Value Stream Management

Don Tapping, Tom Luyster and Tom Shuker, Productivity Press, 444 Park Ave. South, Suite 604, New York, NY 10016, 2002, 176 pp., $62.50 (book and CD-ROM)

Value Stream Management: Eight Steps To Planning, Mapping and Sustaining Lean Improvements is a how-to book that provides a disciplined approach to sustain lean manufacturing improvement efforts using planning and mapping tools. Through a clear, eight-step process, Tapping, Luyster and Shuker help the reader accelerate, coordinate and sustain a lean initiative. They simplify the fundamental lean concepts of demand, flow and leveling.

In the first two steps, a business commits to lean, then chooses value stream management. In steps three and four, the business learns more about lean and maps its current state. In steps five and six, the business determines lean metrics and develops a map of the future. The final two steps deal with creating and implementing kaizen plans.

The focus on value stream mapping is very timely. This is a popular lean technique that visually represents the material and information flows of a product's production from beginning to end. It guides an organization to breakthrough thinking about ways to optimize an entire process rather than focusing on isolated activities. It enables an organization to achieve radical improvements in lead times and inventory reductions by using continuous flow.

With its many guidelines, checklists and case studies, this book is a good resource for developing implementation strategies. It is recommended for top management, supervisors, managers and team leaders.

The CD-ROM includes a lean manufacturing assessment and other helpful forms and worksheets.

John J. Lanczycki
Creative Planners
Danbury, CT

Lean Enterprise: A Synergistic Approach To Minimizing Waste

William A. Levinson and Raymond A. Rerick, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53201, 2002, 236 pp., $28 member, $35 list (book).

Lean enterprise is a big concept. It can entail all the tools of quality control, process improvement and supply chain management. Levinson and Rerick understand that. Also, they have actually practiced what they have written about. Their examples and anecdotes are not classroom material; they are hard earned lessons from the workplace.

The material can be used to implement lean as well as to teach lean. Levinson and Rerick follow Deming's admonition that there is no learning without theory, and they explain, almost always with economic examples, why we do what we do to "lean out" an enterprise. Different elements of lean are covered in depth, from the theory of constraints to kanban and kaizen blitzes. The authors include formulas for lean thinkers so they can take the book right to the floor and put it to work.

This book covers design for manufacturing and design for assembly, pull systems, and even design of experiments, giving you insight into product development as well as process improvement. It can also form a major part of the Six Sigma curriculum. It should be in the library of every lean sigma practitioner.

Although one or two of the sidebars and tables are a little arcane, this book is a warehouse of practical information. Whether you are already lean or trying to figure out how to get there, this book shows you the basics.

John Zavacki
ITT Industries, FHS
New Lexington, OH

Integrated Product Design and Manufacturing Using Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

Robert G. Campbell, Edward S. Roth and Witi Tame Ihimaera, Marcel Dekker, 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 2002, 352 pp., $150 (book).

This book addresses the difficult task of transforming ideal geometric form (design) into physical reality (product) through a structured product development cycle. The methods presented are intended to generate an ideal design early in the development cycle and thus achieve the most economic benefit from the product.

The methodologies employed require consideration of process variation early in the design cycle. The effects of variation on the design can then be evaluated and the design altered or the variation budgeted among components to an acceptable level of risk.

Getting the data to determine process variation early on requires a team structure and a common language. The common language used is geometric dimensioning and tolerancing based on the ASME Y14.5M standard. Various studies and numerous developed models indicate the later in the design cycle a change is initiated, the more costly and lengthy the product development cycle will be.

The book is arranged in a logical sequence. The reader progresses through basic product definition, ASME Y14.5 concepts and applications, design methodology, producibility, workholding and fixturing, functional gaging and tolerancing, inspection, verification, implementation and process improvement. The authors also provide numerous examples, a case study and a framework for implementation.

I would recommend this as a reference for design, manufacturing and quality assurance personnel involved in product and process design. Anyone interested in improvement of the product development cycle will find the methods useful.

Bryan Ruggles
Sanden International
Allen, TX

The Mahalanobis-Taguchi Strategy

Genichi Taguchi and Rajesh Jugulum, Wiley, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030, 2002, 256 pp., $125 (book).

The Mahalanobis-Taguchi Strategy: A Pattern Technology System introduces a new integrated approach to developing multidimensional measurement scales. The 12 chapters include several case studies and copies of printouts from Minitab and Matlab programs.

The Mahalanobis-Taguchi Strategy (MTS) handles multidimensional systems with multidimensional tools. Taguchi and Jugulum cover a variety of topics, including the role of orthogonal arrays and signal to noise ratios in multivariate diagnostics and applicability of MTS to categorical data. They also provide a brief review of standard multidimensional techniques such as principle component analysis, discriminant analysis, Mahalanobis distances, multivariate process control and artificial neural networks. The review is rather incomplete for readers who do not know these techniques. Some references are listed.

In many ways this book represents a breakthrough in Taguchi's thinking. Most of his work has focused on developing methods yielding reductions in dimensions. The idea of signal to noise performance measures, for example, combines average performance levels and variability into a single performance index. This minimization results in techniques that are simple and easy to apply, hence their popularity.

The book presents several new ideas and opens up new fields of research. It is strongly recommended for researchers and advanced practitioners.

Ron S. Kenett
KPA Ltd.
Raanana, Israel


Improving Healthcare With Control Charts: Basic and Advanced SPC Methods and Case Studies, Raymond G. Carey, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 224 pp., $35 member, $44 list (book).

Pull Production for the Shopfloor, Productivity Press, PO Box 13390, Portland, OR 97213-0390, 2002, 102 pp., $25 (book).

Statistical Process Adjustment for Quality Control, Enrique del Castillo, John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2002, 358 pp., $89.95 (book).

The Six Sigma Memory Jogger II, GOAL/QPC, 2 Manor Parkway, Salem, NH 03079-2841, 2002, 266 pp., $17.95 (book).

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