Blog: Lean Manufacturing-01
by Bill Gaw

Kaizen Based Lean Manufacturing involves arranging and defining manufacturing resources so that products flow most efficiently through the manufacturing process. Today, most manufacturing companies are still organized for functional manufacturing—mechanical assemblies, electronic boards, cables, machined components and purchased parts are produced or purchased in lot sizes and received, inspected and moved to stockrooms.

This process includes the picking-of-parts to fill shop orders and the movement of shop orders to the production area to build assemblies, modules that are usually returned to the stockroom.

Finally the end product is assembled, tested and accepted. Ollie Wight would be turning over in his grave if he knew that in spite of his 1970s MRP crusade—the shop order launch and expedite syndrome is still alive and kicking. Why? Because the realities of information integrity and statistical probability reduce the effectiveness of MRPII/ERP shop floor control systems.

No matter how much sophistication is added to our computerized shop floor control systems, if we fail to master the basics of visual controls, we will never eliminate the chaos that grips our shop floor day-to-day activities!

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