Each month new articles, book reviews, and other content are added to the Superfactory website. The new content is featured in the free monthly e-newsletter which goes out to 50,000 subscribers worldwide, and we will also post a monthly heads-up on this blog.
New content in September includes:
The featured article is from Bruce Hamilton and is titled What is Kaizen? The following is a brief excerpt, and you can read the entire article here.
Over the years my study of TPS has been guided by book learning, tacit learning and more good luck than bad. One stroke of good luck occurred in February 1987 when I picked up a copy of Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success by Masaaki Imai. At that time, most literature about TPS was focusing on its technical aspects, so this book which focused on harnessing ideas and creativity was different. Also around that time, early TPS efforts at my company were foundering. We had “lowered the water level of inventory to expose the rocks” and to our dismay were discovering more rocks than we’d bargained for. We needed more problem solvers, and Mr. Imai’s book quickly became a blueprint for individual and small group improvements that bailed us out of troubled waters. It was truly good luck that led me to Imai’s definition of kaizen which I’ll paraphrase as “many small improvements that come from the commonsense and experience of the people who do the work.”
The Other Perspectives section has an article by Malcolm Jones titled Three Perspectives on Lean. The following is a brief excerpt, and you can read the entire article here.
In 1990 Jones, Womack and colleagues had published ‘The Machine That Changed the World’ as a description of the Toyota Production Systems , and coined the term Lean. The book itself was an offshoot of their research project, funded by the Western automobile manufacturers, to define World Class in automotive manufacture.
The answer, Toyota’s system, did not surprise anyone in the industry, and what the research failed to adequately address was not what Lean was, but how to implement it. There are at least three different perspectives on Lean. The first was Shigeo Shingo ’s industrial engineering perspective. There are currently ongoing debates about Shingo’s influence on the Toyota system.
The featured book for this month is Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems and Transformable Factories by Anatoli Dashchenko. A short synopsis is below, and you can learn more about the book or order it here.
In this book the problems of theory and practice of development in Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems and Transformable Factories for various machine-building branches and above all automotive industry are discussed. Problems are studied concerning the development of a new class of production systems which in comparison to the Flexible Manufacturing systems are composed of a far less quantity of machine-tools. In comparison to the conventional automated lines they make it possible to rapidly transform the equipment for new products manufacturing. In 37 chapters more then 50 authors from all over the world discuss the main aspects of the mentioned above problem using their latest scientific and practical achievements.
We continually update the other major sections of the website, including:
Events Calendar: a listing of lean excellence seminars, workshops, training, and conferences worldwide
Topic Information: Summaries and resources on over 40 enterprise excellence topics.
History of Excellence: A growing timeline of notable events that helped shape current-day enterprise excellence
PowerPoint Presentations: Over 50 downloadable PowerPoint presentations on lean manufacturing, quality, enterprise, and safety concepts.
Factory Toolbox: Almost 300 downloadable forms, procedure templates, assessments, and tools to help you not reinvent the wheel.
Tools and Assessments: Downloadable assessment tools.
Virtual Factory Tours: Web and streaming video tours of over 100 factories.
We are always looking for new articles and other content. Contact us via the Superfactory website if you would like to contribute to our knowledge base.