Enabling Practices of Lean Manufacturing

Enabling practices are used to make many of the other practices possible or are an integral part of helping them be successful.

Problem Solving

The first enabling practice is Problem Solving. This includes defining and incorporating a problem solving process. It also includes ideas that help you get to the root cause of problems. It addresses the scope of involvement in problem solving and identifies some ways to accomplish that involvement. It includes examples of documentation that helps others to find the appropriate skills they might need for solving a particular problem. It also includes a look at the PDCA cycle and how to apply it to a variety of situations.

Mistake Proofing

The second enabling practice is Mistake Proofing or Poka-Yoke. This practice is a key way to reduce cost and waste. This includes the concepts of 100% inspection at the source. It includes discussion of both warning and control types of Poka-Yoke. In the control type we look at contact (shape, dimension, and color), fixed-value, and motion-step methods. We discuss the criteria that goes into choosing an appropriate type and method.

Setup Reduction

The third enabling practice is Setup Reduction. We will look at the single-minute exchange of die (SMED) and the one-touch exchange of die (OTED) and their contribution to improvement of operations. We will look at the four principle functions and apply eight different techniques to reduce setup time. We will discuss the four basic stages of setup improvement. We will also look at two approaches to reduce the changeover time down to seconds.

Preventing Machine Trouble

The fourth enabling practice is Preventing Machine Trouble. We discuss the fundamental principles of machine maintenance and the attitudes necessary to eliminate machine breakdowns. We look at the need for controlling maintenance at the source. We discuss the five major causes of machine troubles and how to do something about them. We identify the four phases of machine maintenance and the efforts and equipment necessary to bring each about. We look at the level of people involvement necessary to prevent machine failures. This includes both the training necessary for the production people and the role of the maintenance people.

At ViewPoint & Understanding Enhancement we work closely with you to determine where you are today in applying these practices. We also help you define your best path forward, given your current circumstances.

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