by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : September 2009
50 FLEXO SEPTEMBER 2009 www.flexography.org PLANTS & PROCESSES For this reason, a company's culture "makes or breaks" the success of a Lean initiative. The emphasis is on innova- tion. Frankly, Lean doesn't work in companies with a rigid management control paradigm. Lean is about developing a framework of innovation, inspiration and teamwork by build- ing a culture of inquiry, questioning, and improvement. So be warned: You may need to change your culture before Lean principles will be sustainable. It isn't as simple as bringing in a consultant or buying a training program. It really is about changing people's opinions and values. That is not easy. Unfortunately, Lean is much bigger and broader than can be covered in this single article. How do you take a company as vast as Toyota and boil its management style down to a single article. Even an entire MBA program couldn't touch on all aspects. So, this article will merely introduce you to a few concepts and principles and address the question: What does Lean mean to the printer? WHADDUP WITH LEAN? Once you have built a corporate culture of respect and con- tinuous improvement, you are ready to learn more. Lean can effectively be used by the printer in numerous ways. There are several discrete tools of Lean but they are intimately related. One tool relies on another tool. For ex- ample, the notion of just-in-time production assumes several important pre-requisites. It assumes that the press won't break down (Total Productive Maintenance); it assumes that supplies and materials will be prepped and staged (Kanban); it assumes that changeovers will be rapid (5S and SMED); and it assumes bottlenecks are minimized (Flow and Cel- lular Manufacturing). You may see some unfamiliar words in parentheses in this paragraph. These are various Lean con- cepts and tools. Toyota knew the goal was just-in-time manu- facturing, so the company set out to systematically tackle the problems that would prevent this. It took decades, but the firm was relentless in its pursuit of what it knew customers valued. So, to give you a taste of how Lean can benefit you, I focus the balance of this article discussing 5S and setup reduction or SMED, two important tools that can improve your bottom line. Much of the remainder of this article is excerpted from my forthcoming book titled, Setup Reduction for Printers. Look for it around the first of the year. TRANSLATING 5S If you know anything about Lean, you've heard of 5S. It is usually the initial Lean tool companies implement, mainly be- cause the only prerequisite to using 5S is a culture of respect and a desire to improve. The concept is, however, founda- tional to many other tools, including setup reduction. Here is a brief recap of 5S. Implementation of 5S establishes a systematic process that focuses on how to best organize a space to maximize efficiency. It is a simple concept, yet remarkably challenging to sustain over a period of time. Many people naturally clutter their workspace and hold onto things that are not essential for efficient production but have some type of sentimental value. In contrast, 5S is completely pragmatic. If a tool or supply adds immediate value to the process, we keep it. As soon as it loses value, it goes. There are five components of 5S. Since it was developed in Japan, The five S's are Japanese words that translate loosely into five English phrases: Seiri Sort Seiton Set in order, straighten Seiso Shine or sweep Seiketsu Standardize Shitsuke Sustain Seiri (Sort). This is the first step of a 5S initiative. Seiri is necessary when beginning the process as most production areas have an excess of built up clutter. It involves sorting through all tools, supplies, benches, lighting, everything---all aspects of the work area---to remove items that are not im- mediately essential for production. Seiton (Set in order, straighten). Here we look to organiz- ing the remaining items. At this stage, since many items have been removed, there is plenty of room to focus on the remain- ing items and where they should go. We use the "three-easy " principle. We want the remaining tools, equipment, and sup- plies to be: 1. Easy to see. 2. Easy to get. 3. Easy to put back. In this process you should consider proximity to use. If a tool is used at the roll-stand, then it should be located at the roll stand, not the main console. Shadow boards are com- monly used as a means to know where a tool goes and when it is missing. When possible, the shadow board should be within reach of its point of use. Tools should be hung on shadow boards on or within reach of the press.