Read synopses of lean conference sessions

Tags: lean manufacturing

Reliable Plant magazine’s “Lean Manufacturing 2008: Lean Tools for Maintenance and Reliability” conference will be held October 6-8 at the Marriott Chicago Schaumburg Hotel in suburban Chicago (just a few miles from O’Hare International Airport). Here is a list of this year’s speakers and synopses of their presentations:

Implementing lean tools for long-term success – Are you ready?
Klaus M. Blache
Ph.D., CPE, cost reduction manager, General Motors Corporation
The presentation will begin with a brief overview of select events regarding the beginnings of lean, defining lean, its transformation over the years, and what it has evolved to – specifically what it means to maintenance and reliability today. This will set the stage for a sampling of lessons learned during lean implementation on waste reduction, continuous improvement, standardization, PDCA, flow, problem solving, OEE, ergonomics, maintenance and reliability. The keynote address will converge on topics focused on implementation for long-term success. Discussed will be lean culture readiness, thinking lean, using a total systems approach, assuring strategic alignment and sustaining the lean process.

General Motors has one of the most widespread lean manufacturing initiatives in place in the United States. GM grew interested in lean manufacturing in the early 1980s as it examined elements of the Toyota Production System that had been adopted by several Japanese auto manufacturers. In 1994, GM and Toyota formed a joint venture called the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) to pioneer implementation of lean methods at an automotive manufacturing plant in the U.S. By the early 1990s, the success of NUMMI, among other factors, made it increasingly clear to GM that lean offers potent productivity, product quality and profitability advantages. Today, as one of the planet’s most experienced lean companies, GM’s manufacturing performance has remained strong (even in the midst of an economic downturn), and continues to reach new levels of quality, productivity and asset reliability.

Establishing a maintenance & reliability process for lean success
Wayne Vaughn PE, CMRP
principal consultant, Vesta Partners (and former director of maintenance, Harley-Davidson Motor Company)
It is essential that you start early in establishing a successful maintenance and reliability program. This keynote session will explain how you can get your trades and engineers involved early, and hold people accountable throughout the procurement and commissioning process. It includes a detailed method for creating an asset care program that will deliver the reliability that is expected. This process, a foundational element of any lean program, can be applied to existing equipment and to new equipment. The session, led by the recently retired director of maintenance of Harley-Davidson Motor Company (a role model for any manufacturer looking to go lean), will lay out the entire process, identify key success factors and identify pitfalls that must be avoided. It will also note where there are differences between applying this process to existing equipment and to new equipment.

Lean reliability at Campbell’s Soup: It’s ‘M’m! M’m! Good!’
Samuel Bethea
director of North American reliability, Campbell Soup Company
Thanks to focused lean activities that have impacted reliability, uptime and productivity, Campbell Soup Company is well on its way to realizing its mission of “building the world’s most extraordinary food company.” Simply put, the company aspires to be extraordinary in everything it does. Achieving this lofty goal requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action in both the marketplace and the workplace. Over the past six years, this approach has lifted the company to the upper echelons of performance in the global food industry. In time, the firm believes it will become “truly extraordinary”. The company feels that is has the people, products, capabilities and plans in place to fully bring its mission to life. This keynote session will provide details of how Campbell’s, one of the most visible names in global manufacturing, pursues reliability every day. The company’s North American portfolio includes powerful retail and food service brands, including Campbell’s, Pace, Prego, Swanson, StockPot, V8 and Pepperidge Farm. Its North American business represents $5.2 billion in sales, with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. On a global basis, the company has 40 manufacturing sites that serve customers in 120 countries.

Harley-Davidson and reliability: An interactive discussion
Dana Fluet
lead maintenance and reliability engineer, and members of the plant M&R team, Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson manufacturing is all about predictability. No surprises. No bottlenecks. No breakdowns. No downtime. No muda. What lies ahead is known. Just turn on the production equipment and create. It is the reliability image – the lifestyle – that is built by maintenance and embraced by employees in production, operations, finance, and plant and corporate management. Reliability-fostered predictability is the on ramp to increased output, productivity, efficiency and profitability at this truly American industrial company. Perhaps no Harley-Davidson plant embodies this spirit and vision like its powertrain operations factory located in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls.

This keynote panel discussion session will feature maintenance and reliability leaders from this phenomenal site. It will be captained by Dana Fluet, who has helped implement projects and institute processes that have the plant on path “toward being 100 percent proactive and having zero fire-fighting.” Learn and ask questions during this interactive session!

You simply can’t be lean without reliability
Drew Troyer
CRE, chief executive officer, Noria Corporation
At its core, lean manufacturing is about the elimination of losses – usually called waste by lean practitioners. This is strikingly similar to the field of risk management, which is the focus of reliability management. Reliability practitioners specialize in defining and dimensioning risks to the organization using a variety of tools and techniques. These tools have been proven over the decades in industries where risk management really counts – aviation and nuclear power to name a few. In this keynote address, we’ll discuss how to define your losses in macroeconomic terms to define your Bold Outrageous Goal (BOG), then discuss how to apply modified versions of the same tools employed by reliability practitioners in the aviation industry to define and dimension – in monetary terms – specific wastes that equate to lost profit for your organization. Armed with this information, you’re positioned to prioritize loss areas for elimination, proceeding with confidence that you’re driving value for your organization.

Lean, clean and green: Baxter Healthcare at work
Manufacturing EHS Leaders
Mike Fisher, manager of EHS engineering, and Pat Bartholomew, director of EHS management systems, Baxter Healthcare
Baxter Healthcare is proactively addressing environmental issues by driving greater operating efficiencies, adopting new technologies, and collaborating through public and private partnerships. Such initiatives have helped the company achieve a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production and a 22 percent improvement in energy efficiency per unit of production. The company also estimates that the investments it has made in recent years yielded $80 million in savings and cost avoidance, with $9 million of that from energy savings alone. The benefits go far beyond cost avoidance and energy or raw material savings. Many of the initiatives the company has put in place have yielded higher quality levels, greater production output and flexibility, reduced waste, and improvements in workplace safety.

Tools to achieve zero-breakdown lean maintenance systems
Jay Lee
director, University of Cincinnati/National Science Foundation Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems
This insightful presentation will introduce state-of-the-art and prognostics technologies and most commonly used predictive maintenance tools for machine monitoring and failure prevention. Case studies in different industries (semiconductor manufacturing, automotive, transportation, power generation, etc.) will be presented. Attendees will be able to learn how to use these tools and technologies to:
1. Improve machinery reliability, manufacturing equipment uptime, production throughput and product quality.
2. Generate useful information from manufacturing equipment for real-time quality assurance, process degradation assessment, supplier evaluation and management, and closed-loop product life cycle systems.
3. Develop an integrated IT-enabled system for zero-breakdown lean maintenance systems.

Lean reliability pays off big for Alcoa power plant
Richard T. (Rick) Fox
operations and maintenance manager, and members of the plant M&R team, Alcoa Power Generating Inc.
Alcoa’s Warrick Power Plant in Newburgh, Ind., is old. Eighty percent of the equipment is original (vintage mid- to late 1950s and early 1960s). That creates some sizeable challenges for the plant and its maintenance organization. After many years of struggling with a reactive, chaos-heavy environment, the plant found a way to turn the corner. Waste and inefficiency were greatly reduced, in some aspects eliminated, by incorporating elements of the Alcoa Business System, including greater planning and scheduling, maximized planned downtime, asset history, standardized work, predictive maintenance and a focus on the root cause of failures. Alcoa has seen that if the equipment is more reliable, there is less downtime, fewer unplanned outages and fewer emergencies. Greater reliability generally means reduced maintenance costs and lower total costs for the power plant. And, if it can provide low-cost power as well as reliability (no off-line situations), the adjacent Alcoa smelting plant does not have to procure power from the outside market, where the costs are generally two to three times higher.

In this interactive panel discussion, maintenance manager Rick Fox and members of his maintenance and reliability team will explain how the Alcoa plant made this monumental change happen and answer your questions on a host of lean reliability related subjects.

Leading the lean reliability initiative
David Hicks, PE
outreach faculty member, AuburnUniversity
Lean implementations primarily fail due to a lack of management support and clear connections between lean activities and bottom-line results. In sports, players are told to “keep your eye on the ball,” and then receive training and coaching in the basic techniques required for success. Maintenance leaders are expected to embrace lean principles and put them into action, often with only a brief overview of the principles. This Leading Lean presentation provides a systematic approach to leading lean transformations in all areas, including maintenance and reliability. The system starts with Leader Standardized Work, supported by Visual Metrics that make unusual situations obvious. The anomalies are then attacked using structured problem-solving techniques and communicated in an A3 format. Improvement ideas are placed into a visual accountability system that supports quick, effective status meetings to drive continuous improvement. Leaders using this system have seen improvements in throughput, costs, revenues, inventories, maintenance and employee involvement. This session is perfect if you have been given the task of bringing lean into your plant’s M&R functions.

Zone control: Laying the foundation for lean success
Todd Bennett
president, United Southern Industries, and Sam McPherson, lean enterprise and public sector consultant, Shingo Prize
The foundation of the House of the Toyota Production System is “Stability in the 4 Ms (man, machine, methods and materials).” Zone control is Toyota’s little-understood territorial management system that provides machine-intensive operations the same breakthrough performance that cellular manufacturing provides assembly operations. Zone control is a “severe way”, but it was the method for United Southern Industries to achieve basic stability in its machine-intensive custom injection-molding operation. During this session, USI president Todd Bennett and lean enterprise transformation sensei Sam McPherson will share how to: organize your operations for zone control; organize zone control’s “chain of responsibility”; organize the “chain of response” protocols; create zone leader roles and responsibilities; set progressive SMART goals for zones; and develop zone cadence management activities and zone leader standard work in support of zone control.

Lean streamlines maintenance planning
Mike Bresko
managing director and principal consultant, General Physics
This presentation will show how to apply the principle of lean flow to maintenance down-day and outage planning, and explains how some commonly held beliefs in maintenance organizations lead to planning rework and waste. It highlights how early cut-off dates for new outage work can paradoxically cause more work and poor planning when viewed through the lens of the lean waste of overproduction. It will explain how to group job types, and involve and manage functions other than planning to streamline the maintenance work cycle and achieve high readiness for the start of the outage.

Eaton Lean System increases productivity, uptime
Mark Steward
Operational Excellence team leader, Eaton Corporation
Eaton’s team organization provides an active Lean Six Sigma manufacturing process to reduce setup, increase uptime, reduce costs, reduce lead times and provide a superior product. This is achieved through, among other things, the: development of kanban programs with customer input; continual review of current state map to improve lead-times; setup reduction focus; 6-S plant cleanliness, organization and safety; TPM kaizen events; continuous flow methods; and, value steam mapping exercises.

Eaton’s Watertown, Wis., facility, the focus of this case study session, is part of the company’s Electrical Group. It employs approximately 290 people who manufacture printed circuit board assemblies, meters, relays and enclosed drives for the electrical industrial, commercial and construction markets. Eaton Corporation is a global leader in electrical systems and components for power quality, distribution and control; fluid power systems and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment; intelligent truck drivetrain systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, powertrain solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has 62,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 125 countries.

Employing kaizen to increase worker safety on the plant floor
Bob Hafey
director of lean operations, Flexible Steel Lacing Company
Flexible Steel Lacing Company is no stranger to lean manufacturing concepts. Flexco has been aggressively using them at its plant in Downers Grove, Ill., for more than a decade. One focus area has been the use of kaizen activities to improve the safety of maintenance and production workers. Such efforts have resulted in a phenomenal safety record and a culture where workers are continually on the lookout for ways to make their workplace safer. This case study will open your eyes to tools and tactics that will reduce and/or eliminate safety incidents and, not coincidentally, increase productivity, performance and reliability.

WIKA maintenance: A vision to the future
Rick Reed
director of Continuous Improvement, WIKA Instrument Corporation

This presentation will outline how WIKA uses a kaizen methodology to identify the vision or strategy necessary to begin driving continuous improvement into the maintenance areas. We will look at maintenance from the 50,000-foot level down to the floor level. This presentation outlines a WIKA proven methodology that will develop both long range and short range plans to achieve the success in maintenance that has already been achieved in manufacturing.

Revamping the plant through lean, Six Sigma
Frank Bailey
plant manager, LAI International
LAI International is a premier manufacturer of precision-engineered components and assemblies for aerospace, power generation, defense and other advanced technology industries. Its facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., is realizing amazing dividends from its implementation of lean and Six Sigma. The site has trained 57 percent of its employees in Six Sigma practices, and has technicians, engineers and quality managers certified as Six Sigma black belts. LAI has created seven project teams as a result of lean production initiatives, which focus on eliminating waste from processes. A recently completed lean project reduced data-entry steps and setup times for a production sub-assembly, producing projected savings of more than $100,000. LAI has initiated additional lean efforts, including adding visual management tools and implementing audited 5-S programs, a methodology to organize and improve the workplace. It also regularly utilizes kaizen events to examine and retool processes and eliminate waste.

Casting a mold for lean success
Dean Jones
training supervisor, Grede Foundries, and David Townsend, manufacturing specialist, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Grede Foundries Inc., founded in 1920, produces ferrous castings for the OEM automotive and construction equipment industries in 10 locations around the Midwest. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a non-profit private corporation dedicated to helping manufacturers in and around Wisconsin by improving costs, implementing lean and quality systems and assisting in top-line growth. Grede’s lean journey began in April 2006 when WMEP was asked by a major customer of theirs to assist Grede in improving lead-times on a critical part. A timeline of lean projects traces Grede’s lean journey from that first project to the present and beyond.

Projects described include value stream mapping for two processes, Total Productive Maintenance for two troublesome machines, 5-S for the plant and office, quick changeover for three production areas and kaizen events for rapid improvement. Where projects are complete, actual dollar savings are projected. Several before-and-after photos are employed to demonstrate the effects of the projects. The presentation ends with a reflection on what went well and what to build on.

Reliability tools in the lean journey – A practicum
Drew Troyer
CRE, chief executive officer, Noria Corporation
This session is an extension of the concepts described in Drew’s keynote address. In this practicum, we’ll learn how to deploy an integrated suite of reliability management in a manufacturing organization to define and dimension loss areas, then target them for elimination. These tools include functional/reliability block diagrams (F/RBD), failure reporting and corrective action system (FRACAS), dollarized process failure modes and effects analysis (DPFMEA), and root cause analysis (RCA). We’ll use live examples to demonstrate the power of these tools.

Improve your productivity and reduce your total cost
Kevin A. Hartler
director, Grainger Consulting Services, W.W. Grainger
In an increasingly competitive global environment, organizations must innovate to find opportunities to improve their productivity and reduce total cost. Initiatives that consider ALL aspects of process improvement and waste reduction will find the greatest level of success in improving efficiency. This session will provide you with a host of ideas to increase the performance of your plant maintenance and reliability team and offer up methods to work more closely and strategically with your distributors of maintenance, repair and operations tools and supplies.

To register for the conference, call 800-597-5460 or visit for details. New Call-to-action