IV.B.3 Lean Tools

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Excerpt From The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook

Cycle-Time Reduction - Cycle time is the total amount of time required to complete a process, from the first step to the last. Today’s methods for cycle-time reduction came about through Henry Ford’s early focus on minimizing waste, traditional industrial engineering techniques (for example, time and motion studies), and the Japanese adaptation of these methods (often called the Toyota Production System [TPS]) to smaller production run applications.

Five S - The Japanese use the term five S for five practices for maintaining a clean and efficient workplace:

  1. Seiri (sort). Separate needed tools, parts, and instructions from unneeded materials, and remove the latter.
  2. Seiton (set in order). Neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use.
  3. Seiso (shine). Conduct a cleanup campaign.
  4. Seiketsu (standardize). Conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso at frequent intervals to maintain a workplace in perfect condition
  5. Shitsuke (sustain). Form the habit of always following the first four S’s.

Just-in-Time - Just-in-time (JIT) is a material requirement planning system that provides for the delivery of material or product at the exact time and place where the material or product will be used. Highly coordinated delivery and production systems are required to match delivery to use times. The aim is to eliminate or reduce on-hand inventory (excessive buffer stock) and deliver material or product that requires no or little incoming inspection.

Kanban - This method is used in a process to signal an upstream supplier (internal or external) that more material or product is needed downstream. Originally, it was just a manual card system but has evolved to more-sophisticated signaling methods in some organizations. It is referred to as a pull system because it serves to pull material or product from a supplier (or previous work unit) rather than relying on a scheduling system to push the material or product forward at predetermined intervals. It is said that the kanban method was inspired by Toyota executive Taiichi Ohno’s visit to a U.S. supermarket.

Value Stream Mapping - Value stream mapping (VSM) is charting the sequence of movements of information, materials, and production activities in the value stream (all activities involving the designing, ordering, producing, and delivering of products and services to the organization’s customers). An advantage to this is that a “before action is taken” value stream map depicts the current state of the organization and enables identification of how value is created and where waste occurs. Plus, employees see the whole value stream rather than just the one part in which they are involved. This improves understanding and communication, and facilitates waste elimination.

Single-Minute Exchange of Die - The long time required to change a die in a stamping operation meant that a longer production run would be required to absorb the downtime caused by the changeover. To address this, the Japanese created a method for reducing setup times called single-minute exchange of die (SMED), also referred to as rapid exchange of tooling and dies (RETAD). Times required for a die change were dramatically reduced, often reducing changeover time from several hours to minutes.

See the ASQ Lean Enterprise Division for more in-depth information on lean tools.

Quality Management BOK Reference

IV Quality Management Tools 
IV.B Process Management 
IV.B.3 Lean tools - Identify and use lean tools such as cycle-time reduction, 5S, just-in-time (JIT), kanban, value stream mapping, single-minute exchange of die (SMED), poke-yoke, kaizen, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).  ​ 

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Date Added: Sep 13, 2018
Date Last Modified: Apr 22, 2020
Category: Resources
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