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Articles About lean manufacturing


1 Steadfast and Streamlined: Can Lean Soften the Economic Blow (August 2009)

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.

2 Adapting Lean for High-Mix, Low-Volume Manufacturing Facilities (August 2012)

Why traditional lean manufacturing approaches need to be adapted for job shop environments.

3 Real-World Job Training the Lean Way -- And Loving It (September 2011)

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.

4 Letters to the Editor (September 2013)

Readers respond to our "Job Shop Lean" column and the "My Gear is Bigger than Your Gear" article.

5 Lean Resources (November/December 2013)

The final installment of our Job Shop Lean series includes a wide variety of educational resources to help you continue your own lean journey.

6 Design of a Flexible and Lean Machining Cell, Part II (August 2013)

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.

7 Job Shop Lean - Assembly (May 2013)

The Tiger Team from Hoerbiger looks for ways to cut waste and improve throughput in the company's assembly cell.

8 A Quick-Start Approach for Implementing Lean in Job Shops (October 2012)

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.

9 Design of a Flexible and Lean Machining Cell, Part I (June/July 2013)

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.

10 Job Shop Lean (January/February 2013)

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.

11 The Skinny on Lean Manufacturing (June 2007)

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.

12 Journey to the Land of Manufacturing Milk and Honey--What Are You Waiting For? (July 2008)

How lean manufacturing principles can help transform your gear manufacturing business.

13 Going Lean Is One Thing (June 2007)

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.

14 A Lean Strategy for Job Shops (November/December 2005)

POLCA: An alternative to Kanban for high-variety or custom-engineered products.

15 Product News (January/February 2013)

The complete Product News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.

16 DFM Crucial for Gear Industry Success (March/April 2013)

"Design for manufacturability" (DFM) is a well-established practice, essential to realizing the successful transformation of concepts into mass-produced gears and motion control devices. And yet, all too often issues that could have been avoided are identified very late in the process that impact production costs and schedules. This suggests that key DFM principles are often underutilized in practice and are not applied consistently - or to the degree necessary - to avoid these negative results.

17 Industry News (November/December 2012)

The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.

18 Investing in Ourselves is the Key to Revitalizing American Manufacturing (July/August 1992)

Popular wisdom has it that manufacturing in the United States is no longer a viable entity. We are told that quality is poor, skilled labor is difficult to obtain, if not impossible, demand is low, and the government is helping to discourage business. So what should we do, give up?

19 If Only We Had a Crystal Ball... (November/December 2012)

Before we get into projections and prognostications about the future, let’s take a minute to review 2012. For many in the gear industry, the year was better than expected. Some manufacturers had a very successful year leading up to an even more successful manufacturing trade show (IMTS 2012). Others were searching for more business, hoping that the general state of the economy wouldn’t make things worse. In some cases, it did.

20 Gear Teeth With Byte (January/February 1998)

Computers are everywhere. It's gotten so that it's hard to find an employee who isn't using one in the course of his or her day - whether he be CEO or salesman, engineer or machinist. Everywhere you look, you find the familiar neutral-colored boxes and bright glowing screens. And despite the gear industry's traditional reluctance to embrace new technology, more and moe of what you find on those screens are gears.

21 Manufacturing and Pursuit of the American Dream: Reality or Fool's Quest (November/December 2012)

It wasn’t so very long ago that a high school-educated, able-bodied person with a will to work typically had little trouble finding a decent job in manufacturing. Whether at an area job shop, an OEM plant or auto plant—work was to be had. Work that paid well enough to marry, buy a home, feed, raise and educate a family—with even enough left over for a modest retirement pension.

22 Product News (October 2013)

The complete Product News section from the October 2013 issue of Gear Technology.

23 The Winds of Change (January/February 1991)

Nashville - One of the highlights of this year's SME Advanced Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic was a tour of the new GM Saturn automobile manufacturing plant outside the city. There in the Tennessee hills is a hopeful vision of the future of the American automobile industry. It may well be the future of American large-scale manufacturing in general.

24 Product News (January/February 2014)

The complete Product News section from the January/February 2014 issue of Gear Technology.

25 Industry News (August 2014)

The complete Industry News section from the August 2014 issue of Gear Technology.

26 Product News (September 2013)

The complete Product News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.

27 Industry News (August 2013)

The complete Industry News section from the August 2013 issue of Gear Technology.

28 Industry News (May 2013)

The complete Industry News section from the May 2013 issue of Gear Technology

29 Gear Expo 2013 - An Oscar-Worthy Indy Production (August 2013)

We are well into an odd-number year, so it must be just about time for another Gear Expo. Indeed, the big show -- Gear Expo 2013 -- kicks off in Indianapolis at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, wrapping up Thursday the 19th at 4:00 p.m. And whether you are exhibiting or attending, the bottom line is you are going -- a good thing for you, your company and the tightly knit U.S. gear industry.

30 If You Rebuild It, They Will Buy It (May 2013)

It’s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.

31 Grinding Gears for Racing Transmissions (September/October 2009)

When you push 850 horsepower and 9,000 rpm through a racing transmission, you better hope it stands up. Transmission cases and gears strewn all over the racetrack do nothing to enhance your standing, nor that of your transmission supplier.

32 Enterprise Excellence: Are We There Yet (September/October 2010)

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.

33 Environmentally Safe Fluids for Industrial Cutting, Lubrication, & Cleaning (January/February 1993)

Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.

34 Industry News (January/February 2013)

The complete Industry News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.

35 Getting Lean in the Gear Industry (November/December 2005)

A look at three gear industry companies at varying stages in the journey.

36 Responding to Market and Customer Needs (November/December 2007)

For many in the gear and gear products business, these may seem like the best of times...

37 How's Your Lead Time (July 2007)

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.

38 Got Lean, Six Sigma - Here's Another Theory (March/April 2009)

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.

39 Lean Shipping - Job Shop Lean (March/April 2013)

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.

40 Computer-Aided Finite Capacity Scheduling of a FLEAN Machining Cell (October 2013)

A look at some of the software options available to help with lean scheduling in a job shop

41 Protecting Our Own (January/February 2011)

Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability and what we should do about it.

42 The Global Gear Industry - Insights, Projections, Facts and Figures (May 2011)

A series of short reports on global manufacturing growth and the gear industry's role.

43 Where Are We Now (January/February 2010)

The struggles of the manufacturing economy in 2009 are well documented. Even among those of us with long careers, most of us have never seen activity come to a screeching halt the way it did last year. 2009 was tough on all of us. So, what should we expect in 2010?

44 Medical Device Manufacturing Keeps Gear Industry Healthy (March/April 2006)

When Forest City Gear started manufacturing gears for medical components in the 1980s, it was a minuscule part of the company's business. Today, the medical device industry represents 18-20%.

45 American Manufacturing - Can It Be Saved (November/December 2009)

If anyone should ever need convincing that the state of American manufacturing is in ongoing decline, consider this: the state of Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the country, yet also has the highest unemployment rate. But there are ripples of hope out there as grassroots and otherwise organized groups are fighting the good fight in an attempt to reverse that trend.

46 Gear Manufacturing in the Far East (January/February 2006)

This article gives readers a glimpse of some companies that manufacture gears in the Far East. We've talked with more than a dozen companies in India, Taiwan and Korea...

47 A Second Rate Society - Never (August/September 1984)

What was once recognized as the unique genius of America is now slipping away from us and, in many areas, is now seen as a "second rate" capability. Unless action is taken now, this country is in real danger of being unable to regain its supremacy in technological development and economic vigor. First Americans must understand the serious implications of the problem; and second, we must dedicate ourselves to national and local actions that will ensure a greater scientific and technological literacy in America.