The lean revolution started around 30 years ago with the “Quality Movement” lead by the likes of W. Edwards Deming. Our understanding of quality has improved enormously over that period, as have customer expectations of quality. However at TXM we still find companies, especially in Asia, that struggle to meet the challenge of first time right, every time. Read about the TXM top 5 techniques to improve quality: be serious about quality first, challenge inspection, solve problems every day, standardized work and Andon systems
The nature of making a customised product is that products usually need to go through an engineering and specification phase prior to commencing manufacturing. This will often involve quoting, design, product configuration, bills of materials and routings, development of shop drawings, CNC programing and preparation of quality documentation. Unfortunately in many cases these engineering processes can take longer than the actual manufacturing process and the lead time can be unpredictable.
To improve our problem solving skills we need to begin by clearly defining the “problem”. Those involved in the problem need to agree that this is what the problem actually is. If we can’t agree on the problem, you can bet we won’t agree on the solution as each person will be expecting a different problem to be solved, ensuring the solution won’t even work
One of the first things that westerners learn about Asian culture is importance of keeping face. However to create a true lean continuous improvement culture sometimes you need to be prepared to loose face. This means accepting and embracing problems and failings in your organisation. It also means listening to junior staff when they highlight problems or deficiencies in your business and it means admitting when you are wrong or when you do not know the answer.
TXM will shortly launch a new e-store so that our customers and wide network can get ready access to some of the wide range of lean tools that TXM offers including red-green tee cards (kamishbai) and task racks, load levelling boxes (heijunka) and problem solving concern strip. As well as offering the products you will also be able to purchase on site workshops so that a TXM specialist can come to your site and coach you on the use of these very effective lean tools.
TXM Managing Director Tim McLean has had a series of articles published Australia’s leading advanced manufacturing magazine, Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT). To download Tim’s articles on 5S and a Visual Workplace (Oct 2012), Creating a Continuous Improvement Culture (Sept 2012) and Getting Results with Lean (Aug 2012) go to our articles page.
TXM customer, Ronson Gears were so pleased with the results they achieved working with TXM Consultant, Robert Chittenden, that they write a blog about it and featured the project in their newsletter, Gear Talk.
hursday 13 December was the final event in a year long Leadership Development program for Geelong Manufacturers run by TXM and Roaring Success for the Geelong Manufacturing Council. The program sponsored by the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation, aimed to provide mid and senior level manufacturing leaders in Geelong a unique practical development opportunity.