Looking for Wastes at Your Plant

By Kimo Oberloh, Life Cycle Engineering

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, stated that all we are trying to do is to reduce the time it takes from receipt of order to receipt of cash by reducing as much waste and non-value-added activity from the process as we can. This is what is commonly referred to as lean.

Most production systems are based on Toyota’s system. Many systems will be developed around a house in which, at the roof level, there are the overriding principles by which they operate, things like customer satisfaction, best in class, lowest cost, and quickest to market, to name just a few. Holding up the roof are those items that drive improvement in the system, things like Just in Time, continuous improvement, cellular production, jidoka (quality built in), pull systems and eyes for waste. And holding up the pillars is a good foundation consisting of standard work, total productive maintenance, 5S, and visual controls.

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