Creating Level Pull [Book 5 of 7]

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Creating Level Pull shows you how to advance a lean manufacturing transformation from a focus on isolated improvements to improving the entire plant-wide production system by implementing a lean production control system. Lean efforts at most companies focus on point kaizen (e.g., reducing set up times, implementing 5S, etc.) that improves a small portion of the value stream running from raw materials to finished products. Or they focus on flow kaizen that improves the entire value stream for one product family. Creating Level Pull shows how companies can make the leap to system kaizen by introducing a lean production control system that ties together the flows of information and materials supporting every product family in a facility. With this system in place, each production activity requests precisely the materials it needs from the previous activity, and demand from the customer is leveled to smooth production activities throughout the plant. Creating Level Pull is written in plain English and walks you through the implementation process using a clear question-and-answer format, supported by diagrams, value-stream maps, and key formulas. Using a realistic example facility, the author shows you how to make the transition to a robust pull system. This involves answering a series of 12 critical questions including what items to hold in finished goods inventory and what items to make to order, how to buffer the system against instability, how to schedule batch processes, and how to level the production schedule. Careful attention to leveling (called heijunka) permits facilities to accommodate variations in demand with minimum inventories, capital costs, manpower, and production lead time.

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