Thinking of waste and avoidence of waste – some early thoughts

Continuing from the previous success of Arsenal of Venice in the great tradition of manufacturing there are some early thoughts into the lean and lean manufacturing. There are some early thoughts on avoidence of waste which have contributed greatly in their times.
The Great American Author, Scientist, philosopher, Benjamin Franklin has recorded in his poor Richards Almanac, about wasted time. He also mentioned about increasing profits by reducing costs He added that avoiding unnecessary costs could be more profitable than increasing sales: “A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a-day is a groat a-year. Save and have.”. The same  thoughts continued in his book “The way to wealth”. Here he attacks carrying unnecessary inventory. here is the text  “You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they maybe bought  for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you”. Another statement form the same book “remember that many have been ruined by buying good penny Worth’s.”  If you look at these statements clearly, these were preaching avoidance of waste and the resulting profitability.
The concept further studied by Franklin Gilberth, who saw that some movements which are waste in the job of a mason. He Saw that the masons bend to pick the bricks and this takes considerable time. Gilberth came up with the scaffold, which reduced the movement and made the bricks available at a waist height. This has resulted in the speed of work.These are some clear early thoughts on eliminating the waste. These became foundation for the lean journey today. In fact, Henry Ford, who was one of the fore fathers of lean thinking got his inspiration form Benjamin Franklin.

The history of lean manufacturing continues. Next we will see the effect of industrial revolution which started around 1750 on the journey of lean.

I would request readers to add the history wherever possible.

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Originally posted 2012-08-19 12:38:00.

Spaghetti Plot – Visualize the process inefficiencies caused by layout

Spaghetti Plot is a method of viewing observations to visualize possible flows through systems. Flows depicted in this way appear like noodles, hence the coining of this term Spaghetti Plot.
This method of statistics was first used to track routing through factories. Visualizing flow in this way can cut inefficiency within the flow of a system. In regards to animal populations and weather buoys drifting through the ocean, they are drawn to study distribution and migration patterns. Within meteorology, these diagrams can help determine confidence in a specific weather forecast, as well as positions and intensities of high and low pressure systems. They are composed of deterministic forecasts from atmospheric models or their various ensemble members. Within medicine, they can illustrate the effects of drugs on patients during drug trials.
Spaghetti plot is one of the main tools used to lean the system especially focusing on the layouts in the shop-floor. In process flow, focus should be on the number of touch points. Spaghetti plot gives a visual indication of the inefficiencies in the system caused by the layouts and flow. The aim is to focus on reducing the number of touch points and travel time in the process by optimizing the layout.
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Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is key to reducing production lot sizes and thereby improving flow (Mura). The phrase “single minute” does not mean that all changeover and startups should take only one minute, but that they should take less than 10 minutes (in other words, “single-digit minute”). Closely associated is a yet more difficult concept, One-Touch Exchange of Die, (OTED), which says changeover can and should take less than 100 seconds. A Die is a tool used in manufacturing. However SMED’s utility of is not limited to manufacturing

The concept arose in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Shigeo Shingo was consulting to a variety of companies including Toyota, and was contemplating their inability to eliminate bottlenecks at car body-moulding presses. The bottlenecks were caused by long tool changeover times which drove up production lot sizes. The economic lot size is calculated from the ratio of actual production time and the ‘change-over’ time; the time taken to stop production of a product and start production of the same, or another, product. If change-over takes a long time then the lost production due to change-overs drives up the cost of the actual production itself. This can be seen from the table below where the change-over and processing time per unit are held constant whilst the lot size is changed. The Operation time is the unit processing time with the overhead of the change-over included. The Ratio is the percentage increase in effective operating time caused by the change-over. SMED is the key to manufacturing flexibility.

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Seven wastes in Service industry

The original seven wastes (Muda (Japanese term)) were defined by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System. These wastes have been often redefined to better fit new organisations, industries, or external pressures. The effect of the waste is visible in a manufacturing industry. Adopting the Seven wastes in Service industry  is really difficult as the flow and the loss due to these wastes is invisible and mostly incidental.

One redefinition of these wastes for service operations by Bicheno and Holweg (2009) is as follows:

1. Delay on the part of customers waiting for service, for delivery, in queues, for response, not arriving as promised. The customer’s time may seem free to the provider, but when she takes custom elsewhere the pain begins.
2. Duplication. Having to re-enter data, repeat details on forms, copy information across, answer queries from several sources within the same organisation.
3. Unnecessary Movement. Queuing several times, lack of one-stop, poor ergonomics in the service encounter.
4. Unclear communication, and the wastes of seeking clarification, confusion over product or service use, wasting time finding a location that may result in misuse or duplication.
5. Incorrect inventory. Being out-of-stock, unable to get exactly what was required, substitute products or services.
6. An opportunity lost to retain or win customers, a failure to establish rapport, ignoring customers, unfriendliness, and rudeness.
7. Errors in the service transaction, product defects in the product-service bundle, lost or damaged goods.
These Seven wastes in Service industry  if recognised, will help the organiational transoformantion extremely easy.
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