Lean Directions

Lean as: Detroit's Deliverer, Rainforest Replanter -- and Canadian Cult

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LEAN Directions

APRIL 2014

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Mike Duggan
Detroit Mayor Seeks Lean Guidance for City

Mike Duggan tells 800 business execs he wants them to volunteer to teach lean principles to city employees, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

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Hilma's NC-series vises


Hilma’s NC-series vises are superior to most standard vises, due to built-in hydraulics and a clamping force gauge. With a few cranks of the handle, hydraulic pressure can be built up to 11000 lbs. of clamping force (on the largest size), which you can view on the indicating gauge, giving you enhanced precision and repeatability. Switch from clamping small to large parts quickly. In three sizes, the NC vise is easy to maintain, and has a repeatability of 0.0004". www.clrh.com/swiftsure/vises.html


Lea Tonkin, formerly of AME’s Target magazine, has new piece in Plant Engineering on how a CO-based company learned to use existing resources to keep improving.

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Lea Tonkin

The University of Michigan Introduces Lean Leadership Professional Program to Develop Lean Thinkers and Lean Leaders

Learn what it takes to lead a sustainable lean culture in this new four-day professional certificate program for anyone wanting to transform their organization. Get the tools, techniques, and thinking you need to overcome obstacles and create an environment of continuous improvement. You'll leave with an action plan. isd.engin.umich.edu/professional-programs/lean-leadership/index.htm

TPS as ‘Tree Planting System’

Fascinating. Wired profiles a former Toyota engineer’s plan to create a TPS-based system to “compress the process of reforestation into 1/10th of the time nature would take on its own.”

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PLEX - it's what's next

Improved Data Visibility Drives Manufacturing Performance

Top performing manufactures rely on the importance of real-time plant floor data for visibility to improve business operations. Getting the right information, at the right time, to the right decision-maker is essential. Plex cloud ERP is always-on providing data visibility to maximize profitability, improve strategic decision-making and achieve a competitive advantage. Download the paper.


When the Saskatchewan government brought in lean consultants to help improve healthcare delivery, the opposition party leader described them as Japanese cult members. Lean Blog’s Mark Graban gets past the politics.

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Mark Graban
Big  Box Ad Mfg4

Lean-Startup Management Mistakes

In an online Fast Company article, lean experts Michael Ballé and Daniel T. Jones discuss five of them, noting that “a few misconceptions are so deeply engrained that your own management structure might be forcefully hindering your own performance.”

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2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement

2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement
May 5 – 7, 2014 | Dallas, TX

The 2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement offers you—no matter your geographic location, industry, or level of quality knowledge—a forum to learn new ideas and the opportunity to connect with an international network of thought leaders, experts, and peers eager to share best practices, tested solutions, and proven results in the world of quality.
Visit wqci.asq.org to register!

THINC Partners
IMTS: Memex Automation Joins Partners in THINC

Memex specializes in networking machine tools and administration computers; it joins the Okuma-founded organization that works to enhance productivity while maintaining lean operations. Both Okuma and Memex will exhibit at IMTS 2014.

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ShopViz® - powered by Tech SOlve

Increase Shop-Floor Productivity with Accurate and Timely Data

Increase productivity up to 20% and identify production issues in real-time with ShopViz®, a 24/7 machine monitoring tool for small to medium-sized manufacturers. ShopViz® provides direct visibility into operations across the shop floor and lets you know which machines are running, which are not, and where you need to focus your attention to increase productivity. Watch our video to learn more or click here to learn why shop-floor monitoring is critical to improving factory processes.

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