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Kaizen Tools | KaizenTrek

Kaizen Tools

All these tools are applied continuously by teams of 5-7 people who usually come from the same work area.

5S Visual Workplace

5S Visual Workplace creates a work environment that is clean, well-organized and efficient. It provides your organization with a rapid, visible organization of all tools, equipment, and supplies needed, while preparing your workforce for other advanced improvement efforts. 5S is a miniature version of the entire Lean system.

Standardized Work Instructions

Standardized Work Instructions are specific instructions that allow processes to be completed in a consistent, timely, and repeatable manner. By implementing Standard Work, employees will increase production, improve quality, and enjoy a safer, more predictable work environment.

Value Stream Mapping (Current State & Future State)

Value Stream Mapping is used to illustrate the flow and relationship between work processes. A key component of VSM is differentiating value adding activities from non-value adding activities. Reducing or eliminating non-value adding activities is of paramount importance and a principal goal of Lean. Upon careful and detailed examination of your processes through VSM, it becomes obvious where improvement opportunities lie.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

TPM is a powerful program for planning and achieving minimal machine downtime. Equipment and tools are literally put on preventative, and even predictive maintenance schedules to keep them running efficiently and with greatly reduced downtime. Machine operators take far greater responsibility for their machine’s upkeep. Maintenance technicians are liberated from mundane, routine maintenance, enabling them to focus on urgent repairs and proactive maintenance activities. A solid TPM program allows you to plan most of your downtime and keep breakdowns to a minimum.

Kaizen Blitz Events

Kaizen Blitz Events (also known as “Kaizen Events”) are highly focused improvement events designed to address and resolve important business issues and/or constraints. Teams apply any of the Lean tools, including Error and Mistake-Proofing (also known as “Poka Yoke”) to ensure processes and their products are completed correctly the first time.

Self-Directed Work Teams

Through the natural evolution of the Lean work environment, associates begin to work more as interdependent teams in order to accomplish area and company goals. When this begins, it is time to support the transition to a self-directed workforce, capable of managing their own areas with greatly reduced supervision and oversight. Self-Directed Work Teams, to a large degree, voluntarily interact with internal customers and suppliers to improve area effectiveness and effectively deal with area issues. Technical assistance is always available to the teams if needed, but the concept is to move decisions, over time, to the lowest level capable of handling them.

Mixed or Level-Loaded Production

Also known as “Heijunka,” Mixed or Level-Loaded Production provides a system for advanced scheduling of production activities. This tool allows you to reduce inventory, decrease lead-times, and produce the variety of products your customers want, as they want them. Many other Lean tools interact and support a Heijunka scheduling system.

Setup Reduction (S.M.E.D.)

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), is the Lean tool used to create very fast changeovers (setups) that greatly reduce machine downtime and increase throughput. It is common to reduce machine changeover times from hours to less then ten minutes. While that may sound too good to be true, we’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Inventory and Lead-time Reduction

Reducing work-in-process inventory will decrease your lead-time. Excess inventory inherently presents a great deal of waste, not to mention quality issues (spoilage), storage requirements, transportation requirements, investment of funds which limits cash flow, among others.

Lean Visioning

Determining where you want to go is the first step in getting there. Lean requires a journey best taken through learning, planning, and doing. Lean Visioning assists Senior Management in creating a “Lean Road Map” to guide and direct the company to greatness.

Constraint Management (Theory of Constraints TOC)

This tool addresses and helps to resolve the most important deterrent to increased throughput and productivity in your operation. As Lean flow becomes prevalent, constraints tend to move around hour-to-hour. Lean sets up visuals in the flow which indicate where constraints are, allowing workforce adjustments on-the-fly. Our efforts are applied at the best possible place all the time.

2-Bin Auto-Replenishment System

2-Bin and other forms of Lean Pull, are parts and supplies replenishment systems to eliminate downtime due to parts shortages. Pull makes replenishment simple while creating a “self-evident” inventory.

Kanban Implementation

Kanbans are “self-evident signals” that indicate what work is to be done and when. They signal either when we should produce or when consumption has taken place, and eliminate most forecasting of usage.

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