Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stop CREATING waste! by Paris Thalassinos

Paris Thalassinos is a mechanical engineer from UCONN with a background in aerospace manufacturing (process, quality, programming), construction, forensic engineering, project and operations management as well as design. (Just want to thank Bill for the opportunity to contribute here on his blog!)

Once you get through the first hurdle of lean, and wow everyone with improved machining times, streamlined flow and fancy charts you start getting the harder questions. How do we apply lean and continuous improvement to processes and "products" you can't see? How do you identify waste when it's not visible as you walk down an aisle
on the shop floor? More importantly, how does this contribute to or cause the VISIBLE waste? This is where the fun begins.

For me, this was an opportunity to analyze each step of the engineering process from design to manufacturability. More times than not, we are guilty of designing waste into our products from the start!


Put the time in up front to establish standards or guidelines for the design process. Standardize your hardware, use off-the-shelf components and justify every decision made. Nemawashi (proceed slowly, consider many options, gain agreement, implement rapidly) is fundamental here.

Do you know what happens when a dozen engineers pick and choose from their own library of hardware, tooling, material types and manufacturing processes?

Good luck sorting through that mess!

The potential to CREATE waste-here is astonishing and focusing on organizing or eliminating this chaos after the fact isn’t solving the problem.
Get everyone thinking about the long-term impact a decision can have on the business. Something as trivial as screw sizes and types can add unnecessary inventory, sabotage your 5S efforts, and add lead time during assembly.

The further you dig into this you’ll see the benefits of standardization through reduced lead time for design packages, fewer engineering change requests (defects) from manufacturing and a decrease in non-value added work before parts can be made.


  1. That's a nice article where you have shared your strategy to reduce the wastes in manufacturing company, It is best lean factor to need for every company. Visit on factorysolutions to get the best information about the Principles of Lean Manufacturing which help your company to reduce wastes.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! Alexander Mirza CEO

  3. Really good post !! thanks to share blog commenting list…
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