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Creating flow by eliminating waste

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 07:00
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Strangely enough, you'll probably never run into anyone at a Lean Manufacturing conference named Tim Woods. If so, he'll likely be the most glared-at guy in the room. That's because "TIMWOODS" is an actual acronym for the eight most dreaded forms of waste in a production environment. They're the key reasons for costly disruptions in your shop's productivity. Read on to determine if your operation is being victimized by any of these profit busters.

TRANSPORTATION: Eliminate movement, reduce waste
Transportation involves the movement of people, product and information. The more movement (the more that vehicle is pulled in and out of the shop, for instance), the less efficient the process is, the more time is wasted and the higher the risk of mistakes occurring. 

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In a traditional environment, that could mean frequent visits to the storeroom every time a part is needed. Once that part is located, it has to be moved to the respective job site. Or, when orders arrive, techs generally have to pull their own parts from a centralized material location and transport those parts to their work stations.

In a process-centered environment, "kits" (or parts carts) are assembled and equipped with ALL parts, materials and detailed information (and even photos and voice recordings highlighting special instructions for the tech) for point-of-use access. Because parts are mirror-matched prior to joining the repair kit, the techs never have to wander the shop floor looking for missing components for the job or discover late in the game that they have a damaged or incorrect part.

The key to eliminating transport waste is to decrease unnecessary distance traveled by the tech in the repair of the vehicle, which greatly reduces the time required to get the job done right.

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