Lean and Arsenal of Venice – earliest example of production excellence

I have started this blog when i was having lot of time. of late, I am getting busy day by day. But i have decided that i will re organize my calendar and spend some time on this blog. suddenly i read about lean and Arsenal of Venice which was earliest known example of production excellence.
While talking about re organization, I looked at some value addition in what I am doing. Some of the things which I looked in this reminded me of Lean and Lean tools.
What is “Lean”?
Lean is way to determine value sought by customers, offer value through an end to end process, value stream, by engaging everyone touching the value stream to reduce waste, variations and overburden throughout the value stream.
There are some early examples in the history of production excellence using lean techniques (Mass production). One such instance which will really surprise is on the Venetian Arsenal, which is ship building facility in the city of Venice. Comparing the facts on the efficiency of this great production facility, to some of today’s companies will be a great surprise and a question arises on are we really moving forward.
Enough of awe, now about the facility. (All these facts are in the range of 1100 – 1700 AD)
The Venetian Arsenal, which was the largest industrial complex in the northern part of Italy. It has about 110 ha area, occupying almost 15% of the area of the City of Venice. This facility is responsible for producing bulk of the Naval and Merchant power of the Venetian Rulers in the Mediterranean ares.
Initially the facility worked only to maintain the privately owned ships. this changed by 1320 when the Arsenal Nuovo was built. This facility is equipped to both construct and maintain the state-owned naval ships and the merchant ships.
Here are some facts of this great facility.
Number of workers – 16000
Rate of production – One ship Per Day
Number work in Progress – 100 galleys .
New thinking – from the main hull first technique to frame first technique
consultant – Galileo Galilei

The Arsenal Nuovo used the Mass production and assembly techniques divided into 3 main processes. Framing, Planking and Cabins and Final Assembly. All these production systems are used in early 1500s and these are not seen till the industrial revolution in the late 1700s.
This seems to be the first thought of Lean and Mass production, Assembly lines, Process identification, employee specialization, continuous production etc. many thoughts were in fact used, which were the buzzwords of the Lean today.
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Originally posted 2012-08-15 17:41:00.

TAKT time, Lead time and Cycle time

While we are implementing lean we come across three mostly used terms for calculating the Time Spent i.e, Takt Time, Lead Time and Cycle time . Often people get confused of these terms and use Takt Time, Lead Time and Cycle time interchangeably. eventhough they are distinct.

These are used to Optimize the workflow and also to calculate on the capacity to meet the customer demand. Little confusion in this will lead to confused production line.

Now let us get to the details of these.

Lead time : The most simple of these words. The clock starts when we have an order from customer and ends with the time the order is delivered to customer. Let us say we have the order on 15-Sep-2018 and and delivered to customer on 20-Sep-2018. In this case, the Lead time if 5 Days.

Cycle time : Cycle time is the time taken for Production of one Unit. In other words its the time taken from Start of Production to Shipment. Let’s Say, we are able to produce 400 units in 100 days, the Cycle time is 100 /400 = 0.25 Days per Unit.

Takt Time : This tells you how much time you can take. It is the rate at which we can Produce to meet the customer demand. In other words, this is the time available with us to produce one unit. Lets say we have a demand of 200 Units from customer and this is to be delivered in 100 Days. In this case, the Takt Time is 100/200 = 0.5 Days Per Unit.

Using these times, we can simply ensure the production is planned to optimize the resources and meeting customer demands.