lean engineering

All articles about lean engineering

Start with product takt-time
December 19, 2023
Start with product takt-time

FEATURE – By adopting a product takt time perspective, we can better align engineering decisions with market demands, leading to better design, manufacturing, and material choices.

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Breaking new ground in product development
July 6, 2023
Breaking new ground in product development

INTERVIEW – Drawing on 33 years of experience working in product development at Caterpillar, the interviewee reflects on lean in engineering.

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The 7-year LPPD journey of TechnipFMC
June 28, 2023
The 7-year LPPD journey of TechnipFMC

INTERVIEW – In this Q&A, the Chief of Transformation of oil and gas company TechnipFMC tells us about their experience implementing Lean Product and Process Development.

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The power of people: adapting to changing times
February 3, 2023
The power of people: adapting to changing times

CASE STUDY – A people-centric approach to work, improvement, and the adoption of automation is allowing this Norwegian company to thrive in a changing industry and environment.

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Learning our way to the top of the mountain
July 13, 2020
Learning our way to the top of the mountain
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CASE STUDY – By building Lean Thinking into its processes and culture and developing people’s capabilities, this Norwegian company serving the oil&gas sector achieved fantastic results.

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How lean is enabling the growth of a Turkish company
July 18, 2017
How lean is enabling the growth of a Turkish company

CASE STUDY – With plans to double capacity year on year in its new precision machining business, a Turkish company found in lean a way to control growth by stabilizing old processes while new ones are introduced.

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How lean is enabling the growth of a Turkish company
July 18, 2017
How lean is enabling the growth of a Turkish company

CASE STUDY – With plans to double capacity year on year in its new precision machining business, a Turkish company found in lean a way to control growth by stabilizing old processes while new ones are introduced.

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An experiment with cellular thinking
June 18, 2020
An experiment with cellular thinking

INTERVIEW – Today’s story takes us to Iceland, where a senior leader in a utility company introduced cellular thinking to her team in a bid to improve flexibility and better working conditions.

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Understanding the context of your process
March 17, 2022
Understanding the context of your process

SERIES – The authors discuss the first of six elements in their process development model – Context – highlighting the importance of gaining clarity on the objectives of the process being created.

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Pathways to reduce emissions
November 11, 2021
Pathways to reduce emissions

FEATURE - Imagine targeting a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by setting our lean minds to it? The authors discuss building better, circular supply chains and designing sustainable products.

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Lean and the global Covid-19 vaccine race
November 5, 2020
Lean and the global Covid-19 vaccine race

CASE STUDY – Pall Corporation used lean product and process development principles to create the process to produce billions of doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 in record time.

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Five key takeaways from our lean week visiting Toyota
November 17, 2017
Five key takeaways from our lean week visiting Toyota

ROUND-UP – The Lean Global Network’s week in Japan in September was full of learning and inspiration. We asked five LGNers to share their biggest takeaways.

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The power of visual thinking
September 7, 2020
The power of visual thinking

FEATURE – How does visual thinking practically help an organization? The author discusses three different ways in which it can be used to benefit a business and help it to improve itself.

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Three strategies to reuse product knowledge
August 17, 2020
Three strategies to reuse product knowledge

FEATURE – Developing new products faster than our competitors can make or break a company. The authors share three strategies to reuse our engineering knowledge and build a competitive advantage.

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Lean caters for our product development needs
March 19, 2019
Lean caters for our product development needs

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This French company has completely transformed its approach to designing and introducing new products to market by embracing lean product development ideas.

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Where the true strength of an obeya lies
December 4, 2018
Where the true strength of an obeya lies

FEATURE – The obeya room limits the number of unknowns before we start developing a product. In this sense, it’s a tool for discovery more than it is for delivery.

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John Shook discusses Toyota and Japan at Nagoya station
October 10, 2017
John Shook discusses Toyota and Japan at Nagoya station
John Shook in Toyota City with the LGN

INTERVIEW – For its 10th anniversary, the Lean Global Network went to Japan for a study mission. Our editor spoke with John Shook on a Shinkansen platform after four days in Toyota City and Nagoya.

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Lean thinking unleashes your power to innovate
March 24, 2017
Lean thinking unleashes your power to innovate

OPINION – Our systems to develop new products are slow and inadequate for the ever-changing markets we have to work in. The author describes the three lean elements that will unlock your potential to innovate.

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People development and competitivess - the Alliance story
May 15, 2017
People development and competitivess - the Alliance story

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – This month, Catherine visits a metal injection moulding specialist and hears about the strong link between growing people’s capabilities with lean thinking and staying competitive in a complex market.

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Grasping the paradoxes of lean to learn leadership
January 25, 2017
Grasping the paradoxes of lean to learn leadership

PROFILE – We may think it is cut and dried, but lean thinking is, in fact, full of paradoxes and trade-offs. According to Cécile Roche, learning to navigate them is one of the defining traits of a lean leader.

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How Iceland firm Marel motivated engineers with a hackathon
August 3, 2016
How Iceland firm Marel motivated engineers with a hackathon

FEATURE – As an experiment to boost cross-functional collaboration, creativity and joy on the workplace, Iceland-based machining manufacturer Marel recently ran a hackathon. Here's what the experience taught them.

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Durward Sobek shares a few valuable insights on LPPD
July 8, 2016
Durward Sobek shares a few valuable insights on LPPD

90-SECOND Q&A – At a recent summit, our editor Roberto Priolo sat down with Durward Sobek to discuss design thinking, obstacles to the application of lean in product and process development, and why LPPD in services is a bit different.

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Leveraging lean to create a new product… and process
April 14, 2023
Leveraging lean to create a new product… and process

INTERVIEW – In 2020, GE Appliances had to stand up a brand-new assembly process for a new dishwasher. The leader responsible for the program explains how LPPD helped them to get it right.

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Getting started with lean process development
September 16, 2022
Getting started with lean process development

SERIES – In the final article in their series on lean process development, the authors discuss what it takes to get started with their 6CON process development model.

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The competitive advantage of lean process creation
February 17, 2022
The competitive advantage of lean process creation

SERIES – The authors of The Power of Process open their new series by explaining why it’s critical to integrate product and process development.

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Production as a mirror to the organization
September 30, 2021
Production as a mirror to the organization

FEATURE – The gemba tells us more than we think. The authors discuss what we need to look at during our walks to understand the impact of non-manufacturing functions on the overall process.

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Is radical quality possible in the tech industry?
September 8, 2021
Is radical quality possible in the tech industry?

FEATURE - The author explains how a recent book on radical quality improvement in manufacturing inspired him to initiate similar experiments in his software development firm.

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The “mangineer” and people development
September 24, 2020
The “mangineer” and people development

FEATURE – Sometimes you just need to get creative: as part of its flexible manufacturing model, Esquel introduced a new role on its shop floor – the “mangineer”.

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Learning fast in the crisis
April 15, 2020
Learning fast in the crisis

NOTES FROM THE (VIRTUAL) GEMBA – This small manufacturer is relying on Lean Thinking to keep the business running during the Covid-19 crisis, overcome the disruption in its supply chain, and even innovate.

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Benefits and difficulties of using a Concept Paper
July 23, 2019
Benefits and difficulties of using a Concept Paper

CASE STUDY – TechnipFMC has introduced the Concept Paper in its lean product development process. This article shares some of the learnings resulting from the experience.

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Where are we in lean product development?
September 2, 2019
Where are we in lean product development?

FEATURE – The authors discuss some of the most common problems that product development teams experience and what an effective assessment tool for engineering looks like.

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Surviving an inflection point
April 9, 2019
Surviving an inflection point

FEATURE – The car industry is undergoing incredible change and ‘disruption’ is the word on everyone’s lips. How can companies survive it? Once again, Toyota shows us the way.

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Flexible by design
March 12, 2019
Flexible by design

FEATURE – By leveraging lean product and process development principles, Nichirin Spain is becoming more flexible managing last-minute changes in product design requested by customers.

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Detecting improvement opportunities
February 19, 2019
Detecting improvement opportunities

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – A culture in which problems are tackled as soon as they appear and the production and product development teams work closely together is helping this French healthcare technology company to thrive.

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Efficient product design under the sea
February 2, 2019
Efficient product design under the sea

CASE STUDY – Designing good products is challenging in itself, but doing so in harsh, impenetrable environments like the seafloor presents even bigger problems. The answer? Lean product development.

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Learning a different way of thinking in Japan
August 10, 2018
Learning a different way of thinking in Japan

FEATURE – Study tours in Japan are an increasingly popular learning tool for lean practitioners. The author reflects on the first ever tour she ran and on what it left people with.

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A well-engineered product is easy to make
June 15, 2018
A well-engineered product is easy to make
LPPD Schilling Robotics interview

INTERVIEW – Convinced that a product that is correctly engineered is easy to manufacture, this product development unit relies on lean thinking to ensure its remotely operated vehicles perform at their best.

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Using LPPD ideas and techniques in a healthcare setting
March 30, 2018
Using LPPD ideas and techniques in a healthcare setting

FEATURE – This article (and video) explains how Michigan Medicine applied lean product and process development tools and methods to their clinical processes. A powerful experiment.

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What TNGA teaches us about resilience and responsibility
November 27, 2017
What TNGA teaches us about resilience and responsibility

FEATURE – Following a webinar with product development expert Jim Morgan, the author reflects on what the Toyota New Global Architecture and Chief Engineer system can teach us.

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A ten-year lean product development journey at Carel SpA
November 13, 2017
A ten-year lean product development journey at Carel SpA

INTERVIEW – A specialist in control solutions for air-conditioning, refrigeration and heating, Carel Industries first applied lean to R&D a decade ago, when few companies did. We asked them how their journey unfolded.

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Managing digital product teams to outcomes instead of output
June 13, 2017
Managing digital product teams to outcomes instead of output

FEATURE – A traditional output-based mindset is not appropriate in the digital world. In this piece, the author explains why digital product teams should be managed to outcomes, instead.

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A gemba walk at a manufacturer of tablet inspecting machines
April 6, 2017
A gemba walk at a manufacturer of tablet inspecting machines

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – Follow Catherine on another one of her gemba walks around French companies. This time, she visits a manufacturer of inspecting machines near Bordeaux, with a visionary leader and a great story.

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When technology hinders our ability to innovate
December 19, 2016
When technology hinders our ability to innovate

OPINION – In a competitive and unpredictable market, the temptation to rely on technology is always strong, but experience proves that there is no better support than people's ability to learn and adapt to new situations.

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The incredible lean turnaround of an engineering department
October 20, 2016
The incredible lean turnaround of an engineering department

FEATURE – A French automotive supplier has been applying lean principles to transform its engineering department with great results. In the process, they have realized they could put in place a really effective system to build innovation.

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The story of the lean transformation of a crane manufacturer
July 6, 2016
The story of the lean transformation of a crane manufacturer

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – In the past 15 months Terex Cranes has successfully initiated a lean transformation. Follow Catherine Chabiron on her gemba walk to see what this large company is doing to put learning at the heart of its activities.

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The importance of new product development
March 26, 2014
The importance of new product development

INTERVIEW - Jim Morgan looks back at his years at Ford Motor Company and talks about the challenges and opportunities of applying lean management ideas to new product development .

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