Continuous Improvement / Lean Manufacturing

Implement a Continuous Improvement Culture for Increased Profitability, Productivity and Competitiveness

There are a number of Continuous Improvement approaches that you can adopt, such as Lean manufacturing, which strive to eliminate non-value added activities. Continuous Improvement is an organizational mindset that focuses on ongoing efforts to transform into an agile, more competitive and more profitable business.

How Polaris MEP Can Help:

Polaris MEP will guide your Continuous Improvement journey and promote a culture where employees at all levels are empowered to ensure quality at the source of all operations. With Continuous Improvement tools and training in place, your business grows in flexibility, efficiency and you thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Become A Lean Enterprise:

  • Produce more with existing resources by eliminating non-value added activities
  • Establish a systematic approach which eliminates the “8 Lean Wastes” and creates flow
  • Develop a sustainable plan to streamline operations for success

Apply Lean methodologies to reduce costs, cycle times, inventory, work-in-process and lead times.  Lean processes will improve quality, safety, employee participation and team building.  Ultimately your Lean approach will increase your output capacity, productivity, sales and profits needed for future innovation and growth.


Contact us to discuss your specific needs:


Polaris offers workshops in all of the Lean components of Continuous Improvement and more. Click  the tabs below for details and to register:

 

 

lean_roof

Value Stream Mapping is pictured as the steps leading into the Continuous Improvement House as this process enables strategic decisions to be made on where and how to begin your continuous improvement initiative. The Value Stream Map will enable you to see where the value in your process truly is and to determine what continuous improvement tools (5S, Visual Workplace, TPM, etc.) will be needed to achieve your Lean Enterprise.

Training Information

  • Learning the language of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) icons and Lean concepts enables you to strategically find the various opportunities for improvement in any type of process.
  • You’ll use the powerful Value Stream Mapping (VSM) tool to create a current-state map for a simulated manufacturing process.
  • Next you analyze the manufacturing process current state, find the non-value added activities, and then draw a future-state map for the manufacturing process that eliminates those activities. You will also develop a plan for attacking those non-value added activities.

 

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A “Pull” system is one that is designed for production at the demand of the customer (internal or external) and includes visual cues or prompts (“kanban”) to trigger activity. These visual prompts, like an empty store shelf or a numbered card for example, increase awareness of product and information flow at all levels of a system, and minimize waste. Pull/Kanban systems can be brought about by a strong commitment to Visual Workplace, 5S Systems, Cellular Flow and other Lean methods.

Training Information

  • This half-day training explores the process of designing and implementing Pull/ Kanban Systems through classroom instruction and exercises.
  • You will learn how to eliminate waste in handling, storing, and getting your products to your customers by making only what they want, when they want it.

 

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Cellular Flow is a method of manufacturing that eliminates traditional “batch processing” in favor of formation of “cells” where processes and equipment pertinent to production of one item, or very similarly related items, are grouped in a way that assures smooth flow in the process with minimal waste. This system increases communication among employees and reduces WIP and rework.

Training Information

  • In this half-day workshop you will learn the process to create Cellular Flow in the workplace.
  • Learn how to group products, establish a Takt time, review the work sequence, combine work to balance the process, and then design the cell layout.

 

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Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a methodology for proactive and progressive maintenance which analyzes Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). It combines the knowledge and experience of operators, equipment vendors, engineering and other support personnel to optimize performance. The goal is to eliminate breakdowns and reduce unscheduled downtime, resulting in higher throughput and better quality. TPM has a strong base in Lean Methodologies, 5S Systems and Quick Changeover.

Training Information

  • In this half-day training you will learn about Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and how it is related to capacity.
  • Learn how to apply 5S techniques to your equipment and see the ten-fold positive effect they have.
  • Learn about the six major equipment-related losses – how to find and eliminate them.
  • Learn what causes 75% of equipment breakdowns.
  • You will learn how to eliminate waste in handling, storing, and getting your products to your customers by making only what they want, when they want it.

 

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When every employee, at every step of an operation where the “product” is transformed and moves forward, is responsible for the quality of the “product” that is Quality at the Source. In this type of system, the product is not allowed to move forward if a defect is found. This assures there will be no unnecessary processing of defective products. Lean methodologies such as 5S, Visual Workplace and standardized work process can assure quality at the source in every aspect of business.

Point of Use Storage (POUS) places materials, tools and equipment where and when they are needed in an orderly fashion, enabling each person in the organization to complete work as it is flowed to them. This practice reduces waiting and the other “8 Lean Wastes” which contribute to non-value added activities. POUS plays a role in the implementation of 5S Systems, Cellular Flow and Quick Changeover.

Quick Changeover/ Setup Reduction

SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Dies – is a process to reduce the amount of production time lost while a machine is down for changeovers. Relevant to a vast array of operations – take NASCAR tire changes for instance – application of this concept/process allows companies to meet customer demands on-time, with quality, and to reduce excess inventory.

Training Information

  • In this half-day training, you will learn the principles of Setup Reduction and the Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) system developed by Shigeo Shingo and designed to dramatically reduce or eliminate changeover time, often at little or no cost.
  • Apply the four-step Changeover Improvement Process to achieve Setup Reduction in a life-like simulation exercise. By the end of the workshop you’ll experience first-hand how reduced costs, reduced setup times and increased machine capacity can be achieved at the same time.

 

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Developing standardized work practices enables company-wide communication of best practices. It also creates an environment that is flexible and able to adapt to new technologies and methods as they arise. Applying the 5S System, a company can use standardized work to reduce changeover times, integrate pull / kanban systems, promote quality at the source and increase productivity.

Training Information

  • This half-day workshop will go over the process needed to create a standardized work procedure.
  • Learn how to observe a process and then analyze it according to Takt time.
  • Learn how to construct a work standard and develop a work layout that will ensure adherence to the standard.

 

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Batch Reduction

Historically manufacturing production and business purchasing have operated on the “just in case” principal, focused on the idea that producing large batch sizes will maximize machine utilization and minimize machine changeover; and that purchasing large batches of like items at a lower “quantity based” prices was the best approach. “Make one, move one”. Lean methodologies take a “just in time” approach, working toward customer demand, so the ideal batch size becomes one. Reducing batch size ultimately reduces inventory carrying costs, space required for work-in-progress and lead times, enabling companies to operate profitably at lower margins.

Innovative teams are able to accomplish more than an innovative individual. Cross sectional teams engage all levels of a company and are able to respond to a broad spectrum of situations. The greatest asset of a company is the aggregate skills of its employees. Often, this asset becomes one of the “8 Lean Wastes” as many companies fail to capitalize on it.

 

Team Building

  • In this half-day training you will learn about what makes a great team through presentations and interactive exercises.
  • This dynamic workshop includes classroom and hands-on learning to help participants understand the characteristics of a team.
  • Learn the value of your own and others’ individual contributions to your team’s success.
  • Experience first-hand how effective teams communicate to successfully meet their goals.

 

Contact us to set up a training.

 

Team Leader Facilitation Skills

  •  In this full-day training you will learn the principles of facilitation to increase the effectiveness of all meetings you may lead, facilitate or attend.
  • You will understand how effective facilitation can bring benefits to your organization and teams.
  • Learn valuable facilitator intervention skills and techniques during hands-on training with an interactive ‘fishbowl’ exercise.
  • Topics covered include: Roles and responsibilities of the facilitator; Meeting skills; When to move on or slow down; When the group gets stuck; How to handle silences; How to ensure participation; How to puncture a filibuster; How to deal with problem people; How to remain neutral and build trust; Facilitator intervention strategies.

 

Contact us to set up a training.

 

Meeting Skills

  • In this half-day training you will learn the concepts of how to make meetings work.
  • Acquire the skills to conduct successful meetings using an interactive method.
  • Learn the roles and responsibilities of the ‘leader’, ‘facilitator’, ‘recorder’ and ‘participants’.

Topics covered include: What goes wrong at meetings; How to find Win/Win solutions; The role of the leader, facilitator, recorder and group members; How to plan your meeting; What type of meeting are you going to hold; Who should attend your meeting; How to make meeting rooms work; How to put it all together: The Agenda; and Tools for Solving Problems in Groups.

 

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The 5S System (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) improves workplace organization, standardization and safety. Other benefits include improvements in quality, down time, cycle times, storage costs and an increase in productivity. The Team approach, fundamental to the 5S system, will boost employee morale and improve your overall work environment.

Training Information

  • You will learn the concepts of the 5S System and the process through which your company can continually apply them to transform a cluttered, disorganized area to a clean and organized workplace.

 

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A base practice in Lean methodologies is Visual Systems which enable faster communication of information within the workplace. Visuals also set standards and expectations that transcend language barriers. The use of Visual Systems is essential to the implementation and sustainability of 5S Systems, Pull / Kanban and other continuous improvement endeavors.

Facility Design / Plant Layout

Increasing the flow of work and information within a workplace can be achieved by applying Lean methodologies to facility layout. Whether through small adjustments to an existing layout, a site expansion or consolidation, or designing a totally new facility, applying Lean concepts will enable improvements in process flow, material handling techniques, distribution, safety protocols, ergonomics and equipment choices and upgrades. Learn about our Service.

More CI Trainings

Polaris  offers interactive, half day, full day and multiple day trainings with on-site assessments and implementation services. We also offer trainings and services for Lean Enterprise and Quality & Management Systems. Please click on the Training title below to find out more information:
  • In this half-day training you will learn about what makes a great team through presentations and interactive exercises.
  • This dynamic workshop includes classroom and hands-on learning to help participants understand the characteristics of a team.
  • Learn the value of your own and others’ individual contributions to your team’s success.
  • Experience first-hand how effective teams communicate to successfully meet their goals.

 

Contact us to set up a training.

  • In this full-day training you will learn the principles of facilitation to increase the effectiveness of all meetings you may lead, facilitate or attend.
  • You will understand how effective facilitation can bring benefits to your organization and teams.
  • Learn valuable facilitator intervention skills and techniques during hands-on training with an interactive ‘fishbowl’ exercise.
  • Topics covered include: Roles and responsibilities of the facilitator; Meeting skills; When to move on or slow down; When the group gets stuck; How to handle silences; How to ensure participation; How to puncture a filibuster; How to deal with problem people; How to remain neutral and build trust; Facilitator intervention strategies.

 

Contact us to set up a training.

  • In this half-day training you will learn the concepts of how to make meetings work.
  • Acquire the skills to conduct successful meetings using an interactive method.
  • Learn the roles and responsibilities of the ‘leader’, ‘facilitator’, ‘recorder’ and ‘participants’.
  • Topics covered include: What goes wrong at meetings; How to find Win/Win solutions; The role of the leader, facilitator, recorder and group members; How to plan your meeting; What type of meeting are you going to hold; Who should attend your meeting; How to make meeting rooms work; How to put it all together: The Agenda; and Tools for Solving Problems in Groups.

 

Contact us to set up a training.

  • In this half-day training you will learn important techniques for developing and managing an effective corrective and preventive action program.
  • Identifying, recording and taking effective action to eliminate quality system errors are critical steps in business management practices of today and of the future.
  • Understand how systematic approaches in problem solving can help your organization enhance customer satisfaction through continual improvement.
  • Learn to follow-up on the effectiveness of the corrective /preventive action.
  • Topics covered include: Definition of corrective actions and preventive actions; When corrective action is necessary; Identification and recording of non-conformance; Various problem-solving techniques; Analyzing corrective action for continual improvement.

 

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  • This half-day training will provide you and your teams with the tools and techniques to identify and solve problems using a Seven-Step Problem Solving Model.
  • Using a road map to problem solving based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle you and your teams will work with the tools and techniques that have helped many teams produce significant gains for their organizations.
  • These simple but powerful tools will help to build a problem solving toolbox that will work to identify problems and their root causes, in addition to developing effective solutions that can work and be sustained.
  • Topics covered include: Basic Problem Solving Methodology, PDCA Cycle, Problem Identification and Root Cause Analysis, Data Collection Tools and Techniques, Solution Selection and Implementation Planning.

 

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  • This half-day training provides you and your staff or teams with an understanding of the importance of ‘Goal Setting’ for an organization and how to identify ‘Critical Measures’ in support of your goals and objectives.
  • An excellent overview with hands on tools for helping to identify goals and measure for the three levels of performance within an organization.
  • The ideas and tools presented will help any organization develop, align and measure its performance through effective goal setting and measurement techniques.
  • Topics covered include: Goal Setting, Alignment of Goals, and Levels of Performance within an Organization, Performance Variables, Critical Measures, and Developing Sound Measures.

 

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  • What will it cost to improve quality? What will it cost not to improve quality?
  • This half-day training will give you the foundation to understanding the ‘Cost of Quality’ or as some would put it the ‘Cost of Poor Quality’ and how to use this tool in your quality improvement efforts.
  • This is really where you can translate your quality efforts into the language of management.
  • Topics covered include: What are Quality Costs, Four Types of Quality Costs, What are the Benefits of a Cost of Quality Measuring System, and the Use of Quality Cost Information.

 

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  • This full-day training covers the concepts of Statistical Process Control or SPC as a problem solving tool. SPC is a method of monitoring, controlling and improving a process through statistical analysis.
  • The four basic steps covered are: Measuring the Process; Eliminating variability to create consistency; Monitoring the process; Improving the process to the best target value.
  • This workshop covers statistical assumptions, interpretation, run rules and process capabilities.
  • Topics covered include: The Deming approach to modern management (PDCA); Data collection methodology; Charting tools that help visualize the data; Charting tools for specific types of data, Chart interpretation; Basic problem solving tools used to identify solutions to resolve cause variation.

 

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  • In this one day hands-on training you will be introduced to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and will use selected criteria to assess your own organization.
  • Tools and techniques will be introduced to help simplify the criteria and its use for continuous improvement of your organization’s performance.
  • Organizations and individuals will learn how to interpret the requirements of selected Baldrige criteria items, how to use these requirements for organizational performance assessment, and how to use the assessment results to improve performance.
  • You will use flow diagrams to simplify the Baldrige criteria for use as requirements in developing a high performance organization.
  • Learn how the criteria core values form the foundation of the criteria and their importance in changing the culture within the organization to enhance continuous improvement.
  • Topics covered include: Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

 

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  • In this two day training you will learn the basics of Project Management which is aligned with the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge.
  • Day one will cover A3 reporting and project phases, scope, risk, budgeting, milestones, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), activity sequencing, and success criteria.
  • Day two will cover management of project scope, communications, and variance. It will also cover team development, Earned Value Analysis (EVA), performance indices, estimate completion, and final review with stakeholders & customers.

 

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Lean Methodologies

Lean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in the pursuit of perfection.  A non-value added activity is anything that does not add market form or function or is not necessary.  These are activities that customers are not willing to pay for, like spending time to find tools.  The types of non-value added activities are defined as the “8 Lean Wastes” which are:

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Not Utilizing Employees
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Excess Processing