lean production

The “mangineer” and people development

FEATURE – Sometimes you just need to get creative: as part of its flexible manufacturing model, Esquel introduced a new role on its shop floor – the “mangineer”.

30 years since Machine came out – Part 2

INTERVIEW – Thirty years ago, a book introduced lean thinking to the world, started a global movement and transformed business forever. Our editor caught up with one of the authors.

Smooth as silk

CASE STUDY – An Esquel factory in GuiLin, China injected lean principles and practices into its processes to become more efficient and environmentally-friendly.

How we made our microbiology lab Covid-ready

FEATURE – When the number of Covid-19 cases skyrocketed in the Italian region of Piedmont, this microbiology lab had to find a way to increase its capacity to process swab tests. Here’s how they did it.

Lean thinking for more resilient supply chains

FEATURE – The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed all the shortcomings of our current supply chains. Lean Thinking can make them more agile, aligned and adaptive.

Harada-san and the steps to better Jidoka

FEATURE – In the first piece of a series on Takehiko Harada’s contribution to TPS, the authors discuss the Nagara Switch and how it helps to achieve better Jidoka.

Half the bad, double the good

CASE STUDY – The story of this Norwegian window and door manufacturer shows how a deep and ongoing commitment to a lean transformation can help a company thrive against all odds.

Centerlining: what it is and how it works

FEATURE – In this compelling read, the author explains how “centerlining” tools and settings can reduce variation in a process and avoid having to constantly seek adjustments à la McGyver.

Safari, so good

CASE STUDY – This company in Botswana has embraced lean thinking passionately to build the capacity and ability to deal with higher demand for its converted vehicles. The author tells us about their journey.

The gateway to success

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – By introducing flow in its processes and transforming its approach to managing the business, this French manufacturer of fences and gates is building a competitive advantage.

A Norwegian lean epic

CASE STUDY – Thousands of kaizens, a relentless focus on learning and the determination to continuously improve have made of this Norwegian company something of a lean fairytale.

Cancelling the distance

CASE STUDY – What to do when you operate in a competitive market and are located in a remote corner of Europe, thousands of miles from your customer? One word: lean.

Learning at takt time in Thales

INTERVIEW – A former VP of Operations from Thales tells Catherine Chabiron how he and his team turned around their department by committing to lean thinking and focusing on people development every day.

What a good supermarket looks like

THE NAKED GEMBA – Our new series goes back to basics to unlock the secrets of the gemba and tell us about some of the main tools and techniques we can use in a lean transformation. First up, supermarkets.

Flexible by design

FEATURE – By leveraging lean product and process development principles, Nichirin Spain is becoming more flexible managing last-minute changes in product design requested by customers.

Quality by kaikaku

CASE STUDY – This Turkish producer of sanitaryware has boosted its quality so dramatically it’s now a player in the German market. It did so by bringing drastic change to its production system.

Metrics matter

INTERVIEW – In this thought-provoking conversation, Michael Ballé and Mark Graban discuss metrics and the managerial attitude towards tracking them.

Pulling it off

CASE STUDY – A Turkish producer of gas valves for kitchen appliances has discovered the power of the lean principles of pull and flow, reaching results beyond its imagination.