GARY KAPANOWSKI: Lean manufacturing used for all industries

This is a great article for Lean professionals.  It’s easy to get too focused on the tools of Lean.  As professionals, we need to understand the behaviors, grow people, and build standards.  In Lean transformations, the behaviors drive the tools.  Such areas to consider is coaching, employee empowerment, and problem solving. The implementation results are […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Part Inspection Speeds Up due to Standardization

This is a good article to describe the strength of standardize work instructions.  This included 100% inspection for critical functional characteristics.   With improvements, the total cycle time was reduced by 35% and now implemented throughout the organization.  Also, since the standardized procedure is simple to implement, reduction in training costs allows for other improvements to […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Kaikaku – Manufacturing Re-Imagined

How do we know if we are utilizing best practices?  The answer is in identifying the current state.  Kaikaku or radical change identifies the issue of stagnation to create a new process or model.  Thus, we are going beyond the Toyota Production System (TPS) for incremental improvement.  This is the basis for Black Belt studies.  […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Lean production of an external heart defibrillator/cardiac monitor

This article focuses on the Lean approach to correctly identify the voice of the customer (VOC) and install process improvements to eliminate waste and become more profitable.  After correctly identifying the current state value stream map, the voice of the customer was identified along with other areas of problems.  A series of kaizen events were […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: How family status affects women at work?

Raising the corporate ladder is difficult for anyone.  The latest research indicates being a woman with kids is not a favorable indicator for success.  The positive indicator of mentorship boosts the results for women.  The interesting fact from the article is that the supply of women with credible education backgrounds would point to a more […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: LEAN Manufacturing through Compact Machining Cell

This article describes the true intention of Lean to establish a continuous improvement cycle.  This group started with over 1,700 parts to categorize for production and tooling then to capacity.  This led to a reorganization of the shop floor based on the pull from the customer.  This also produced a “process family code system” for […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: How to Run a Factory

This article provides a list for utilizing continuous improvement initiatives when running a factory.  For any industry, this can be used for implementing Lean. Focus on today’s technology before buying something new When possible, never do “all new” Pay attention to detail. Don’t assume Adopt a “common” focus Be extremely wary of expanding by acquisitions […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Michigan Lean Consortium brings an experienced eye to lean’s journey

With the advancement in manufacturing, Lean is still seen as a quick fix for cost reduction, increased workloads, and layoffs.  With the incorporation of the nonprofit, all-volunteer Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC), the mission for Michigan organizations under the tutelage of the MLC is to develop and support lean systems thinkers to transform Michigan’s organizations and […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Shop Solutions – Lean Huddles work

This advance manufacturing organization adopted a Lean Huddle strategy to organize their tooling opportunities.  They didn’t know it was a huddle, but was used to get everyone to talk about the problem.  The answer was within the organization and the employees.  Testing different ways of production produced answers that were able to be applied throughout […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Time to Improve now with Lean

This article specifically describes how Lean should be utilized in an organization.  In fact, the opening question of “Who is doing continuous improvement, and when are they doing it?” speaks to the foundations of Lean and eliminating waste.  I especially liked the description of the metric:  problem-to-improvement cycle time.  This tracks the time it takes […]