What To Do During The Great Wait

Given our current credit and economic challenges as well as uncertainty about how our president-elect’s policies may impact U. S. manufacturing, there seems to be a palpable “wait-and-see” vibe in industry.

Given our current credit and economic challenges as well as uncertainty about how our president-elect’s policies may impact U.S. manufacturing, there seems to be a palpable “wait-and-see” vibe in industry. Shops and manufacturers are waiting for something to spur growth and activity. Chances are, that describes how you feel. And perhaps it may even give you pause as you decide when you’ll pull the trigger on that new piece of equipment you’ve been eyeballing.

So what do you do in the meantime? It’s during times like these that shops should examine their existing processes and look for ways to improve efficiency by eliminating waste. That’s the prime goal of lean manufacturing.

If that’s what you’ve set out to accomplish, I suggest visiting our Lean Manufacturing Zone. There you’ll find a collection of stories that show how other shops have implemented lean techniques such as 5S organization, value stream mapping and visual workplace initiatives to reduce waste. Here are a few stories that I think you’ll find particularly helpful.

This Shop Really Shines...And Sorts, Simplifies, Standardizes And Sustains—5S principles proved to be a powerful prelude and prerequisite to lean manufacturing at this aerospace job shop.

Lean Manufacturing For The Job Shop—Lean practices are not just for predictable production. Here are the common-sense ways a low-volume job shop has moved toward leaner processes.

Picture-Perfect Manufacturing—Value stream mapping is a graphical tool that this contract manufacturer uses to create a production process with little waste.

Lean From The Get-Go—This shop was lean from day one. Its visual management tools form its lean manufacturing foundation.

Our Lean Manufacturing Zone is one of more than two dozen knowledge centers covering specific machining and manufacturing topics. We established these zones to make it more efficient for you to find the important information you need on your journey to boost productivity. Here’s a list of our current zones.