Lean Article Features

Emily Newton's picture
Emily Newton
There’s no better time than now. As a species, we need to mitigate the effect we have on our planet. There are many ways to do this—namely, through green and eco-friendly initiatives—but one sector...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
T he dictum, “purpose of a system is what it does” (POSWID) is famous in cybernetics, attributed to the management cybernetician Stafford Beer. Beer notes: “A good observer will impute the...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
In 1985, about the time I was discovering there was a better way to produce products, The Natural, a film about an aging baseball player with extraordinary talent, was garnering multiple Academy...
Knowledge at Wharton's picture
Knowledge at Wharton
Negotiating a salary increase or a job promotion ranks high on the list of hard conversations to have at work, and it doesn’t get any easier without a plan. “People think, ‘I’m just going to knock...
William A. Levinson's picture
William A. Levinson
Ryan Day1 describes how the rise of independent auto dealers is a “gray swan” event for the automobile industry. This was not only bound to happen, as observed by the author, but also long overdue....
Anthony Tarantino's picture
Anthony Tarantino
In 2007, Nassim Taleb described black swans as highly improbable events that had dramatic or even catastrophic effects on markets and economies. Until recently, it seemed that such events were indeed...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
The level of excitement was high in our machine shop as we drew closer to our goal of less than 9-minute changeovers on the BNC lathe. (See Part One of this story for how we got there.) Setup...
Jonathan Gilpin's picture
Jonathan Gilpin
The world of procurement is often tricky. It involves choosing one appropriate candidate, ultimately benefiting them while rejecting and disadvantaging others. That said, it isn’t just the...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
We had been working with the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) for two years to build a model line in our assembly department. As we moved from small batch production to one-by-one, the...
V R Vijay Anand's picture
V R Vijay Anand
As the world moves toward a new, post-pandemic normal, industries must leverage digital transformation at an accelerated pace. This is already happening. According to IBM, 67 percent of manufacturers...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
Every February, there are welcome reminders that spring is on the way. The first for me is a witch hazel bush in my front yard that defies subfreezing weather to produce fragrant yellow flowers. Then...
Keith Groves's picture
Keith Groves
The lean manufacturing movement evolved from a desire to reduce waste and inefficiencies and improve productivity on the shop floor. Many manufacturers have also benefited from the resulting...
Anthony Murphy's picture
Anthony Murphy
Kendrick Plastics is an IATF/TS 16949-certified, tier one and tier two supplier of interior decorative trim components and assemblies to the automotive industry. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan,...
Jamie Flinchbaugh's picture
Jamie Flinchbaugh
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the new book People Solve Problems: The Power of Every Person, Every Day, Every Problem (Old Dutch Group, 2021) by Jamie Flinchbaugh. For anyone...
Gleb Tsipursky's picture
Gleb Tsipursky
‘I don’t see how we can replace the serendipitous idea generation of hallway conversations,” said Saul, the director of quality management for a 1,500-employee enterprise software company, during a...
Theodoros Evgeniou's picture
Theodoros Evgeniou
This isn’t a new story: A novel technology disrupts society, bringing with it many benefits but also major risks and costs. We saw it during the Industrial Revolution, which vastly improved the...
Emily Newton's picture
Emily Newton
Welding technology has progressed over the years, thanks to innovations that improve accuracy and overall productivity. Some advances have been in welding automation handled by advanced robots. Other...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
You may recognize the following quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, or more recently from Kelly Clarkson: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I’ve thought about this often during the last 22...
Anthony D. Burns's picture
Anthony D. Burns
I’m a chemical engineer. The fundamentals of the chemical engineering profession were laid down 150 years ago by Osborne Reynolds. Although chemical engineering has seen many advances, such as...
Sybil Derrible's picture
Sybil Derrible
Communities across the U.S. Southeast and Midwest are assessing damage from the deadly and widespread tornado outbreak on Dec. 10–11, 2021. It’s clear that the cleanups will take months and possibly...