In part 1 of this series I took the example of Additive Manufacturing vs. traditional machining to explain the blurring definition of (Lean) waste and value. In this post, I propose another take with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). With RPA, some tasks considered unnecessary and wasteful in the classic Lean point of view are automated … Continue reading The blurring definition of waste in a 4.0 world – Part 2 of 2 – Robotic Process Automation
Until recently in the Lean community, the definition of waste was “simple”: waste is any activity consuming resources without producing value for the customer. In this definition time can be considered a resource and “customer” is extended to anyone beneficiary of the outcome, like a patient in a hospital getting faster and better care. Focusing … Continue reading The blurring definition of Lean waste in a 4.0 world – Part 1 of 2 – Additive Manufacturing
In the first post of this series the focus was much about waste of human potential, that comes in many forms. In this second part reviews the 7 others wastes, first uncovered in manufacturing and later translated into office work. Office work isn’t as much prescribed in work instructions and standards as the work in … Continue reading Lean: Waste in office work – part 2
When Lean principles got popular and begun to spread out of the manufacturing shop floor, the original 7 types of waste were translated into their equivalent in office environment. Yet office work is less standardized than manufacturing, offering people more freedom to organize themselves. Compared to precisely prescribed execution and streamlined operations in manufacturing, synchronized … Continue reading Lean: Waste in office work – part 1
Motion and transportation count among the 7 basic muda or wastes, that should be eliminated or at least reduced to their bare minimum in order to be leaner. Now, with the probable rise of robotics, will robotic motion (and transportation) still be considered a waste? The Lean definition of waste is any consumption of resources, … Continue reading Future of Lean: is a robotic motion a waste?
Some thought leaders and Lean promoters stress the fact that Lean is about eliminating waste while others seem to get away from this idea. Could some have been wrong? Is there a shift in Lean Thinking? What is Lean finally about? Is Lean about waste elimination or not? Well, yes and no. Defining waste Waste is … Continue reading Is Lean about eliminating waste or not?
In many organizations people capture a lot of data and… just ignore them, wasting their potential value. The latest case, at the moment I write this post, is with an aircraft MRO company. This post echoes a previous one: Trouble with manual data capture Every aircraft undergoing MRO requires a lot of mandatory paperwork for … Continue reading So many wasted data
SMED is a systematic approach to quick changeovers in order to minimize machine downtime. It is welcome to recover wasted capacity on a bottleneck resource. A bottleneck is a resource with a capacity, in average, lower or equal to customer’s demand. A true bottleneck runs 24 hours 7 days a week and still cannot supply … Continue reading Recover wasted capacity with SMED
Lean is about waste. Mainly about waste. Obsessive about waste. Wastes are activities that carry costs without adding any value. Reducing wastes is turning these expenses into savings. So far so good. Yet why doesn’t lean emphasize adding value instead? Adding value means adding or improving something that customers will value and will be ready … Continue reading Why this lean obsession about waste?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to software “robots” that can be taught or programmed to mimic human actions like typing, copy-and-paste, open files, read files… do many tasks across programs and applications just as human workers do. It is especially suitable for tasks requiring no subjective judgement, that can be described simply. The RPA software … Continue reading What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?