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Lean's Next Act is a Balancing Act

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


In the evolution of lean manufacturing principles, agile manufacturing may be the next big thing. Agile manufacturing uses processes, tools and training—and people organized in teams—to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while controlling costs and quality. It’s a newer approach that allows a leaner, more flexible approach to manufacturing. But most of all, it’s about speed, which requires lithe, well-coordinated action. Full Article

Tips for Improving Manufacturing Practices Through Lean Implementation

Chip Johns, President/COO, Butler Automatic


Reducing waste, implementing efficiency-promoting practices, and continuously improving manufacturing operations are the main goals of LEAN manufacturing ideology. While these tasks may seem daunting for a manufacturer at the start of an improvement program, there are many concrete steps that can be taken to shift the culture at any company. For many companies, all it takes to dramatically increase efficiency and reduce waste is a commitment to dive right in and a willingness to continue trying new and creative ideas to find out what works best. Full Article

In Defense, a New Focus on Project Management Process

David Karr, Technical Advisor for Manufacturing & Quality, Engineering Services Directorate, USAF Life Cycle Management Ctr., Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


The Department of Defense (DoD) is interested in manufacturing engineering and wants its suppliers to be world-class manufacturers. That’s the take-away message from DoD’s adoption of the new SAE standard AS6500, “Manufacturing Management Program.” In fact, DoD recognized the need for a new standard and partnered with SAE International for its development and publication. Full Article

Establishing the Groundwork to Leverage the Internet of Things in Lean Automotive Manufacturing

Frederick L. Thomas, Director, Discrete Manufacturing Industries, Apriso, Dassault Systemes


Within the context of Lean manufacturing, focused on elimination of waste and continual process improvement, the Internet of Things can lead to huge efficiency gains … some Engine manufacturing linepeople see it as Lean on steroids. Tools and equipment will automatically collect, share and interact with other data and processes, opening up a whole new realm of achievements attainable under Lean initiatives.
Full Article

Manufacturing Executives Top Fear: Communication with Plant Floor Workers

Louise Dickmeyer President PDP Solutions Mankato, MN


While 90% of surveyed manufacturing CEOs reported that their employees are their most valuable asset, few knew how to motivate and inspire employee engagement. Third-party manufacturing communications solutions are an answer.
Full Article

Custom Component Job Shop Gets Lean

Luke Galindo, Sales & Marketing Manager, eNETDNC


What started out as a 5S tool-room project to bring organization and reduce setup times has blossomed into a full organization-wide commitment to getting Lean. GEM Manufacturing Inc. offers contract prototyping, machining, finishing and assembly for some of the world’s largest Agriculture, Oil & Gas and Hydraulic OEMs such as CNH, Eaton, Parker Hannifin, GE & Deere Corp. Started by brothers Rob and Kevin Gottschalk in June 2006 in Bristol, WI. Full Article

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