Small Turning Cell

​In the example of the FMS Cell to the left, we used process compression in terms of space and distance to impact the stability process in a positive way; in this case by way of safety and the elimination of the waste, "excess motion". In the example of the Small Turning Cell, we are using process compression in terms of creating single piece flow, which eliminates hand-offs and all the waste that goes along with it, such as the forklift rides, the piles of inventory, and time.

Playbook Page

I am also now including a page with some notes on CNC Programming and Shop Math on this website. Feel free to suggest material that you need to see via the "Contact" page.

The Truth About Standard Work 

is out there !

Standard Work as Work Instructions


Recently, the subject of how we deburr parts came into question when we received a quality reject due to a chip in the part. We used time observation and wrote Standard Work to immediately base-line the post processing activity quickly as a precursor to improving the process. We can also project the time based activity into proforma Standard Work, as we construct single piece flow cells.

FMS Cell

​This is a particularly interesting situation. In it, I have a production cell that is capable of supplying a family of complex hydraulic components including about 45 part numbers. The cell is built around two load stations of an FMS system (a robotic transfer system) that feeds 4 horizontal machining centers. The cell has two operators (one for each load stations). I am typically not a fan of FMS systems for single piece flow arrangements because FMS systems are more about making a pile of parts than supporting a flow of process. However, the folks that set this cell up did some interesting things to be able to quickly setup and supply a long part list for this customer.

The Standard Work for unloading, loading and checking a critical dimension at the load station is very robust and can be written in granular detail. However, the flow of parts down the post processing flow happens in batches and in random quantities due to the batch sizes of downstream machines (lapping & washers). The problem is that productivity seems to be rangy. Bottom line - I don't really know what to do!    (not entirely true; go to the Playbook)
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Check out different situations that I am encountering every day in which I apply LEAN tools. Each button leads to a page with a real life situation and the documents we used to document reality and as we learn to see what needs to be done to reduce waste.