Tools for Each S in 5S

3 min read 5S is a Lean manufacturing tactic that focuses on the organization of work spaces and processes for a safer and more efficient facility. 5S represents the five steps in this Lean process: sorting, setting, shining, standardizing, and sustaining. More than implementing new ways of organizing or working, there are specific supplies that can help in each step of the 5S process. Seiri – Sort This is the first step of your 5S journey. Go through …

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What’s a Spaghetti Diagram?

2 min read A spaghetti diagram, often called a spaghetti plot, spaghetti chart, or spaghetti model, is a valuable tool to add to your Lean toolbox. Spaghetti diagrams are a component of Gemba walks and are a visual representation of flows in your facility. The goal of a spaghetti diagram is to make it easier for managers to identify resources wasted and processes that can be streamlined. Before embarking on your Gemba walk, you will want to select …

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Lean Six Sigma in small companies, still effective?

LEAN Six Sigma within Small Company

5 min read Lean Six Sigma within a Small Company Lean and six sigma strategies are known the world over for their effectiveness in helping to reduce waste and variation in production processes. That said, much of the information and many of the case studies we have on these techniques are conducted within the context of businesses that operate on a much larger scale than many that we ourselves might be associated with. Even the origins of lean, …

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Resistance to Change in LEAN and How to Overcome it

Resistance to Change

5 min read Overcoming Resistance to Change If you are trying to implement LEAN in your facility, or even just make improvements to an existing LEAN manufacturing strategy, you will need to make some changes. Change is a major component of any type of improvement effort, and sadly, it is also one of the biggest obstacles. There is a strong resistance to change for many people, and it can make them fight hard to keep the status quo. …

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If You Were Stuck On An Island With Only 3 Six Sigma Tools…

5 min read The Best Lean Six Sigma Tools There’s a great book that came out four or five years ago called “Dear Me.”  It’s a project from an editor who wanted to contact celebrities from all walks of entertainment, industry, and more and ask them to write a letter to their 16 year old selves. Some of the letters were very personal, others spoke in more general terms, clearly seeking to share knowledge with the reader rather …

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Kanban Cards – Six Essential Types

Kanban Cards

3 min read Improving Communication with Kanban Cards If you are looking to implement or improve your Kanban communication system, you will need to make sure you have all the right types of Kanban cards available. These cards are the main tool for this type of system, and actually give it the name. Kanban in Japanese means ‘instruction card’ or ‘visual card.’ These cards are typically (though not always) physical cards that are placed on or near a …

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Great Pipe Marking Examples

4 min read To improve communication, safety and efficiency in workplaces that contain many pipes, using a pipe marking system can be very helpful. Standard pipe labels can quickly convey information about what’s inside a pipe and where it’s traveling. The industry consensus standard for pipe marking is ANSI/ASME A13.1, which offers guidelines for color schemes, sizes and locations of pipe labels. The color guidelines specify what colors should be used for six main types of pipe contents. …

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Kaizen Events – A Forgotten Art?

5 min read Why do companies not use Kaizen events to improve? A recent LinkedIn discussion asked users why they thought many companies bypassed the use of Kaizen events to solve their problems. Apparently, the technique is a dying breed, or at least there are those who feel it is far from prominent enough. First of all, it’s important to note that a Kaizen event is different from the overall idea of ‘Kaizen’. A Kaizen event is a …

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Lean Six Sigma Checklist for Success

Lean Six Sigma Checklist

5 min read Make Your Lean Six Sigma Project a Success Whenever you are using Lean Six Sigma to make improvements to your facility and eliminate waste, you need to make sure you take the time up front to plan it out properly. In fact, the planning stage is often considered the most important of the entire Lean Six Sigma process. During this stage you will be making a checklist to help make sure you don’t miss anything. …

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The Five Pillars of A Solid Lean Foundation

Creating a Lean Foundation

5 min read How to Create a Solid Lean Foundation So, you’re looking to implement Lean in your workplace and aren’t sure where to start. Or maybe you’ve experienced some problems in previous or current Lean efforts and are trying to figure out why things aren’t quite falling into place. Whatever your predicament, we’re here to help. In this blog post we’re going to go over five of the best ways one can prepare their business for Lean …

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