#LEANMANUFACTURING

Five-Axis

Standardization Leans the Way to High-Mix Automation

An increasingly digitalized, lean manufacturing process begins with a common selection of cutting tools and five-axis machining fixtures.  
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The Three Pillars of Reliable Machine Shop Productivity

This shop looks for a systematic convergence of three disciplines in production management.
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Air Casters Keep Shop Floors Damage-Free

Using air casters from AeroGo helps machine tool manufacturer AgieCharmilles, a division of GF Machining Solutions, move equipment around its showroom without denting or scratching its new epoxy floor.
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Lean Manufacturing Means Taking Nothing for Granted

As foreign competition undercut Valtech Corp.'s business throughout the aughts, the company had a choice to make: Switch production to CNC machining for one of its products, or abandon the product line. Starting from scratch with older machine tools has helped the company scrutinize each step of its processes.
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Data-Driven Manufacturing

In a Machine Shop, the Labor of Lean is Data-Driven

Approximating single-piece flow in a job shop environment requires an ongoing commitment to analyzing and acting on evidence. 
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How To Audit Your Machine Shop Improvements

Here are a few practical approaches for auditing your manufacturing initiatives.
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Continuous Improvement Must Be Continuous

It’s easy to do the work to improve your facility and then want to sit back to see how things go. Unfortunately, this leads to complacency, which is hard to overcome.
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Lean Manufacturing

For as long as lean manufacturing concepts have been around, there are some who still do not understand what lean is and why it’s an important part of a continuous-improvement strategy.
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10 Lean Manufacturing Ideas for Machine Shops

In addition to the right mix of traditional strategies, a new lean manufacturing toolkit can make high-mix, low-volume machining faster, more predictable and less expensive.
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Data-Driven Manufacturing

Lean and Data-Driven Manufacturing Go Hand in Hand

Lean manufacturing is a never-ending quest to remove waste from processes. This pursuit should put a shop on the path to data-driven manufacturing.
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Lean Manufacturing Begins With Layout, Commitment

Sustainably streamlining production of a varied mix of low-volume work depends not only on a strategy tailored for job shops, but also on human drive and enthusiasm.
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Measurement

Shops Cite Their One Big Technology Addition

Here are three technologies that participants in our Top Shops benchmarking survey say have been particularly impactful on their machining businesses.
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5S in a Box

Based on this shop’s experience, industrial vending systems and lockers can help kick-start and sustain lean manufacturing initiatives.
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Die/Mold

Inventory Systems Boost Lean Manufacturing Efforts

Computerized, point-of-use storage and dispensing systems help this shop target waste that is difficult to measure and often labor-intensive to eliminate.
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Lean Manufacturing Is No Less Important

There are a variety of new production technologies coming onto the scene, but lean manufacturing should remain a shop’s underpinning.
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Lean No Less Important

Lean manufacturing shouldn’t become lost in the shuffle of today’s emerging part-production technologies, strategies and approaches.
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Die/Mold

Improvement Is Not Optional

No matter how busy this shop gets, it continues to pull teams of employees out of production so they can focus on solving problems to make incremental process changes. The advances add up. Today, this is a very different shop than it once was.
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Turning Machines

Human Capital

This shop’s attention to process improvement led it to recognize and appreciate the largest source of unrealized potential in the company: the employees. Now, employee improvement is a priority in the plant manager’s role, and training has become a systemized part of the process.
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Automation

A Robotic (R)evolution

This shop’s evolving approach to automation has led it to streamline processes, challenge preconceived notions about robotics and embrace the notion that a manufacturing sequence is greater than the sum of its parts.
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Video: A Job Shop’s Lean Transformation

For shops considering a move to lean manufacturing—or a recommitment to lean manufacturing—this video is a great encouragement.
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