Does 3-D Printing Have a Role in Lean Manufacturing?

3-D Printing

A lean workplace seeks ways to make itself more productive and more efficient, and a recent article at Reliable Plant and Lean Manufacturing Journal asserts that 3-D printing naturally fits in well with lean thinking. 3-D printers, the article explains, can make prototyping and customizing easier, which creates a less wasteful manufacturing environment. Additional benefits of

Continuous Improvement in Sports, Teaching and Beyond

Sports, Continuous Improvement

When we talk about continuous improvement—sometimes referred to by the Japanese term kaizen—we often discuss it in the context of the workplace. We think about ways that process such as assembling parts, organizing the workspace, or communicating with coworkers can be improved. An article in this month’s issue of the New Yorker titled “Getting Better

Continuous Improvement Applied to Safety at Toyota

Safety, Equipment

A recent article at EHS Today explains how a Toyota plant that manufactures forklifts in Columbus, Ind., makes safety a part of daily life. The facility refers to its safety system as K-HYP, which standards for “kaizen” (continuous improvement) and “How’s your process?” At the facility, safety is a topic of discussion at morning meetings, and

Lean Featured in GE Capital TV Commercial

Lean Blog

Mark Graban over at Lean Blog recently wrote about a GE Capital TV commercial that includes the Lean turnaround process in a factory. Graban said: In the 60-second piece, GE highlights how their advisors helped a manufacturing company double efficiency by using Lean methods and by asking “the important question – why?” What happened? “Ideas for

What Does a Lean Hospital Look Like?

Healthcare, Hospital, Lean

Lean manufacturing principles may have originated in manufacturing industries, but in recent years they’ve been used quite effectively in the healthcare industry, too. This topic is covered in a podcast over at Mark Graban’s Lean Blog, in which Graban interviews Paul Plsek, author of the book Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The

One-Piece Flow – A Lean Strategy Applied to Clothing Making

Sewing, Clothing Making

Janska, a women’s clothing company that strives to keep all of its manufacturing in the U.S., recently found a way to increase sewing productivity and revenue by using a lean strategy commonly used in industrial manufacturing workplaces: one-piece flow. This method has each person on an assembly line—in this case, each sewer—perform one step of