Lean and the digital factory: is the digital twin the new gemba?

The digital twin is the virtual and digital copy of a factory allowing monitoring, post-mortem analyses, simulations, stress tests, machine learning and much more. As a Lean practitioner having started his Lean experience in the 1980s, I faced the difficulty to get engineers, techs and sometimes foremen to the shopfloor to assess and understand the … Continue reading Lean and the digital factory: is the digital twin the new gemba?

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Is Lean dead?

Is Lean dead? is the provocative title of a podcast hosted by Mark Graban with guest Karen Martin. The question, the podcast description says, is “easy to discuss, but hard to answer”. The reason Karen proposed to discuss this question is because of hearing and reading about “what’s next”, “is it time for something new?” … Continue reading Is Lean dead?

Future of Lean: is a robotic motion a waste?

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?

We are all Lean now. What’s next?

Every once in a while, for nearly 30 years, the question arises: “what’s the next big thing after Lean?”, suggesting that the askers are done with Lean. We write July of 2016 and it seems that everybody is Lean now. Many people have been repeatedly exposed to Lean methods and tools, have been involved in … Continue reading We are all Lean now. What’s next?

Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

In a previous post titled “How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?” my prospective thinking was all about technological disruptions and the impact on companies. The same question is valid for the future of Lean. If as I assume much of the non-added value can be taken out of actual … Continue reading Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

Lean in digital age: sensors and data

In near future, technology and especially connected objects - smart things stuffed with sensors and so-called wearable devices - will supercharge Lean improvements. One example of such already used device is given in a Mark Graban podcast about Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety. In this podcast (Episode #205), Mark’s guest Joe Schnur, VP Business Development … Continue reading Lean in digital age: sensors and data

How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?

It is a well-known fact: the sequence of all activities required to bring a product to a customer is called a value stream and despite the name, value does not flow smoothly nor swiftly along streamlined processes. Value streams are cluttered with non-added value processes, tasks and steps, so-called wastes. Traditional manufacturing processes aren’t very … Continue reading How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?

How lean can help shaping the future – Value Stream Design

When thinking about planning or shaping the future, most people believe it requires very complicated means, software or science. The reality is deceivingly simple as it takes pens, paper and analytical skills. Therefore when it comes to answer the question “How lean can help shaping the future”, the simplest and most common way is when … Continue reading How lean can help shaping the future – Value Stream Design

Lean in the digital age: free apps

Lean-educated people will consider value as something a customer is ready to pay for because the product or service has some value from his/her point of view. Lean-educated people will consider to use just-needed resources and avoid unnecessary storage. But what about free or almost free apps for smartphones and tablets? Do the Lean principles … Continue reading Lean in the digital age: free apps

How lean can help shaping the future? Introduction

Lean, no doubt, is a powerful proven business management system with long track record of success stories (and probably as many failed attempts). In 60 years, Lean made it slowly from Lean Manufacturing to Lean Thinking and Lean Management, from small improvement experiments in industrial workshops to worldwide shared Body of Knowledge. Despite all the … Continue reading How lean can help shaping the future? Introduction