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TXM Lean Minute – Making Lean Work In a Jobbing Shop


Lean manufacturing was developed originally for assembly lines in the automotive industry. It certainly works well in mass production, however what about a jobbing shop? How do you make Lean work in a jobbing shop? Our latest lean minute video gives you some practical tips.

View the Ronson Gears Case Study Video

Balancing Workflow for Level Production

Read the Transcript of this Video

Ronson Gears make custom gears for a huge range of application. Most products here are made once and never made again So how can the Lean techniques that were designed for Automotive Assembly lines possibly work here.

Hi, I’m Tim McLean.  Welcome to this TXM Lean minute,

A common question we get asked is how do you apply Lean in a process like this one where every product is customised and even the basic design can vary dramatically.

Traditional approaches to Lean tend to map the flow for a single product or type of product. However in this factory most products are one-offs and will never be made again. So how do you achieve standardisation and lean flow?

This is a challenge TXM has faced in dozens of companies and our Manufacturing Agility Process has been specifically designed for complex customised processes such as this one.

Even though every job is different, they all go through a similar workflow, which typically involves engineering, cutting, machining a blank, gear cutting, heat treatment, grinding and packaging. Seeing this commonality between diverse products is the key to understanding and streamlining the flow. Often you may find that there is more than one flow depending on the design and complexity of the product, but usually two or three key workflows will represent the majority of production.

Understanding your key flows and using the Manufacturing Agility Process to develop a future state map can lead to dramatic improvements in lead time, throughput and productivity.

Ask the team at TXM about how apply the Manufacturing Agility Process to your customised process.

I’m Tim McLean.

Thank you for watching this TXM Lean Minute.