4 building blocks for lean manufacturing

Give people the data they need to support them in making the changes you want.

By Bob Argyle, Leading2Lean

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When working in real time, operators on the plant floor will be able to witness how their individual work affects the overall condition of the facility. They will be able to see a measurable scorecard. For instance, if an operator notices a machine on his production line needs to be cleaned, he can make the minor adjustment and save precious time, instead of waiting for maintenance to perform the task.

For a TPM process to be effective, it’s important for an operator to see how his or her activities on the plant floor affect the equipment’s overall performance. It’s also important that there be an easy mechanism in place to allow an operator to suggest improvements or changes to procedures.

This aspect of the lean philosophy fits right in line with driving that continuous improvement culture. Operators see what needs to be changed, and they’re encouraged to make suggestions on how to make those changes.

As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs outlines, people are motivated when they receive the recognition and esteem of others. So it makes sense that people genuinely want to be part of a winning team. When you provide employees with information and data that allows them to see that they are “winning,” they’ll be more motivated to push to continue to succeed.

In implementing a lean manufacturing system that allows for transparency and instant feedback, provides value to the end user, and is easy to learn and use, you’ll be able to engage employees while your entire factory reaps production benefits.

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