A chain is only as strong as its weakest link - but first you have to find the link. For manufacturers embracing lean manufacturing concepts, it often takes months if not years of effort before they realize that machine maintenance is holding back their broader lean goals.
It's not uncommon for companies to jump into the lean philosophy, yet not understand how far it will reach into the organization. Equipment maintenance exemplifies the problem. It can lie at the very heart of productivity, but at the same time, those responsible for maintenance are often the last employees to be identified and included. Training, motivating and equipping operators and maintenance workers to proactively complete the tasks needed for reliable production capacity is key to successful lean implementation.
There are other examples.
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