Use of Visual Management in Lean Manufacturing

By Garrett MacKenzie

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I once had a plant manager who had the perfect analogy for the use of visual management, by implementing an engineered shop floor layout with clear and concise instructions at each employee’s workstation.

 The question he asked our team was this:
 “Why is it that when you look at a shampoo bottle, there are directions to ‘Rinse, Lather and Repeat’?” 
His answer was simple, yet thought-provoking. 

”Someone at some point stood there with the bottle, trying to figure out what to do with it.”

Simply put, the better you are able to remove complexity from the shop floor and provide concrete visual and descriptive aids, the more control you will have over your plant’s overall performance…..

 

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3 to 7 Minute Color Change

By Garrett MacKenzie: October 18, 2016

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In lean manufacturing, changeover times are a vital component of shop performance. Minimal down time assures that multiple changeovers have little effect on a plant’s available machine time available. After all, less down time in the production equation offers more opportunities to take on more work and increase company profits. This article outlines specific approaches towards color changes that will support the potential of completing color changeovers in 3 to 7 minutes. This may seem like an impossible task to some, but with the proper planning, methods and equipment,  it is an attainable and repeatable goal…..

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