• To be continued…

    To be continued…

    Tom Southworth || May 22, 2012
    Five years ago, Jack Kenny and I had a conversation about Lean for an article that appeared in Label and Narrow Web. In that article I spoke about how some printers, more specifically label converters, had begun to dabble in some of the Lean tools wi…

  • Don’t go Lean

    Don’t go Lean

    Tom Southworth || April 19, 2012
    That got your attention, didn’t it? What on earth do I mean, don’t go Lean?

  • Gemba walks

    Tom Southworth || March 8, 2012
    Let me start off by asking you a question. Have you heard of the word gemba before and, if you have, what does gemba mean to you?  Gemba is a Japanese word that means the real or actual place. Walking the gemba, the real or actual place, is a k…

  • The 3P’s of kaizen

    Tom Southworth || January 18, 2012
    Lean practitioners are familiar with Production Preparation Process, or 3P, which enables organizations to eliminate waste using a rigorous, structured process. Many companies are familiar with eliminating waste through kaizen, or continuous improvem…

  • ‘I don’t have time’

    Tom Southworth || November 18, 2011
    The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: I did not have time. – Franklin Field Over and over, after running through a problem solving session or providing training on proper job instruction, I’l…

  • The Value of a Value Stream Map

    October 4, 2011
    Everything you do, from door to dock, is what makes up your value stream.

  • Look before you leap

    July 12, 2011
    Due diligence is needed prior to embarking on any improvement plan Lean included.

  • A War on Waste

    May 24, 2011
    There are approximately 12 million people working in manufacturing in the United States at roughly 332,000 companies. Most of these employees work for small to mid-size firms, those employing 250 or fewer people. Ninety-seven percent of manufacturing…

  • It's Easy Being Green

    April 11, 2011
    Here it is, spring, that time of year when we turn to cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning, all in an attempt to clear the winter blues from our minds and from our surroundings. Time to go from the blues to green, but why is it that we focus on being…

  • What's it all about, Alfie?

    March 11, 2011
    Lean, more popularly (and in my opinion, misguidedly) referred to as "Lean Manufacturing," has been getting a slow reception and even a bad rap in many commercial and industrial communities, and the print industry is not immune to this criticism. I s…

  • Visual controls

    January 18, 2011
    Visual controls are some of the most commonly used tools in the Lean toolbox. They, along with other tools such as 5S, quick changeover, point of use storage and a Kanban system, can have tremendous impact on any operation and help to identify waste…

  • Muda, mura, muri

    November 11, 2010
    Over the past few years we've tackled what is considered to be the major focal point of any Lean enterprise: the complete elimination of waste. These wastes, for any manufacturing environment, are often expressed with an easy to remember acronym-cum-…

  • You say tomato, I say tomato

    October 11, 2010
    Several times over the past few years I have written, both here in this column and on my blog, that I consider myself to be a perpetual student when it comes to all things Lean. While the word Lean may be relatively new when applied to the…

  • Developing a Lean Thinking Workforce

    August 27, 2010
    So much time and energy has been spent and will continue to be spent on learning and using the tools of Lean that we've all become very familiar with. Tools like value stream mapping, 5S, point-of-use-storage and kanban can be easy to understand sinc…

  • Enterprise-wide Lean

    July 14, 2010
    This issue will mark three years since I first starting writing the Printing Lean column for Label & Narrow Web. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday that Jack Kenny and I were having a conversation about contributing something to the…