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 […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Throughput in Three Steps

It’s all about throughput – these days…. As it should be!!  Throughput is the start and finish of every process flow.  How can we meet the takt time?  How can we maximize our throughput?  These questions are asked frequently.  This article does an excellent job in organizing your thoughts on this issue. The three principles […]

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 manufacturing is 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: National Pay Equality for Women

I’m reminded of the words from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” a book I often read to my kids: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The new study indicates that Michigan women earned 74 cents compared to every dollar a man made, based on 2013 […]

GARY KAPANOWSKI: Sigma Calculator

Everyone can value a quick and efficient way of calculating a formula.  The Sigma Calculator on this website is the easiest and quickest way to get your Sigma Z score.   Understanding the assumptions in this case will provide the path toward your answer.  Basically, the calculator will add 1.5 Sigma shift to the process as […]