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Google “lean manufacturing” and you will find a virtually endless font of information regarding formal lean implementation. You’ll see definitions for Japanese words such as kaizen, gemba, muda, mura, kanban, and so on. You will also find other variations or iterations of lean, e.g.: Six Sigma, Lean Sigma, TPS (Toyota Production System), TOC (Theory of Constraints), JIT (Just in Time), and others.
Make no mistake -- lean manufacturing is here to stay. And no wonder. As a fiercely competitive global economy continues to alter companies’ “Main Street” thinking, that relatively new dynamic is spurring the need for “I-need-it-yesterday” production output. And for increasingly more industries -- big or small -- that means getting as lean as you can, as fast as you can.
Most readers are at least familiar with continuous improvement programs such as lean and six sigma. Perhaps your shop or company is well along in the implementation of one or the other—if not both. But what about theory of constraints (TOC), introduced in Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt’s 1984 book, The Goal? Despite its rather negative-sounding name, this continuous improvement process has much to offer manufacturers of all stripes. And when combined with lean and six sigma, the results can be dramatic. Dr. Lisa Lang, a TOC consultant and speaker, explains why and how in the following Q&A session with Gear Technology.
Why traditional lean manufacturing approaches need to be adapted for job shop environments.
In the August issue, we examined the lean tools that will and will not work in high-mix, low-volume manufacturing facilities. Now, we will examine how to implement the tools that will work in the job shop with an approach that expands the capabilities of value stream mapping.
A look at some of the software options available to help with lean scheduling in a job shop
Job shops may be ill-advised to undertake a complete reorganization into FLEAN (Flexible and Lean) cells. A FLEAN cell would (i) be flex-ible enough to produce any and all orders for parts that belong in a specific part family and (ii) utilize lean to the maximum extent possible to eliminate waste.
The shipping department is the closest to the customer, and its main objective is to maximize shipped orders every month. Our lean guru shows how to eliminate waste in the shipping department.
This is the first article in an eight-part "reality" series on implementing continuous improvement at Hoerbiger Corporation. Throughout 2013, Dr. Shahrukh Irani will report on his progress applying the job shop lean strategies he developed during his time at Ohio State University.
The final installment of our Job Shop Lean series includes a wide variety of educational resources to help you continue your own lean journey.
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
While universally known as a Japanese “invention” that was popularized by Toyota, lean in fact traces its roots to the work of post-World War II American occupation forces in Japan.
The Tiger Team from Hoerbiger looks for ways to cut waste and improve throughput in the company's assembly cell.
A look at three gear industry companies at varying stages in the journey.
Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.
POLCA: An alternative to Kanban for high-variety or custom-engineered products.
Although a cell is dedicated to produce a single part family, it must have the requisite equipment capabilities, routing flexibility, cross-trained employees and, to the extent possible, minimal external process dependencies. Cells are often implemented in job shops since they provide the operational benefits of flowline production.
How lean manufacturing principles can help transform your gear manufacturing business.
Over the past few months I've talked with several different gear manufacturers who are in the process of upgrading their gear making equipment with modern CNC machine tools. Each of these manufacturers has come to the realization that in order to stay competitive, he needs to streamline operations and become more efficient...
News about the latest products in the industry.
Readers respond to our "Job Shop Lean" column and the "My Gear is Bigger than Your Gear" article.
The complete Industry News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The gear companies enjoying the most success in today’s global market are those that firmly believe quality is much more than expert craftsmanship and foolproof inspection methodologies.
For many in the gear and gear products business, these may seem like the best of times...
When the term, “what you see is what you get” is applied in the computer industry, it means that users or customers are able to see their end results without the encumbrances of complicated software code that enables this function. Software works behind the scenes ultimately to produce transparency and the desired effects. In many ways, this concept should be extended to the relationships that exist between suppliers and buyers and even among internal company departments.
an advancing technology and higher energy costs appear to be leading heat-treating companies in the gear industry toward cleaner, more energy-efficient processes. These processes may offer some relief to heat treaters through cooler factories and some relief to their companies through reduced energy usage.
The data discussed in this article was taken from an upright vacuum cleaner. This was a prototype cleaner that was self-propelled by a geared transmission. It was the first time that the manufacturer had used a geared transmission in this application.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industry— but with a focus on their products’ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
New innovations in the management of hear treating parts washers and yielding powerful, unexpected benefits. Simply, cost effective shop floor practices are being combined in new ways to deliver big quality improvements and significant help to the bottom line. Employing these steps early in the process can dramatically cut waste hauling expenses and greatly reduce environmental liabilities while continuously producing cleaner parts.
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
Contact fatigue and bending fatigue are two main failure modes of steel gears, while surface pitting and spalling are two common contact fatigue failures -- caused by alternating subsurface shear stresses from the contact load between two gear mates. And when a gear is in service under cyclic load, concentrated bending stresses exist at the root fillet -- the main driver of bending fatigue failures. Induction hardening is becoming an increasingly popular response to these problems, due to its process consistency, reduced energy consumption, clean environment and improved product quality -- but not without issues of its own (irregular residual stresses and bending fatigue). Thus a new approach is proposed here that flexibly controls the magnitude of residual stress in the regions of root fillet and tooth flank by pre-heating prior to induction hardening. Using an external spur gear made of AISI 4340 as an example, this new concept/process is demonstrated using finite element modeling and DANTE commercial software.
What gear material is suitable for high-temperature (350 – 550 degree C), high-vacuum, clean-environment use?
If you enjoy working with your hands—without doubt a large segment of Gear Technology’s audience—you must go to robives.com. There you will find one of the most clean-but-serious fun websites on the Internet. It is where you will learn—or re-learn, in some cases—how to create things from paper. Origami, you’re thinking? Nah—mere child’s play.
Gear Expo 99, AGMA's biennial showcase for the gear industry, has left the Rust Belt this year and landed in Music City U.S.A., Nashville, Tennessee. The event, with exhibitors from around the globe showing off the latest in gear manufacturing as well as metal working processes, will be held at the Nashville Convention Center, October 24-27, 1999. According to Kurt Medert, AGMA vice president and Gear Expo show manager, "In choosing Nashville, AGMA;s Trade Show Advisory Council found a city that is an excellent trade show site. It has the right mix of convention center, nearby hotels, and a clean downtown area with entertainment readily available for the exhibitors and visitors alike. Nashville is in the heart of southern industry, which we see as a focus of growth for the gear industry and its customers."
The turbines are still spinning. They’re spinning on large wind farms in the Great Plains, offshore in the Atlantic and even underwater where strong tidal currents offer new energy solutions. These turbines spin regularly while politicians and policy makers— tied up in discussions on tax incentives, economic recovery and a lot of finger pointing—sit idle. Much like the auto and aerospace industries of years past, renewable energy is coping with its own set of growing pains. Analysts still feel confident that clean energy will play a significant role in the future of manufacturing—it’s just not going to play the role envisioned four to five years ago.
The United States’ long-held dream of energy independence—as in cheap, clean, free of overseas extortion and renewable energy—could very well be realized in part by the country-wide development of wind turbines...
I’ve had the great fortune to visit many countries and experience their cultures, and I often tell stories based on those experiences. But when I begin to tell people about my most recent trip—to Cuba—their eyes light up, their attention sharpens and they lean forward with great interest and curiosity.
U.S. Shot Peening and Blast Cleaning Workshop.
September 27-29. American Society for Metals 11th Annual Heat Treating Conference October 10-12. AGMA Fall Technical Meeting. Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans, LA November 1-3. SME Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic, Sheraton Meridian, Indianapolis, IN
Heat Treating - The evil twin of the gear processing family. Heat treating and post-heat treating corrective processes can run up to 50% or more of the total gear manufacturing cost, so it's easy to see why, in these days when "lean and mean" production is the rage, and every part of the manufacturing process is under intense scrutiny, some of the harshest light falls on heat treating.
Gear Expo '93 - another trade show, another plea to send people and/or equipment out of town, away from the office or plant. Another bid to spend time, money, and effort. Oh, please! Hasn't anybody heard that these are the "lean and mean" '90s?
Indianapolis is a nice city. No. It's a great city for a convention. The facilities and the city are modern, clean and bright. The Convention Center is easy to get to by either car or plane, and its central location in the heart of town and the enclosed skyway system between it and major hotels put visitors close to amenities like restaurants, shopping and entertainment. The people are friendly and go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.
News Items About lean
1 Dürr Ecoclean Offers Solvent Performance (February 4, 2013)
In many industrial cleaning applications the use of solvents yields valuable process advantages. Dürr Ecoclean keeps refining and im... Read News
2 Cleaning Technologies Introduces CleanVeyor System (May 7, 2013)
CleanVeyor Ultrasonic parts washer utilizes a combination of spray, immersion, and ultrasonic cleaning technologies and has proven succes... Read News
3 Clean Technologies Group to Exhibit at IMTEX (December 18, 2012)
Cleaning Technologies Group will introduce a host of advanced cleaning solutions at the Indian Machine Tool Exhibition (IMTEX) in Bangalo... Read News
4 Dürr Ecoclean EcoCDuty Cleaning System Built to Process Large Loads (March 15, 2016)
Dürr Ecoclean has developed a solvent-based cleaning system, the large-chamber EcoCDuty, for heat-treating contractors, metalforming... Read News
5 Degreasing Deburring and Cleaning Products Presented at German Exhibition (September 12, 2011)
Roughly 240 exhibitors will be represented when the 9th parts2clean opens its doors at the Stuttgart Exhibition Center on the 25th of Oct... Read News
6 RSC Bio Solutions Offers Non-Hazardous Cleaning Options (May 27, 2011)
RSC Bio Solutions recently announced its new Gunk Powered by SafeCare and Liquid Wrench Powered by EnviroLogic industrial cleaners, degre... Read News
7 Great Lakes Industry Awarded Michigan Clean Energy Grant (June 29, 2010)
A $2.5 million Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM) award was granted to Great Lakes Industry Gear LLC, a subsidiary of Jackson, MI... Read News
8 Ultrasonic Tanks Aim to Clean-Up Industrial Manufacturing (December 7, 2007)
Ultrasonic tanks by Omegasonics assist in the process of toxic parts cleaning in all industrial machining applications. According to the ... Read News
9 ASQ Joins Forces for Single Lean Certification Standard (April 6, 2010)
With the goal of moving toward a single standard for lean manufacturing certification and workforce development, the American Society for... Read News
10 Ransohoff Introduces the New Generation Lean-Jet RB-FLEX Parts Washer (December 2, 2014)
Ransohoff, a division of Cleaning Technologies Group LLC, recently introduced its new generation Lean-Jet RB-FLEX immersion cle... Read News
11 Cleaning Technologies Names Buse CFO (January 16, 2013)
Cleaning Technologies Group, LLC announced that Helene M. Buse has been named chief financial officer effective January 1, 2013. Buse wil... Read News
12 Industrial Conference to Focus on Job Shop Lean (January 2, 2014)
"Making the Lean and Flexible Factory a Reality," is a lean conference that takes place February 6, 2014 at the Lone Star Corpo... Read News
13 PICO Chemical’s New Solvent Replaces Hazardous Materials for Gear Cleaning (August 8, 2007)
hemical Corp released its Pico Solv NPB as a new technology chlorine-free solvent cleaner that is manufactured specifically o replace haz... Read News
14 Schunk Introduces EGS Cleanroom Gripper (December 1, 2014)
The EGS from Schunk is designed for the gripping of small to medium sized workpieces, with flexible force and high-speed in clean environ... Read News
15 Walter Surface Technologies Launches CleanBox Flow (January 7, 2014)
Walter Surface Technologies has announced the launch of CleanBox Flow, the newest addition to the family of Bio-Circle manual industrial ... Read News
16 Makuta Completes Second Clean Room (July 26, 2007)
17 SafeTap Plus Provides Safe and Clean Working Environment (February 13, 2008)
ITW Rocol recently unveiled a new water-based tapping fluid with a custom blend of synthetic additives that provide cooling properties wi... Read News
18 Junker Offers Lean Selection Speed at IMTS 2012 (July 27, 2012)
Junker's Lean Selection allround offers custom-tailored power and precision and is especially prized for being user-friendly and cost... Read News
19 Oelheld Introduces AirForge 4027 Clean Lubrication (April 29, 2015)
Oelheld U.S. recently introduced AirForge 4027, a newly developed protective lubricant for hot forging of steel and alloys. It'... Read News
20 Vomat Filter Coolants Maintain 100 Percent Separation Between Dirty and Clean Oil (November 8, 2016)
In modern metalworking, the filtration of cooling lubricants has become an important profitability success factor. In the tool grinding p... Read News
21 VAC-U-MAX Industrial Vacuum Cleaning System Extracts Fluid and Solids (February 18, 2008)
Powered by compressed air, the VAC-U-MAX 55MW filters liquids and removes metal chips from coolant in order to increase coolant life and ... Read News