niedziela, 5 marca 2017

TPM Total Productive Maintenance

poniedziałek, 1 sierpnia 2016

Lean Thinking - TOC-Lean Tools and Techniques

Why Combine Lean Manufacturing with Theory of Constraints (TOC) Techniques? For many years now, ‘Lean’ has been a watchword of the manufacturing industry worldwide. Lean has been defined as ‘a manufacturing philosophy that shortens the timeline between customer order and shipment by eliminating waste’ and there is no doubt that the rigorous and continuous application of Lean principles can result in benefits such as reduced lead time, lower inventory and increased capacity utilisation. However, because Lean’s ultimate goal is ‘perfection’ throughout the entire organisation, many companies find implementation somewhat daunting – if everything must be improved, where do they start? Conflicts can arise when every different department thinks it should be the priority. The Theory of Constraints, however, provides a cast-iron methodology for identifying the priority area and focusing improvements where they will have the most impact on the company as a whole. Prof. Dan Jones, founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy, makes this point: “We are all guilty of one of the greatest sins with Lean – not having the patience to really understand the problem we are trying to solve and then jumping to a solution that may or may not be the right way to solve this problem. This results in lots of Muda – wasted effort that does not really make a difference – to your organisation or to your consumers”. Professor Jones advocates NOT using Lean everywhere but making sure that it is used in the place where it will have the greatest impact – the constraint. This is why we, within the TOC-Lean approach, are arguing that the application of the focusing power of TOC substantially enhances the power of Lean to eradicate problems and issues. It is not as if the two approaches are in conflict, for there are key areas of overlap: Some of the fundamental similarities between TOC and Lean: Both promote measures to protect due date performance, using a ‘pull’ system. Both techniques recognize that improvement must be continuous and encompass the whole company. The process flow/value stream must be accurately mapped at the start of the programme. Improvements must enhance the value of the product from the customer’s viewpoint. However, the techniques diverge in a number of key areas, and it can be seen that TOC has several advantages: Whereas Lean sees an organisation as a collection of parts which can be improved individually, TOC focuses on that one area (the ‘constraint’) which, when improved, will have the greatest holistic benefit. Improvements elsewhere are then made, but the priority at all times remains the constraint resource. Lean aims to reduce lead time and inventory and thus costs by eliminating waste; TOC aims to reduce lead time and inventory in order to gain capacity, increase Throughput (i.e. the rate at which money is generated through the sale of products) and provide a competitive edge – thus enabling the business to grow. Lean promotes maximum resource efficiency, whilst TOC promotes maximum resource flexibility. Lean strives to eliminate inventory, idle capacity and variability; TOC recognizes that in practice, variability can never be completely eliminated - but its effects can be protected against by the use of time buffers, whilst protective capacity and inventory can safeguard Throughput against variability of supply. Thus it is evident that TOC methodology can provide Lean techniques with a high degree of focus which is both in tune with reality and achievable on a practical level, effectively bridging the knowledge gap that can exist between Lean in theory and Lean in practice. Because the bottom line benefits to be gained from increasing Throughput are greater than those likely to be realised via Lean waste/cost reduction alone, TOC provides Lean Manufacturing with a forward-thinking framework which not only directs improvement efforts where they will be most beneficial, but which is also an excellent platform for future growth. The Implementation Approach of TOC-Lean follows the path described below: Identification of the core problem/s through robust analysis, e.g. value stream mapping and the collection of appropriate and accurate data. In-depth training in combined TOC-Lean principles. Use of collected data to plan implementation stages. Implementation of TOC-Lean principles and associated improvement techniques e.g. 5S, Six Sigma Mentoring and on-going support to forestall/overcome any obstacles that may hinder implementation. Mentoring and retained support to ensure that continuous improvement can be sustained. Lean in Practice: What Robs us of Fast (Value) Flow? Making value flow is one of the most crucial areas of the TOC-Lean approach, and it is where we focus our attention. In our work with many different types of companies where flow is critical to success we have come across one very interesting phenomenon – capacity thieves. If organisations wish to win new markets and retain existing customers, then being able to deliver right first time, every time and on-time is critical. At the same time there is continuous pressure to reduce the overall lead time without jeopardising delivery performance, so a fast flow must be maintained too. Hence our interest in what we have called a capacity thief – defined as ‘that which robs flow of capacity and thus slows, or even stops, flow in its tracks’. The capacity thieves that we deal with most often are: Material People Breakdowns Set-ups Defects Addressing these capacity thieves requires the application of the key tools and techniques of the TOC-Lean approach: Material is dealt with dealt with through the application of the Drum – Buffer – Rope (DBR) approach contained within the TOC Operations methodology People - issues related to People are dealt with through the application of Buffer Management and changes to the measurement systems, removing efficiency measures and replacing them with measures that determine flow and the effectiveness of the flow management system to the bottom-line. Breakdowns are addressed by Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) - or Production Led Maintenance. This is where we focus on the equipment used throughout the company in order to ensure that it remains capable of doing the work it was originally purchased to do. Maintenance is a necessary condition for ensuring that schedules are not disrupted by breakdowns or having to run the machine slower than the specification etc. Where the machine is a constraint this has considerable implications for the flow, and the ability of the system to make money. The six big losses addressed through this approach are: - Breakdowns - Set-Up and Adjustments (see SMED below) - Idling and minor stoppages - Reduced Speed Losses - Start-up Losses - Quality Defects (see Kaizen and DMAIC below) We run a programme for the implementation of TPM which over five days comprises some in-company training for key staff and the development of simple spreadsheet-based tools to track what is happening out on the shop floor and how that relates to the two key measures used within maintenance – Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). We have used this approach in a number of companies with great success, bringing control to an area that is usually given little or no priority and focus by senior management. We work with the maintenance team, helping them to develop more robust procedures for all aspects of maintenance, from daily checks through to the main service overhauls. We work with the scheduling team to make sure that the time for maintenance is properly set aside. The data capture system we provide comprises maintenance records on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, defect reporting on the machine (this links with our Kaizen and DMAIC activity), and 5S activity (see below). Weekly incident reports reference breakdowns etc. Set-Ups are addressed by Set-Up Reduction (SMED) The importance of set-up reduction cannot be underestimated. In many types of organisations we see the ability to move from one product line to another constrained by two factors: firstly, having to work according to a ‘large batch’ system and secondly, having to maintain high levels of efficiency on each machine. Both of these aspects lead to considerable waste within the system. Through a simple understanding of “internal set-up time” and “external set-up time” and the use of video to capture the actual set-up it is possible to reduce the time taken to move from product line A to product line B. Our programme of set-up reduction focuses on working with the setters and the operators in order to fully understand the change-over procedure and to then produce a quicker and more robust set-up procedure. Defects are addressed by Quality Improvement: Kaizen, DMAIC (Six Sigma) and Deming Defects are the bane of almost all environments, not just manufacturing. Considerable investment is made each year to try to gain control over working environments that are deemed to be statistically out of control. The rise of techniques such as Six Sigma is testament to this need to produce zero defects. However, tools and techniques such as Six Sigma are not enough - they need to be integrated into an organisational culture and process. Kaizen Of the techniques contained within the umbrella of Kaizen we have found the following to be the most useful when trying to understand and improve the performance of any system: - The 3-MU checklist, comprising Muda (waste) Muri (strain) and Mura (discrepancy) - The 4M checklist, comprising Man, Machine, Material, Method - The 5 Whys – asking the question “Why?” five times with respect to something is a powerful tool for delving behind assumptions and developing greater clarity. Other aspects of Kaizen are detailed below. DMAIC This is the key process contained within the Six Sigma approach. It comprises five steps: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control. DMAIC Diagram Our programme works through the DMAIC process, using a variety of techniques at each stage to ensure that the issues defined as problems are dealt with once and for all. There is a very clear link between our training in DMAIC and the Deming approach which is described below. Deming The Deming approach is primarily the four key steps of Plan – Do – Check – Action. We have developed that approach as can be seen from the diagram below. Deming Diagram Our training programme develops the skills and knowledge necessary to address issues related to quality and defects and thus improve flow, reduce costs and increase profitability. Statistical Tools Within any quality environment it is necessary to use statistical tools. We teach people how to use the following tools: Pareto, Cause and Effect, Histograms, Control Charts, Scatter Diagrams, Graphs and Check-sheets. 5S This is a technique used to establish and maintain a quality environment in any type of organisation. It should be used to improve not just the physical environment but the thinking processes as well. It comprises five key areas: Structure Systemise Sanitise Standardise Self-Discipline We present a five day training programme, in-company, where we spend two days working with the internal 5S team. In that time we develop their skills in the understanding and implementation of 5S throughout the whole of the organisation. We have developed simple spreadsheet tools to assist with the implementation which can then be used by the team to maintain progress and the transfer the technique to other parts of the organisation. The remainder of the time is spent working directly with the 5S teams, developing their skills and application of the approach in each area of the company - shop floor, offices etc. We help them to develop a measurement system which can be used in all departments to monitor progress towards a clean and effective working environment.

niedziela, 31 lipca 2016


The symptoms of material shortages, high inventory levels, and the need for expedite lists are often caused by non-linear demand patterns. Those companies with Kanban systems in place, or about to implement Kanban, should consider the following: IMPACT OF NON-LINEAR DEMAND PATTERNS Not all part numbers can, or should, be placed on Kanban especially those that have erratic demand patterns. Erratic demand patterns create shortages, which generate a reaction to raise the safety stock level across all Kanban items. This action will minimize shortages. However, it will also inflate the Kanban lot sizes. Since there is a high degree of excess material available, it is difficult to know what is actually needed when something is triggered. This in-turn gives rise to hot sheets and expedite lists communicating what is “really needed.” The whole intent of Kanban is defeated when there are line stoppages, inflated inventory, and the need for expedite lists to determine what is actually required. GENERAL SAFETY STOCK SETTING Identifying and excluding erratic demand pattern items from Kanban is key, however, it is not the complete solution. Every environment experiences a degree of demand fluctuation within the same planning period. Heijunka is a technique used by companies to minimize this fluctuation of demand by load smoothing and sequencing the top-level build schedule in a flat, rhythmical fashion. Unfortunately, not every company can apply Heijunka to their facility and those that can often cannot employ it to its fullest extent. Not having a perfectly linear demand pattern necessitates that safety stock be applied to all kanban items to the degree that the environment is not linear. Each environment is different and requires a different degree of safety stock. DEMAND PATTERN ASSESSMENT™ SOFTWARE Replenishment Technology Group, Inc. (RTG) has developed a powerful, proprietary Demand Pattern Assessment™ software package that has been successfully applied to hundreds of companies over the past 14 years. With this tool, RTG utilizes data from your company’s MRPII/ERP package in an ASCII flat file format to calculate Kanban lot sizes and to perform a simulation, which will determine: Items that should not be placed on Kanban due to their erratic demand patterns. Appropriate safety stock level, expressed in days that should be applied to your Kanban calculations to minimize the number of stockouts. The software will then determine the projected, average aggregate Kanban inventory levels, expressed in dollars. These projected inventory levels are compared to your current aggregate inventory levels. KANBAN OPTIMIZATION: NOT CURRENTLY ON KANBAN Save yourself the hardship of high inventory levels coupled with shortages and expedite sheets. Before you implement, find out what part numbers are too erratic for Kanban and the appropriate safety stock level settings for your specific environment. The Kanban Optimization service provides you that information plus a projection of what percent your current inventory levels will decrease or increase once you are on Kanban. You will be provided a report reflecting the above information plus be offered a phone consultation to answer any questions. KANBAN OPTIMIZATION: CURRENTLY ON KANBAN If you are already experiencing high inventory levels coupled with shortages and running your plant with expedite sheets, the root causes can stem from any number of areas. However, erratic demand patterns are, more often than not, the reason there is an across-the-board issue. For companies that are experiencing these issues, we can determine if erratic demand patterns are problematic through our assessment process. Based upon your current Kanban settings and demand patterns we can advise you of the key items that should be removed from Kanban and the appropriate degree of safety stock that should be set for your specific environment. KANBAN OPTIMIZATION PROCESS This service is provided to you remotely. Once you have scheduled your service with us and have provided the name of your IT interface, we will make contact and specify the required file layout. The file they create can be sent electronically to us. Once we complete the analysis and detailed report it will be E-mailed to you. We will then go over the report with you to answer any questions. BENEFITS OF OUR KANBAN OPTIMIZATION SERVICE Reduce shortages Lower inventories Quicker response to demand by removing bloated safety stock levels Credibility of a triggered Kanban

Questions to Kanban Author Raymond S. Louis, President of RTG, Inc.

Q: I have been directed to implement Kanban within a short period of time. Where do I begin? A: The process can seem challenging, but we are confident the following steps will serve you well: Step 1: Learn how Kanban functions and the various options that can be employed. These options are exceptionally important as they create the “Best Fit” for your specific overall business. Step 2: Assess your operations and supply base to determine the appropriate Kanban options. The design aspect is all-important, as Kanban not only affects manufacturing but also purchasing, stockroom, shipping and receiving, transportation and accounts payable. Diligence in fully designing your Kanban system prior to implementation will save you hundreds of hours of wasted time, effort, and money. A well thought out selection of Kanban options will enable rapid response to projected shifts in demand when implemented. The objective of your design is to obtain what is needed, when needed, in the quantity needed, while eliminating the non-value-added activities associated with recalculation and perpetuation. Step 3: After designing your Kanban system, construct an implementation milestone chart with all team members. Bear in mind that the actual implementation begins with the finished goods level and ends with your supply base. It is key to have a linear demand. This is why you begin at the finished goods level wherever possible. Step 4: Define and implement baseline measurements. Baseline measurements for parameters such as inventory levels are important as they are used to make adjustments to your Kanban settings, including degree of safety stock, minimums, and multiples, and are required to substantiate the effectiveness of your company’s Kanban system. Kanban can be implemented rapidly and effectively with outstanding results. Design and implementation planning can be accomplished within a matter of weeks and significantly improves the likelihood of a successful implementation. Q: Can you explain further what is meant by Kanban options? A: Kanban options are the choices you have during design of your Kanban system. The options you select will determine how effective your Kanban system is in dealing with the unique challenges of your environment. Options are targeted to deliver the optimal quantities of the correct material at the right time while eliminating the non-value-added activities associated with replenishment systems. To help clarify, we will begin with a definition, cover the impact of cost and time from not eliminating the non-value-added activities, and then, finally, discuss a few of the key Kanban options to consider in your design. Definition - Replenishment System Non-Value-Added Activities: All activities associated with any replenishment system are non-value-added because they do not physically transform, convert, or change the shape of a product for customer use. This holds true for a push system as well as a pull system. The impact in cost and time from non-elimination of non-value-added activities is directly proportional to: The level of manual effort designed into the perpetuation and execution of the current replenishment system. The quantity of active part numbers. The degree of deviation of actual demand versus forecast demand within the specified planning period. The amount of change in projected demand from planning period to planning period. Key options to consider in your Kanban design: 1) Automated Kanban System versus Manual Kanban System Imagine that the projected demand of your final product is now projected to shift. With a Kanban system you must: Recalculate Kanban lot sizes for all the part numbers that are on Kanban with your suppliers, plus physically add and subtract the number of Supplier Kanban Cards for each part number. Recalculate Kanban lot sizes for all the part numbers that are manufactured in house (except flexible work cell part numbers), plus physically add and subtract the number of Production Ordering Cards & Withdrawal Kanban Cards to the new Kanban calculations. Calculate flexible work cell staffing levels. Inform the supply base via a one-line-per-item projection of anticipated needs for capacity planning purposes only (material is only brought in when consumption triggers replenishment). Automated Kanban Option: For companies with hundreds or even thousands of part numbers, where the projected demand shifts up and down from planning period to planning period, will derive the greatest benefit from an automated Kanban system. Why? Because by the time you hand calculate Kanban lot sizes and physically add and subtract the number of Kanban cards, you would be experiencing shortages equal to the degree of shift of demand less safety stock. In other words, your Kanban system will be compromised on an on-going basis either through shortages or by having to carry exceptionally high inventory levels to provide for safety stock. Automated Kanban is highly effective in minimizing inventory levels, shortages, and satisfying customer demand in these environments as it would automatically: a) recalculate the Kanban lot sizes, b) adjust the number of Kanban cards in the system, c) calculate the flexible work cell staffing levels, and d) provide each supplier with a single-line-per-item forward projection for capacity planning purposes. The principles of manual Kanban methodology remain intact. The only difference is that the process is fully automated, permitting an immediate response to shifts in demand. Manual Kanban Option: Companies with smaller quantities of part numbers, or that do not experience significantly varying levels of demand, are better suited to employ Manual Kanban. In these environments, Manual Kanban systems are effective in minimizing inventory levels and satisfying customer demand. 2) Kanban Simulation Option Heijunka is typically applied to the finished goods production schedule, which involves load smoothing and sequencing. This technique minimizes batch building and provides a linear demand at the component level. Most companies, for a variety of reasons, cannot control the volume of orders, as Toyota is able to do with their dealerships. The end result is that non-linear demand patterns (spikes in demand) create stockouts. The only way to avert these stockouts is to have forward projection capability (MRP) to calculate Kanban lot sizes and then apply a simulation on the newly calculated Kanban lot sizes. The simulation applies the current on-hand, current triggered orders, and replenishment lead times. If a particular part number is projected to stockout (zero on-hand with an unsatisfied demand) due to a spike in demand, the calculation module can either elevate the newly calculated Kanban lot sizes or flag the user for intervention. As an example, a $10 billion a year manufacturing client was experiencing a 35.0% shortage rate due to spike demands. RTG implemented a Kanban Simulation Option, driving shortage levels down to 0.25%. Applying this simulation by hand would take 45 minutes per part number to do it correctly. Some environments do not require the Kanban Simulation Option, as their demand patterns are exceptionally linear. 3) Other types of Kanban options from which to choose Determining the type of container options you wish to employ may include: Single, Dual, Triple, and Multiple containers. Each is designed to handle specific situations. For example, the triple container is designed for long distance suppliers. Another option may include the Broadcast methodology, which is designed to handle expensive or extremely large items. What if the supplier’s lead times are too long? You may want the supplier to carry what is called the Lead Time Quantity. This methodology does not increase the inventory the supplier is currently carrying on the shelf; however, it dramatically reduces your lead-time to obtain replenishment. Some OEMS do not have a lead-time issue with their suppliers and therefore will not elect to utilize this option. In contracting with the supplier, what requirements should be included in the contract? Download capability? Response time? Type of transportation? There are many options depending upon your unique circumstances. How will you trigger requirements internally and externally? Manual or Automatic? What option will you select for common components used in different parts of the manufacturing facility? Will you centralize or decentralize the storage of Kanban containers? Common Kanban components can present a challenge if not handled correctly. Are you planning to use factory work orders and key in what is pulled from the stockroom or are you going to position the material on the production line and employ deduct point’s and backflushing capability? When items are triggered for internal production, will you employ Visual Kanban boards at each cell? Or will you employ a manufacturing screen at each cell that reflects triggered orders, load hours, and part availability simulation prior to initiating replenishment? There are many other options that may be listed, from transportation to packaging. As a whole, this is what defines your Kanban system and enables it to meet the specific needs of your company. The design aspect is vital versus the act of just jumping in and implementing something. Q: What benefits may be achieved by implementing a Manual Kanban System? A: Most companies reduce inventory levels 30% - 45% and reduction of part shortages of up to 30%. Q: What benefits may be achieved by implementing an Automated Kanban System? A: Most companies reduce inventory levels 30% - 65% and experience reductions in part shortages of up to 80%. In addition, these companies typically reduce the typical order/receipt/inspect/issue time by over 85% and significantly lower the overhead expenditures of operations. This is accomplished by the total elimination of non-value-added activities associated with the replenishment system. Those areas where they cannot be eliminated are greatly minimized, enabling immediate response to demand. Q: Can all of the part numbers of a company go on Kanban? A: Typically not. What determines if a part is a candidate for Kanban includes the following: The part has a robust, linear demand. There is a test that can be performed to determine if the part should be on Kanban or remain on its current method, which is covered in our seminars. The part has a history of outstanding quality. The part is not being phased out. The lead-time for the item is realistic. The usual reason a part is not selected for Kanban is its demand pattern. The more erratic the demand, the higher the Kanban lot size must be to avert a stockout – thus hitting an inventory point where it would be better suited for MRP. Most companies that implement Kanban correctly reduce inventory by 30% - 65%. Choosing the incorrect parts can prevent achievement of maximum inventory reduction. Q: How do you handle non-Kanban items in a predominately Kanban environment? A: The key to this form of integration is the due date. Kanban, when triggered, would automatically be given a due date based upon the replenishment lead-time. MRP work orders are also given due dates. This is the common denominator when MRP and Kanban items meet in a shared cell responsible for replenishment. Q: How important is Kanban to the success of a Supply Chain? A: Supply Chains are reliant upon a pull-based system. Kanban is a pull-based system. The Supply Chain in the ideal profile would obtain point-of-sale information (consumption), which triggers replenishment of the final product. Producing the final product consumes lower level components, triggering replenishment signals internally and externally to the supply base. This Supply Chain is often fully automated and can literally respond immediately. Q: Is software available to calculate Kanban lot sizes and flexible work cell staffing levels? A: Yes, from several sources. In your selection, ensure that the calculation process deals with spike demand and does not contain a high degree of non-value-added activities. The cost of these packages run between $100,000 to $300,000. We offer KanFlow™ software – a PC-based package that accepts a flat file from your current MRPII / ERP system, It calculates Kanban lot sizes and flexible work cell staffing levels, and creates an export file to give the calculations back to your MRPII / ERP package, while taking into consideration non-linear demand patterns. It provides exception reporting where user intervention is required and provides inventory level projections. Q: Am I forced to automate the Kanban process since it appears that it is superior to manual? A: Absolutely not. Manual Kanban can be highly effective in the right environments. Q: Can I use historical demand in the determination of Kanban lot sizes? A: Yes. There are numerous environments where it is literally impossible to forecast anything but the expected dollar value of sales on a month-to-month basis. This can be due to the complexity of the Bill of Material structure or overwhelming options within the product offering. What is required in these environments is to apply what we call a “Times Factor” to the historical usage that is in proportion to the anticipated sales level. This must be complemented with an evaluation of demand patterns to ascertain the required safety stock level settings. Q: Is it possible that my inventory will increase if I go on Kanban? A: Yes. The more non-linear the demand patterns are, the higher your safety stock settings will have to be to avert a stockout. Prior to implementing Kanban at any company, we assess the degree of non-linearity with our software. We can usually predict the percent of increase and indicate specifically which part numbers should not be on Kanban. We offer this as an on-line service by analyzing a requested flat file containing data used by our software. Q: What does your company specialize in? A: We specialize in Replenishment Systems, both MRP and Kanban. We consult in the design and implementation of Kanban systems and redesign existing systems, tailoring them to your specific business while vastly eliminating their non-value-added activities. We offer on-line Web Conferencing and In-House Seminars on Kanban with Raymond Louis as your instructor. We also offer Kanban calculation software and Demand Pattern Assessments™ by processing your flat file with our Demand Pattern Software.

czwartek, 26 listopada 2015

An Introduction to Lean Six Sigma

•Lean tends to be used for shorter, less complex problems. Often time driven. Focus is on eliminating wasteful steps and practices.
•Six Sigma is a bigger more analytical approach 
– often quality driven 
– it tends to have a statistical approach. Focus on optimizing the important steps 
– reducing defects.
•Some argue Lean moves the mean, SixSigma moves the variance. But they are often used together and should not be viewed as having different objectives.
–Waste elimination eliminates an opportunity to make a defect
–Less rework means faster cycle times
•Six Sigma training might be specialized to the “quality” department, but everyone in the organization should be trained in Lean

All About Poka Yoke & Mistake Proofing

niedziela, 22 listopada 2015


5-S, a housekeeping program, is an integral part of the Lean process. The 5-S’s are Sort, Straighten, Sweep, Schedule and Sustain. When 5-S is performed as the first step of a Lean effort, processes become more visible and identified “trash” is cleaned out. While change is often perceived with a sense of apprehension, participants in the 5-S program begin to taste change as something that can be positive and even fun. 5S clearly communicates that management is willing to allow the employees to be involved in the process of change. The goal of the program is to have a plant and office area that is customer ready at all times. 5-S creates a neat, clean and orderly facility that will become a source of lasting pride for all employees.

The benefits of a 5-S implementation include:

  • An organized, efficient workplace for improved productivity
  • A cleaner work place for improved safety
  • Reducing inventory and supply costs
  • Recapturing valuable floor space and minimizing overhead costs
  • Contributes to “how we feel” about our product, our company, and ourselves
  • Provides an always-ready customer showcase to promote business
Three different levels to serve three different objectives:
5-S Blitz – This session is one week in length and involves working with a team from a particular area or process line in the facility. The week includes a combination of classroom work and plant floor work. In the classroom, the team will learn the basics of 5-S including definitions, benefits, and scoring system. On the plant floor, the team performs an initial 5-S evaluation to establish a base line. Then the 5-S training is actually implemented in the team’s work areas to give them an enhanced understanding of the 5-S principles while making positive, visible changes to the work environment. An inspection and “score” follow. Teams then learn and develop a plan for sustained, ongoing improvements to make the work area “world class”.

General Workforce Training - This training is 1 ½ - 2 hours in length and involves groups of 15-20 participants. It is a condensed version of the 5-S Blitz activity in which the general workforce learns the basics of 5-S in a classroom setting and then moves to the plant floor to see examples of 5-S. This training is an excellent supplement to the 5-S Blitz Activity as it motivates your associates to sustain the gains made during the blitz.

Independent 5-S Audits – Once the initial 5-S program is put into place in your facility, maintaining the integrity of program and the scoring is essential to continued improvement. TAG offers a program for recommended quarterly audits of your program by one of our associates. These unannounced audits are performed with an eye for improvement opportunities and serve to keep your scoring system properly calibrated.


1. SORT (Disposal)
Clearly distinguish between what is needed and kept/what is unneeded and thrown out. Keep only what is necessary in the work area. Store often used items at the work area, store infrequently used items away from the work area and dispose of unneeded items.

2. STRAIGHTEN (Arrangement)
Organize the way necessary things are kept, making it easier to find and utilize them. Everything has a place and everything in its place, providing an efficient way to find items. Not having to search for items saves time.

3. SWEEP (Cleanliness)
Floors, walls, ceilings, equipment and furniture are kept in like new condition. The area is kept clean on a continual basis because a dirty environment cannot produce a quality product. A clean workplace is indicative of a quality product and process.

4. SCHEDULE (System Methodology)
Each department maintains a schedule to insure that the first three S’s - Sort, Straighten and Sweep are maintained, preventing regression back to an unclean environment. Items are returned to their designated places after use. The need for special clean-up efforts, which cost time and money, are eliminated. Clean while the task is small – routinely when a task is complete.

5. SUSTAIN (Disciplined Culture)
Practice and repeat the process until 5-S become a way of life. Housekeeping is built into the everyday processes in a continuing, sustaining way. Commitment and discipline toward housekeeping is essential in taking the first step to becoming a World-Class producer.


Whenever there is a product for a customer, there is a value stream. The challenge lies in seeing it.
Value Stream Mapping is the most essential tool to provide understanding of how to make processes truly “Lean”. Kaizen efforts, Reliability efforts, or any other lean manufacturing techniques, are only truly effective when applied strategically within the context of building a lean value stream.
Most of the time, managers concentrate on the wrong things such as the Plant Facility, Machines, and the Organization. Value Stream Mapping focuses our attention on the main thing, the Product or more simply…


  • The benefits of Value Stream Mapping include:
  • It helps you visualize more than just the single-process level, you can see the flow
  • It establishes priorities for improvement efforts
  • It helps you to see waste and the source of that waste
  • It is focused on no cost or expenseable improvements
  • It provides a common language to talk about the processes
  • It is based on objective information
  • It forms the basis of an implementation plan
  • It shows the link between information flow and material flow, no other tool does this

Value Stream Mapping Objectives:
  • Determine ‘VALUE’ from the Customer
  • Identify Value Streams
  • Identify Value Stream Managers
  • Build “Current State” Map
  • Build “Future State” Map
  • Develop Annual Value Stream Plans

Value Stream Mapping Approach
  • Develop Commitment to Value and Use of the Value Stream Mapping
  • Create a Product Family matrix
  • Identify Value Stream Mapping Integrated Team
  • Facilitate Development of ‘Current’ State Map – How things actually are!
  • Facilitate Development of ‘Future’ State Map – How things should be!
  • Provide Focus, Direction, Tools, & Methods to Value Stream Mapping Teams
  • Ensure Value Stream Mapping Applications are based on Facts and Data not Supposition
  • Develop the Value Stream Plan tied to business objectives
  • Presentation by Value Stream Team to Management Group
  • Conduct Value Stream Reviews – Walking the ‘Flow’ on the floor

Value Stream Mapping Deliverables:

  • Development of a Value Stream Team & Approach
  • Identification of Key Value Streams
  • A Plan for Value Stream Mapping
  • For Selected Value Stream:“
    • Current State” Value Stream Map
    • “Future State” Value Stream Map
    • Prioritized List of Opportunities within the Value Stream
    • Annual Improvement Plan by Value Stream
  • Establish the true method for Continuous Improvement