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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

Toyota Says It’s Improving Fuel Efficiency, Factories

Senior Editor Bill Koenig


Toyota Motor Corp. says it’s increasing the fuel efficiency of its vehicles and improving its factory operations.“Toyota has increased the overall fuel efficiency of its powertrains” by about 25% and “overall power output” by more than 15% the company said in a March 26 update about its Global Vision plan..With factories, Toyota said its plants are running at more than 90%, up from 70% in 2009, when a major recession cut demand for new cars and trucks. Toyota said it’s moving to “simple and slim” production lines, including smaller paint booth “and switch to compact equipment.” Full Article

Leading Industry Organizations Introduce Enhanced Lean Certification Program

Press Release -- Lean Certification Alliance


The Lean Certification Alliance has introduced customer-driven improvements to its Lean Certification program. Lean Certification candidates will now encounter an improved program and more streamlined process in achieving certification. Full Article

Not Everything That Can be Automated Should Be

Robert Simonis, Senior Consultant, Manufacturing and Operations, KCE Consulting LLC


The assembly cell was installed and running in our Mexican factory. We had used the Production Preparation Process (3P) to design this Improved Junction Box assembly area and were happy to see our hard work and ideas in practice. We had a compact U-shaped cell with right-sized equipment and low-cost automation. Machines had no changeover or were designed for single-second-exchange-of workstation (SSEWS) to allow mixed production and level flow.  Full Article

Never Out of Style in the Shop: Classic Lean Techniques

Contributing Editor Ed Sinkora


About five months ago, a member of the Lean Business System group on LinkedIn posed the question: “Can you describe lean with one word? Or at most three?” The most common answers were things like “waste-free” or “efficiency,” plus phrases that echo “continuous improvement.” But perhaps the most popular submission—and there were over 400—was “focused common sense.” Full Article

To U-Shape or Not to U-Shape?

Robert Simonis, Senior Consultant, Manufacturing and Operations, KCE Consulting


“You should strive for a U-shaped layout,” I said.  “It is U-shaped!” responded the Engineering Manager.  We were both looking at the same factory layout.  He was looking at how the machines were placed so that they formed three sides of a square, or a U-shape, and I was looking at the process flow and material flow, which twisted and looped like the proverbial plate of spaghetti. Full Article

> More Articles

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