobBoss to remove hassle of shipping/billing, an extra printer, and a Space Pilot all combined for a nice increase in productivity, (and a nice decrease in stress).
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26 Apr 2009 09:13:46 -0700 (PDT) did write/type or cause to appear in alt.machines.cnc the following:

    I kept a notebook on the jobs I ran. Which became known as The Notebook. Which I kept when I got canned. Which they now wish they had, because I had not only the big details, but the tweeks. Like the adjustments to make to allow 12 hrs of work to be completed in six hours. (Simple part: drill holes, cut slot in tube. When I had it all set up, 58 seconds button to button.)

    Yeah, that's a lot of it, cut the crap, fix the "little" things.
tschus pyotr
- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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We use Lean, Kaizen, 5S, etc. Works well for us.
I've seen differening implementations..my consensus is that if it's started at the grass-roots level of the shop floor with the folks who actually know whats going on and doing the work, and works it's way upward, it's very, very successful (See Toyota). However, when it's started at the top by dumbasses that have no clue how to actually *do* anything, it fails miserably. The complete success of the system depends on the implementation techniques.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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You are absolutely correct Anthony. It's easy to implement Kaizen to office workers or assembly workers. In order to implement it in a machine shop one must be able to turn the whole shop upside down and backward and back again. I come from the school of "follow me" management. Instruct by doing. That is the key to leadership in a machine shop. It will be no different in this project. Instead of "do this", it will be "watch this". Kaizen sells itself with results.
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"Lean" is nothing more than pieces of Kaizan pulled out and labed with someone elses name. Most toolmakers when going to a lean class feel it's common sence because thats how we are taught as apprentices. But kaizan goes a lot farther. It has to do with the placement of equipment, placement of people, availability of resources to those people. Creating a system that monitors constant improvement, and putting systems in place that are long term.
I work in a machine shop next to a mall. The nearest steel supplier is 20 miles away. The companies around us have nothing to do with what we do. Most of the people who work there are not suited for that kind of work. The most motivation given is you get paid. There are no plans in place for excersize, or preventive health care, there are no classes teaching people how to deal with social issues at the workplace. The building is in Florida, and has absolutely no trees around it. It has a thin tin roof riddled with air conditioners running 24/7. The condensated clean water rolls off the roof from the AC creating erosion problems, as opposed to using that water for wire edm machines. People arent being tested to find out their strong and weak points.
That is the opposite of Kaizan.
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