Lean Insights

Be sure to check out the lean manufacturing section of our Software Directory.

Nov. 28, 2016 - Over the past few years at Ply Gem Canada, we have had iterations of problem solving models used on our production shop floor.
Nov. 7, 2016 - Many moons ago when I was just getting started on my Lean journey, I visited a large automotive supplier to benchmark pull systems. My own factory had started a pilot Kanban between two work centres and I was hoping to gain some insight from a more experienced source. To my disappointment, when I was escorted into the factory, the aisles were crowded with pallets of kitted orders.
Oct. 17, 2016 - I was recently on vacation in Nanaimo/Victoria, B.C., and as always, I did some touristy things. The tourist industry just about everywhere has Lean down to a science. They move many people through a maze, usually quite efficiently. They have accomplished this by analyzing their data, number of guests, complaints, lost children, etc. This has me now watching other industries for good Lean principles.
Jun. 27, 2016 - A few years back, a new CEO took the helm at Tree Island Steel, a wire mill located in Richmond, B.C., with 360-plus team members. He was rebuilding a company that had struggled through a recession and he had a vision — a vision to reposition Tree Island as the industry leader it was capable of becoming and to assemble a team to lead the company into the future. Dale MacLean refocused his finance, sales, procurement and scheduling departments to move in one direction and he has not changed course since. He and his executives have quarterly meetings with all staff and operations personnel to inform them of the state of the business while opening up the floor to comments and observations on what and where we need to improve.
Mar. 18, 2016 - Many companies aspire to Lean manufacturing and its power to change the way things are done on the shop floor. In principle, Lean is the reduction of waste and the focus of continuous improvement throughout a product or process’s life cycle.
Mar. 2, 2016 - While pervasive views of manufacturing in Western economies have been pessimistic for decades, the true picture is more complex. Persistent decline in manufacturing jobs has undeniably occurred, but manufacturing is still a crucial growth engine. Automation is the key to revival not just in manufacturing itself, but as a broader stimulus for innovation. Economist Martin Neil Baily says, “the biggest factor transforming manufacturing has been technology; and technology will largely determine its future.”
Jan. 26, 2016 - The vision for the factories of the future, where machines “talk” to machines, relies on the availability of an uninterrupted flow of data from the production floor to the back office and back again. While communications and connectivity technology have advanced, the conditions in which the infrastructure must live have not. Excessive noise, vibration, dust and, in some cases, extreme temperatures are simply the norm.  
Dec. 14, 2015 - Ours is a story of growth, of building and most importantly, blessing. SteelTech Inc. started humbly, as most businesses do, in 2001 with the founders of the company as the only employees working out of a rented shop and some borrowed equipment building outdoor wood furnaces. In the first year, owners Ben Wall and Jake Friesen built and sold 80 units. By 2005, company growth called for the purchase of a newer, bigger shop and by the end of 2006, the neighbouring shop was also ours.
Oct. 23, 2015 - The Canadian economy is in reset mode with the worldwide price drop in oil and declining international demand devastating the export-orientated resource sectors. This has forced a related correction in the previously resource escalated Canadian dollar back to, and maybe even below, reasonable price parity.
Oct. 2, 2015 - Have you truly succeeded at Lean?

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