Showing posts with label kaizen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kaizen. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5S Standard Work Video

The hardest parts of a 5S implementation are the 4th and 5th S's, "standardize" and "sustain." Everyone can clean up the place, sort their tools and find good spots for them, but coming up with standards and ways to sustain the effort is more difficult. It's also easier to explain the benefits of a clean workspace, than expounding on the importance of standard work. Here's a good 5S video that focuses on the fourth S. The video describes standards, how important they are to the fire department and how they can be leveraged into different work environments. 

As the narrator states, " Without standards, 5S just becomes a fancy word for housekeeping." I think this video is informative and at 5 minutes is short enough to use as an intro to 5S or as part of a kaizen event.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lean Lego Simulation

Another institution of higher learning has a great simulation to demonstrate Lean principles. The University of St. Andrews in Scotland has come up with this Lean game which uses three types of common Lego blocks to make six different objects for the customer. The customer gets to pick from a catalogue of these products, which are built at two stations. The best part of the game is that you get to make Lego animals! Most simulations use cars or other mechanical devices, but I love the fact that the choices include a duck robot.

Look at that cute horse! A great game with a touch of humour. Because the processes are not linked, it does lack a little of the bottleneck / theory of constraints aspect of Lean, but their are plenty of opportunities to improve the process. In fact, I expect that the team would be able to come up with two linked subassembly stations as a kaizen, instead of two stand alone stations. 

The .pdf for the game includes instructions for all the stations. It is ready to go. All you need is the Lego blocks or equivalent. 

Here is an example of the instructions for one of the build stations:

The cumbersome order forms are another place to focus some improvement activities, but they also serve to track the time from order to receive, as the customer has to keep track of this info on the sheet.

Unfortunately, the links to this game are broken, so they've been removed.

Monday, April 26, 2010

One Piece Flow in a Welding Shop

Sometimes video speaks more than words. I love using video for training and I'm always on the lookout for short clips that demonstrate TPS or Lean principles. The following video shows single piece flow in a welding shop. It is approximately 6 minutes long, the ideal length to use in a training session. Short and to the point. I looked in vain for a "before" video, but, alas, it was not to be.

Besides single piece flow, it also shows leveled production, since it appears that there are two types of bars being fabricated and the process alternates between them.

As with any process, there's always room for improvement. Perhaps there is an opportunity to reduce the WIP between stations? How about holders for the pieces, so they don't roll around so much? Or moving that skid closer to the last operator so he doesn't feel the need to batch the parts when packing them on the skid? What do you see?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

5S Numbers Game

I found a great little game at that can be played with only pen, paper and a stop watch. It demonstrates the main principles of 5S. It seems like an excellent introduction to a 5S kaizen event, or for general training.

The 5S Numbers Game can also be found on the website as a free download.

Description from the superteams website:
"Here are the complete set of resources for you to confidently lead your Team through the game TOMORROW if you wish. . .We have created a full function Participant Handout that leads your Team step-by-step through the 5S Numbers Game"

Have fun trying to get your team to organize this:

My kind of simulation. Complete and free. The simulation is 15 pages long and contains everything you need to get started immediately. It even includes a facilitator's guide and talking points. Since it "plays" in 30 to 60 minutes, it would make an excellent introduction to any Lean activity, whether you are working in an office or manufacturing plant.

The game can be found here.

Also, check out this updated version of the 5S Numbers Game.

This post has been added to my huge list of of lean games and simulations.

To learn more about 5S, consider picking up the book, 5S for Operators: 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace (For Your Organization!).