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Lean Manufacturing Implementation

The Lean Manufacturing Handbook

Part 6

The Lean Manufacturing Handbook
by Tom Epply
Assisted by Judy Nagengast
Second Edition

Intro | Previous

Can you tell me more about the Lean Implementation Workshop you offer?

Continental offers a two and one half day workshop to help our customers develop Lean Manufacturing practices.

First: One of your assembly processes is selected, such as a specific product family or an assembly area.

Second: Continental takes your group step-by-step through Lean Manufacturing basics with application to the specific area selected.

Third: Continental helps you develop a plan to take this process from current state to a true lean process.

Typical Lean Manufacturing Implementation Training Workshop agenda

First Day

  • Introduction/Sign-in Sheet
  • Skills Assessment/Results
  • 5's/7 Types of Waste
  • Establish TAKT time
  • Value Stream Mapping-Raw material to finish material to finish product (Mass vs. Lean)

Second Day

  • Machine Balance Chart
  • Operator Balance Chart
  • Equipment Design
  • Material Flow
  • Pitch/Containerization

Third Day (half day)

  • Plant Layout
  • Future State
  • Getting Started
  • Evaluation


Participants will have a solid grasp of Lean principles and the tools required for its implementation.

Hands on experience with a real-world Lean project.

A written description and plan of the future state (New Lean Manufacturing Cell) with enough detail to immediately begin implementation.

How expensive is it to implement Lean Manufacturing?

Since the whole emphasis of Lean is to do more with less, the transformation to Lean is not a costly one. One obvious cost is Lean training and/or consulting. However, once you start to implement Lean, your savings will quickly cover those costs.

The equipment used in a Lean cell is usually much simpler than today's over-automated manufacturing lines, saving money. Often old equipment can be re-deployed for a small cost. Sometimes new equipment must be designed and built, but this should only be done if it will result in significant savings.

In short, if you are not saving significantly more than you are spending on Lean, then you are not doing Lean. Lean eliminates waste, thereby saving money. You simply cannot correctly implement Lean without saving money.

However, while the implementation of Lean Manufacturing is not a costly journey in terms of money, it does require a long-term commitment in terms of time and effort. Once you start the Lean journey in your organization, it will be 12-18 months or more before you complete the transformation. Even then you are not done, because part of Lean is to continuously improve your processes for the total life cycle of the product.

What are the major barriers to implementing Lean Manufacturing?

The one major barrier to starting Lean Manufacturing is to do so without top management's total understanding and support. There will be times that you will take one step backwards in order to go two steps forward. Without this total top management support the skeptics may want to cancel all activities and call it, "Just another program." However, Lean Manufacturing is not just a program, but instead is a continuous, never-ending journey.

In order to get the confidence of the entire organization, it is important that your first activity be a winner. Pick an activity with both high visibility and an excellent chance for success. Once you get your first Success Story, it will be easier to go onto the next area.

The final question: Why Lean?

To best answer this question we will quote from James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones from their book Lean Thinking:

"Lean thinking can dramatically boost productivity-doubling to quadrupling it, depending on the activity-while dramatically reducing errors, inventories, on-the-job accidents, space requirements, time-to-market for new products, production lead times, the cost of extra product variety, and costs in general. At the same time, these simple ideas can make work more satisfying by introducing immediate feedback and facilitating total concentration, and they can damp the business cycle, itself the cause of an enormous waste of resources. They require little capital and they will create rather than destroy jobs as managers learn to use them properly. Finally, they provide a bridge to the next great technological leaps by pulling the economies of the developed countries out of their current stagnation and providing resources for research.

"All that remains is for enough investors, managers, and employees, like the change agent heroes of these pages and-we hope-you the reader, to create a vast movement, in North America, Europe, Japan, and every other region, which relentlessly applies lean thinking to create value and banish muda."

Continental Design & Engineering offers you instant access to years of Lean Manufacturing experience. Call the Director of Lean Manufacturing today at 800 875-4557 or click on the "Instant Access" icon and the top of this page.

    Lean Manufacturing Handbook Menu
  1. The Lean Manufacturing Handbook
  2. What does "Just-In-Time" mean?
  3. How was Lean Manufacturing Developed?
  4. How do I implement Lean Manufacturing?
  5. Do we need outside help to get Lean Manufacturing?
  6. Tell me more about the Lean Implementation Workshop you offer
  7. About the Author - Tom Epply

Copyright ©2000 by Continental Design & Engineering Company. All rights reserved.

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