Manufacture Smarter Blog

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How the Kaizen Philosophy Can Improve your Organization

7/17/2015 - THE CENTER
The word Kaizen is often referenced when talking about Lean Manufacturing. Kaizen is a combination of two Japanese words: ‘Kai’ meaning change and ‘Zen’ meaning good. Kaizen combines these words to express the idea that big changes come from many small changes over a period of time. For manufacturers, business process improvement and an increase in profit is the result of many small changes accumulated over time.

Consistency is Key: Top Benefits of Standardized Work

7/10/2015 - THE CENTER
All manufacturers want to boost productivity and efficiency while reducing errors and accidents. Standardization of work, which can be difficult to adopt initially, can be an effective way to increase productivity and efficiency since it defines expectations, formalizes processes and creates accountability.

Choosing a Path For Your Company: Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing or a Combination of Both?

6/5/2015 - THE CENTER
Every day, MMTC is out consulting with Michigan’s manufacturers about how to improve their competitiveness. While we work with a diverse group of companies – from food and chemical producers to automobile parts and metal manufacturers – organizations of all industries and sizes are focused on process improvement to boost profits.

Waste Not, Want Not With Lean: Common Wastes in Your Office

5/29/2015 - THE CENTER
Historically, when you think of Lean, manufacturing is most likely to immediately pop into your mind. But in recent years, following the success of Lean manufacturing on the shop floor, many office environments have begun realizing the same strategies can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and eliminate wastes. Implementation can be challenging if improperly executed, but when done correctly and with the right guidance, there are significant benefits to be realized in an office environment.

Improving Your Value: Implementing Lean Enterprise

3/6/2015 - THE CENTER
In today’s global economy, we’re all looking for ways to increase production, improve efficiencies and reduce errors in all areas of our business – especially the production floor. Of course, this is easier said than done. We can’t just say we want to improve our business – our actions have to speak louder than our words.

Why Lean Six Sigma and Employee Engagement Initiatives Improve Your Company Culture

2/6/2015 - THE CENTER
A productive business is one that is able to manufacture quality products effectively and at low cost…correct?  In reality, a productive business is also one that’s able to manufacture quality products effectively while improving overall employee morale. Unhappy employees can be just as damaging to a business’ bottom-line as bad products or processes.

Why Food Manufacturers Should Embrace Lean

1/23/2015 - THE CENTER
Agriculture and food production has become a booming industry in Michigan, with no signs of slowing down! Annually, the agriculture industry in Michigan adds $91.4 billion to the state’s economy. Additionally, these industries employ 923,000 of Michigan residents. However, like all industries, there is always room for growth and improvement—and that’s where Lean manufacturing tactics can help.

I’ve Completed My Waste Walk. . . Now What?

8/22/2014 - THE CENTER
A couple weeks ago, we posted about Waste Walks. In fact, there’s a lot of information out on the internet that you can just Google and discover. Remember, the most important thing is to identify what you see – what type of waste it is, potential causes, and potential solutions. This sets you up for the next part – which is what you are going to do about it.

Downtime or Tim Woods: Signs of a Waste Walk in Progress

8/8/2014 - THE CENTER
The purpose of a waste walk is to gather information about the work process, the work areas within which it is performed, and any instances of waste that is observed. Typically, the waste walk is conducted by experienced lean practitioners who can offer a fresh perspective to manufacturers and illuminate opportunities for improvement.

LEAN . . . Is An Evolution, Not A Revolution

5/30/2014 - THE CENTER
We're often asked about a typical lean journey, “What does it look like?” and “How long does it take?” While the answers range anywhere from "every situation is unique" to "there is no typical ’journey'," we do have a few steps that are essential for a successful lean implementation.

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