This article points to several great opportunities when implementing Lean principles and tools to solve a problem.  First, the author points to Lean as “having very small amounts of work-in-process (WIP) moving rapidly through the entire process to the customer” or known as flow.  To improve the flow, a U, O, D or C looking cell for manufacturing produces the best options.  Straight lines or “I line” are avoided to eliminate excessive walking and wait time.  It also hides inventory.

By utilizing the “U” shape, we can effectively balance the production line by allowing for multiple combinations of tasks and operations.  A great point in the article is to focus on “FLOW” not layout of machines or equipment.  When configuring your “U” shape layout, optimize “FLOW” first then worry about machine layout after.

Article Link: http://www.sme.org/MEMagazine/Article.aspx?id=84095&taxid=1415

Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior

The following blog is the opinion of Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com.  It is the sole intent to broadcast this opinion from Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com exclusively and not to reflect on any other institutions or organizations associated with Gary Kapanowski or Garykapanowski.com.

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