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Kaizen: continuing improvement. Dr. Ron Lembke SCM 462. Kaizen. A philosophy of continually improving all areas. Personal life, home life, social life, working life Workplace: continuous improvement involving everyone- managers and workers alike Quality:

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Kaizen continuing improvement l.jpg

Kaizen: continuing improvement

Dr. Ron Lembke

SCM 462

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  • A philosophy of continually improving all areas.

    • Personal life, home life, social life, working life

    • Workplace: continuous improvement involving everyone- managers and workers alike

  • Quality:

    • There is very little agreement on what constitutes quality. In its broadest sense, quality is anything that can be improved. When speaking of “quality” one tends to think first in terms of product quality. When discussed in the context of KAIZEN strategy nothing could be further off the mark. The foremost concern here is with the quality of people. … Building quality into people means helping them become KAIZEN conscious.

    • Masaaki Imai – Kaizen, 1986, McGraw-Hill. Pp. xx-xxi, xxiii

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  • How to measure and define quality?

  • Other side of the coin is KAIZEN

  • Nobody can dispute the value of improvement

  • These improvements will lead to improvements in quality and productivity

  • Quality = anything that can be improved

    • Products and services,

    • The way people work, way machines are used

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Who started it all?

  • July 1950, Deming 8-day seminar on statistical quality control

  • July 1954 J.M. Juran seminar on quality-control management.

    • First time QC dealt with from the overall management perspective

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Kaizen Blitz

  • Scope, boundaries, objectives

  • Very short duration

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Eli Whitney

  • introduced interchangeable parts in large musket contract for U.S. Army

  • Interchangeable parts the true secret of Ford’s success

  • Made possible by advances in measurement and tool steel

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Beginning of Standards

  • Before standardized parts, need Screws

  • 1860s Machine Tool industry: Silicon Valley of its day

  • All screws custom made by tool & die shops according to what they thought best

  • William Sellers: 1864 “On a Uniform System of Screw Threads”

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Sellers vs. Whitworth

  • 3 cutters & 2 lathes vs. 1 cutter & 1 lathe

  • Simple geometry vs. difficult

  • Rounded top vs. straight: ease of manufacturing, ease of assembly

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Not Just What you Know

  • Machine tool makers didn’t want to be commoditized like gun makers

  • The standard people expect to win usually does.

  • Navy Board found it superior, asked Singer Sewing Machine, Baldwin Locomotive which would win (already adopted).

  • Pennsylvania RR adopted (Sellers on the Board)

  • British tanks & trucks couldn’t be repaired in WWII because Britain adopted Whitworth

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Frederick W. Taylor

  • Frederick W. Taylor:

    • Father of “Scientific Management”

    • Find ways to improve work environment and work processes

    • Quantify, measure & track everything:

      Time required to haul wheelbarrow:

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Factory Life


Taylor’s Factory

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Frank and Lillian Gilbreth

  • Systematically study a work environment and find the best way to achieve a particular task

  • With Taylor, pioneered “industrial engineering” -- time and motion studies

  • “Cheaper by the Dozen”

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Motion Capture

  • Lights illuminate key motion joints

  • For Computer Generation, convert to 3D

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Pencil Holder

  • Color coded slots

  • Groove for grabbing pencil

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Andrew Carnegie

  • Telegraph operator to RR division superintendent

  • Adopted latest technology, built first steel plant laid out to optimize flow

  • Focused on knowing, lowering unit cost

  • Raise prices with everyone else in booms, slash prices in recession

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Andrew Carnegie

Production: US England

1868 8,500 111,000

1902 9,138,000 1,862,000

Steel Prices: (per ton)

1870 $100

1890 $12

How? Continuous Process Improvement

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The Richest Man in the World

  • Found out strike organizers, fired before

  • 1886 “Triumphant Democracy”, Forum magazine- workers’ right to unionize

  • 1889 “Gospel of Wealth:” rich need to help the poor ($25m annual income)

  • 1892 Homestead strike: 12 hour gunfight, Pinkerton defeated (12 died), state militia called in, strike breakers hired

  • 1901 sells out to J.P. Morgan: $480m

  • Built 2,500 libraries. “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”

  • 1919 dies, having given away 90%

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Henry Ford

  • Continuous Process Improvement

  • Advances in metal cutting allowed him to cut pre-hardened steel, produce identical parts

  • Standardized parts facilitated standardization of jobs, moving assembly line

  • Model T: 1908 $850

    1920’s: $250

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Vertical Integration

  • Owned forests, iron mines, rubber plantation, coal mines, ships, railroad lines

  • Dock facilities, blast furnaces, foundries, rolling mills, stamping plants, an engine plant, glass manufacturing, a tire plant, its own power plant, and 90 miles of RR track

  • 1927 Model A Production begins

  • 15,000,000 cars in 15 years

  • 120,000 employees in WWII

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Details to the Max

In his autobiographies “My Life and Work” (1922), and “Today and Tomorrow” (1926), Ford gives great detail on innovations he and his company have made, including:

  • Glass making, Artificial leather

  • Steering wheels out of Fordite

  • heat treating -- saved $36m in 4 years (1922)

  • Forging parts, wiremaking

  • Riveting, bronze bushings, springs

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Managing Workers

  • “It is a reciprocal relation -- the boss is the partner of his worker, the worker is partner of his boss. Both are indispensable.”

    -- MLAW p. 117

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Paying for Good Employees

“One frequently hears that wages have to be cut because of competition, but competition is never really met by lowering wages. The only way to get a low-cost product is to pay a high price for a high grade of human service and to see to it through management that you get that service.” T&T p. 43

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Mindless Work

“Repetitive Labour -- the doing of one thing over and over again and always in the same way -- is a terrifying prospect to a certain kind of mind. It is terrifying to me. I could not possibly do the same thing day in and day out, but to other minds, perhaps I might say to the majority of minds, repetitive operations hold no terrors. In fact, to some types of mind thought is absolutely appalling. To them the ideal job is one where their creative instinct need not be expressed.” MLAW p. 103

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Mindless Work

When you come right down to it, most jobs are repetitive. A business man has a routine that he follows with great exactness; the work of a bank president is nearly all routine; the work of under officers and clerks in a bank is purely routine. Indeed, for most purposes and most people, it is necessary to establish something in the way of a routine and to make most motions purely repetitive -- otherwise the individual will not get enough done to be able to live off his own exertions. -- MLAW pp 103-4.

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7 Types of Waste

  • Overproduction

  • Stock on Hand - Inventory

  • (Unnecessary) Transportation

  • Making Defective Products

  • Waste in Processes

  • Waiting time

  • Waste in motions

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Removing Non-Value-Added Activities

  • Value-added time = time to complete those work activities that actually transform the product into what the customer wants. p.109

Value-Added Time


Total Lead Time


Cycle =


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P. 138 – Strapping Kaizen

  • Why are the boxes coming apart?

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  • Eliminate the potential for error

  • Replace the process with one less potential for error

  • Facilitated: user has less potential for error

  • Detection: easier to spot

  • Mitigation: minimize the effect

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Milford, MA, MetroMedical Ctr

Milford Daily News, 5/31/08

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Other Poka-Yokes

  • ATMs that beep to take your card out

  • Can’t get any cash until your card is out

  • Indentations in surgery trays

  • Lawn mowers stop running when you let go of bar

  • 3.5” disks only go in one way

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  • Keys, wallet, phone in your shoe, etc.

  • Papers on your chair

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Low Bridges & Ceilings

  • Eliminate: raise the bridge

  • Replace: warning signs

  • Facilitated: add signs or sensors

  • Detect: ?

  • Mitigation – iron beam protects bridge

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P. 143 Fuel Gauges

  • How would you fix it?