4 reasons to consider SMED

SMED is a structured approach to reducing changeover durations. Here are 4 good reasons to consider deploying SMED. >Lisez-moi en français 1. More production capacity is required A critical resource of the production process is not able to deliver the expected quantity, due to lack of capacity. Such a resource is usually called a bottleneck, … Continue reading 4 reasons to consider SMED


Are the 5S the first steps to SMED?

This is a classical debate among Lean newbees and even among specialists: are the 5S the first steps to SMED or not? As so often there is more than just a binary choice. If you are not now familiar with 5S, you may get a primer reading my posts series: The Quick Beginner’s Guide to … Continue reading Are the 5S the first steps to SMED?

5 things to remember about 5S

I assume readers are aware about 5S. The 5S are a methodology when beginners discover them through a structured way of teaching. They hopefully turn into an approach for organizing the workplace, and eventually a philosophy for those embracing the 5S principles for guiding their personal behaviors. Read more about Approach, philosophy or methodology Here … Continue reading 5 things to remember about 5S

Do not overlook spaghetti diagrams

What is a spaghetti diagrams (chart)? A spaghetti chart or spaghetti diagram is the visual description of an actual flow, a snapshot of what a given flow really looks like, not how the procedures expect it to be. The flow depicted is the path in space (usually through a factory, an office, a building, a … Continue reading Do not overlook spaghetti diagrams

What data for changeover monitoring and improvement?

Maximizing the exploitation of critical Capacity Constraint Resources (CCRs), so called bottlenecks, is crucial for maximizing revenue. Changeovers usually have a significant impact on productive capacity, reducing it with every new change made on those resources that already have too few of it. Yet changeovers are a necessary evil, and the trend is going for … Continue reading What data for changeover monitoring and improvement?

Is Lean about eliminating waste or not?

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?

What is Kaikaku?

Kaikaku is one of these Japanese words which found their way into the Lean lingo. Kaikaku is usually translated into “radical change” or breakthrough. my tiny Japanese dictionary proposes “reform”, “renovation” and “reorganization”. "Doing" kaikaku means introducing a major change in a process in order to drastically improve it (quantum leap). Kaikaku is therefore “opposed” … Continue reading What is Kaikaku?

What is a spaghetti diagram?

A spaghetti diagram, spaghetti plot or spaghetti chart is the drawing depicting the physical flow or route of: a part, raw material in a workshop or factory a human worker in his/her work environment a patient in his/her journey in a hospital nurses in their station a file or paperwork being handed over across offices … Continue reading What is a spaghetti diagram?

5 reasons 5S make the world a better place

5S is usually seen as very basic, simple methodology, easy to get through. The reality is totally different and most companies fail to implement a significant and sustainable maturity level of 5S. For those not familiar with and wanting to learn more about 5S, check my Quick Beginner’s Guide to 5S. Here are 5 reasons … Continue reading 5 reasons 5S make the world a better place

What is Little’s law? What is it good for?

Little's law is a simple equation explaining how Waiting Time, Throughput and Inventory are related. Wait Time = Inventory (or WIP) / Throughput Here is a video about Little's law: Fine, what is Little's law good for? Well, if a process lead time is too long, chances are that work-in-progress (WIP) is too high. For … Continue reading What is Little’s law? What is it good for?