'Make it Obvious!'

What is 'World Class Manufacturing'? Perhaps 'World Competitive' is a better expression! There are many complicated definitions of this, but a simple and appealing one is:

'The World Competitive factory is one in which everything is obvious. 

It is crystal clear what should be done and how it should be done.'

The 5Ws + 1H are clear. Problems too are obvious - as are countermeasures. 

This example is one we can see on the roads. Although it is perhaps TPM-related, the principle applies to all genbas - factory, office, shop, classroom, vehicle....

One of the things we have to be sure of is that fasteners on equipment are at the required torque. There are 10 nuts holding each wheel on this lorry. How long would it take to check all the nuts with a spanner?

This lorry has indicators clipped over each nut. If a nut comes loose it is immediately obvious.

Although these plastic tags are available 'off the shelf' for popular sizes, there are other ways of ensuring tightness is obvious. It is easy to paint a line across a joint. It may take a few minutes, but it is quicker and cheaper than having to mop up oil leaks (right)            How long to mark up a railway line?!! ....what do loose rails cost?
Each of these examples, in themselves, is an example of a standard that can be set in a few minutes. It may be individual or team kaizen. Standards can similarly be set for all aspects in the workplace: What temperature should that machine run at? At what point do we replenish the material? Who is trained to do this job? Is the product within specification? Are we meeting today's delivery target?

It becomes so much easier to manage when everything is made obvious!


GENBA KANRI: The web site dedicated to improving manufacturing competitiveness