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The linear motion and assembly technologies group at Bosch Rexroth (Hoffman Estates, IL; www.boschrexroth-us.com/lean) has launched a series of lean manufacturing podcasts. Each episode is structured to help OEMs apply lean practices and principles to their business operations. The podcasts can be downloaded or streamed online.
Scheduled topics for discussion include applying lean principles to the engineering process and tips on designing manufacturing equipment for a lean environment. The series, which will feature guest experts, will also include lean manufacturing case studies.
“With this lean manufacturing audio series, we’re going to show how to apply lean concepts in some fresh and unexpected ways so manufacturers can use lean more effectively to transform their companies’ performance,” says Kevin Gingerich, marketing manager.
In the first podcast of the series, titled “Developing Frontline Supervisors to Succeed in a Lean Environment,” Jamie Flinchbaugh—who cofounded the Lean Learning Center and coauthored The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean—examines the role frontline supervisors play in helping their companies implement and sustain lean manufacturing practices.
In “Designing Manufacturing Equipment for Lean,” Flinchbaugh offers guidelines for creating sightlines and demand-driven assembly systems to help equipment builders make their machines more lean. He also suggests that builders focus too much on the inner workings of a machine and not enough on how it interfaces with the operator.
On the podcast home page, the company also offers its outline of key considerations for lean and flexible manufacturing. According to the company, lean production is “pull” production, defined as being driven by customer or marketplace demand, not plant or line capacity. Optimization of flow—be it flow of materials, information, or people—is also critical. And it also suggests that machine automation enhances lean systems when applied to high-volume, highly predictable production.
Hosted by Liz Zoller Cohen, each 8-to-10-minute podcast will be archived on the company’s Web site.