Get There Faster

Abstract:While traditional value stream maps (VSMs), 5S workplace organization, and spaghetti diagrams are crucial tools for the lean practitioner, they do not lend themselves readily to quantifying waste associated with transporting things throughout a facility. A VSM is effective at revealing bottlenecks and excessive inventory, along with depicting signals to relieve and replenish inventory. A spaghetti diagram qualitatively depicts physical movement through the workspace, and the 5S method lays out a workstation for effectiveness and efficiency. However, none of these methods inherently quantify the distances and times wasted due to transport. The article describes tangible methods that can be followed to identify, quantify, and reduce transport waste. It also explains how to use measurements to estimate person-hours consumed during transport operations, and what specific factors to consider for identifying and implementing improvements. A case study focusing on the reconfiguration of a …

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