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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.
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.
Peter Kozma, executive vice president of Liebherr-America, Inc., talks with us about Liebherr and its partners in the Sigma Pool.
In the past, the coffee breaks and dinner events at Sigma Pool’s gear seminars have often triggered future process development and product improvements. This was still the case during the 2009 installment where customers and suppliers talked shop inside and outside the banquet hall on the new market and technology challenges currently facing the gear industry.
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.