This workbook explains in simple, step-by-step terms how to introduce and sustain lean flows of material and information in pacemaker cells and lines, a prerequisite for achieving a lean value stream. This sequel to Learning to See (which focused on plant level operations) provides simple step-by-step instructions for eliminating waste and creating continuous flow at the process level. Creating Continuous Flow takes you to the next level in work cell design where you’ll achieve even greater cost and lead time savings. You’ll learn:
- where to focus your continuous flow efforts
- how to create much more efficient work cells and lines
- how to operate a pacemaker process so that a lean value stream is possible
- how to sustain the gains, and keep improving
The value-stream mapping process defined the pacemaker process and the overall flow of products and information in the plant. The next step is to shift your focus from the plant to the process level by zeroing in on the pacemaker process, which sets the production rhythm for the plant or value stream, and apply the principles of continuous flow. Every production facility has at least one pacemaker process. The pacemaker processes is usually where products take their final form before going to external customers. It’s called the pacemaker because how you operate here determines both how well you can serve the customer and what the demand pattern is like for your upstream supplying processes.