(Submitted by Mick Whitt, Manufacturing Business Development Specialist, Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)
Lean has been a buzz word in manufacturing for several decades and is now popular and useful in many industries. However, going through the process of lean training, implementing lean principles, and checking all the feel-good boxes that make managers and supervisors think they’re making a difference isn’t enough. Whether a company is implementing lean principles for the first time, or has been practicing it for many years, the mind set of lean is what creates the most impact.
Here is an excerpt from Jim L. Smith’s article “Face of Quality” in Quality Magazine.
“Quality at the source (QATS) has been used well before lean manufacturing became so popular. Many people in the quality function have applied the principles especially at critical work areas to detect nonconforming items and prevent them from moving forward in the process. If not given proper planning it can increase appraisal costs and disrupt material flow but as part of a lean initiative, QATS can produce dramatic quality improvements relatively quickly.
QATS is one of the building blocks of lean manufacturing concepts. It can be a powerful stand-alone effort that can produce significant results or it can be partly used in conjunction with a much larger lean initiative.”
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