Manufacturing

ACS lean engineering

The incredible lean turnaround of an engineering department

FEATURE – A French automotive supplier has been applying lean principles to transform its engineering department with great results. In the process, they have realized they could put in place a really effective system to build innovation.
Jim Womack on lean and taylorism

Jim Womack takes on the legacy of Taylor and Ford

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – The author reflects on how the legacy of Taylor and Ford still poses challenges to the lean movement, and why critics should move past a simplistic view of lean as mere standardization.
levelled production low sale products

To be leaner discontinue high-volume low-sale products

FEATURE – We often think that making every product customers might want – no matter how little they sell or how much complexity they add to our schedule – is inherently lean. As Toyota understands quite well, however, it is quite the opposite.
Terex Cranes obeya

The story of the lean transformation of a crane manufacturer

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – In the past 15 months Terex Cranes has successfully initiated a lean transformation. Follow Catherine Chabiron on her gemba walk to see what this large company is doing to put learning at the heart of its activities.
ERP instability Glenday

Is ERP at odds with lean management? Ian Glenday wonders

FEATURE – It might be widely used as a planning system, but ERP – Ian Glenday argues – is not conducive to an environment where lean thinking can thrive: because it is based on a batch logic, it always creates a different plan and, with it, instability.
UCC obeya

Making RFS possible – the lean implementation at UCC Coffee

FEATURE – Repetitive flexible supply is a very effective method to level production scheduling, but as a FMCG company in the Netherlands found out, sometimes a number of conditions must be met before the approach becomes viable.
ecotecnia team integration maull

Learning function integration while assembling wind turbines

FEATURE ARTICLE – Over the course of his career in the wind energy industry, the author has learned the power of horizontal integration in the improvement of organizations. In this piece, he shares his experience as a lean practitioner and leader at Ecotècnia.
lean management barcelona bakeries

The amazing growth of a chain of lean bakeries in Spain

CASE STUDY – A very lean system that runs like clockwork and constant attention to customer service enable Barcelona-based 365.café to achieve the impossible: supplying 55 bakeries out of a 650-sqm factory.
ossur lean manufacturing

Prosthetics manufacturer uses lean thinking to stay on top

CASE STUDY - Össur is recognized as a leader in the fields of prosthetic, osteoarthritis and injury solutions, but how did lean management and a trial-and-error approach to improvement help it to stay competitive?
thales lean transformation

Pull flow and respect for people to drive change at Thales

ARTICLE - We always talk about going to the gemba, but we often don't understand what that entails and what changes it can bring to our companies. In this article, we hear about the experience of Thales.
cimtas lean thinking

Cimtas Module & Shipyard: lean principles in construction

CASE STUDY - A Turkish shipyard and engineering company has found that lean principles and practice are the only way to deliver unique, large construction projects efficiently and successfully.
general motors lean journey interview

Lean thinking at General Motors do Brasil

INTERVIEW – We speak with Sérgio Caracciolo of General Motors do Brasil about the carmaker’s approach to lean, its struggles, and its lessons learned.
lean journey targets

Setting the proper targets is hard

ARTICLE – We can have the best processes in place and the best people on payroll, but if our goals are wrong our drive towards lean management won't be enough. Part 3 of Hazards on the road to lean.

Change your production leveling strategy to achieve flow

ARTICLE – Effectively applying just-in-time and achieving flow is impossible without leveling production first. Yet, most companies seem to think this is impossible because demand is so variable… but is it really?

How lean thinking changed an automotive supplier in Brazil

INTERVIEW - Lean manufacturing principles, successful training programs and the involvement of management in daily continuous improvement are transforming Brazilian automotive supplier ZEN.
lean team change management

Should you form a central lean team?

ARTICLE – In a transformation, should we spread responsibilities across the business or go for a centralized Lean Office? For their second piece, our Polish colleagues look at what they have learned on the field.
changing lean production system

Rethinking an entire production system

ARTICLE - It took a Spanish clinical diagnostics instruments manufacturer the introduction of a new product to realize how an old-fashioned system and management style were preventing the company from thriving.

The danger of driving too much change too fast

ARTICLE - In this new series, our Polish colleagues draw on their experience with customers and discuss the most common mistakes people make in their lean implementations.