Ruggles Leads Workshops on Lean Problem Solving for Manufacturing


(Cambridge, NY April 26 and May 10, 2017) Our COO, Bill Ruggles, delivered the 2nd of two 4-hour workshops on "Intro to Lean Problem Solving & Continuous Improvement for Manufacturing" on behalf of SUNY Adirondack CC and the R.G. Freeman Group for a group of 10 Supervisors from Morcon, Inc. a paper manufacturer in Upstate New York.

Modules included a brief Introduction to each of the following topics:

  • The Concepts of Lean, Kaizen, Practical Problem Solving, and Lean Manufacturing,
  • The Principles of World Class Manufacturing and Good Manufacturing Practices,
  • Performing a 5S +1 technique,
  • Identifying the 7 Deadly Wastes +1 technique, and
  • Performing a Root Cause Analysis Using the Fishbone Diagram and 5 Why's tools

Along with brief lectures introducing each of these topics, a total of 6 Gemba Academy video-clips and 3 hands-on exercises were interspersed throughout the 1st session to provide a variety of instructional media that kept the pace moving briskly.

At the end of the session, the 10 participants were assigned "homework" in the form of applying one or more of the 3 tools/techniques to their real-world processes or work areas in the factory.

Just before the 2nd session on May 10th, Bill performed a 1-hour "Gemba Walk" in the Main Mill to demonstrate another of the Lean Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement techniques: "Genchi Genbutsu":  "go see where the work is actually being done".  However, instead of using the "Stand-in-the-Circle" technique, he improvised and used an "Eye-In-The-Skybox" approach.

Then, that afternoon, the students did a "Show & Tell" demonstrating how they applied the assigned practical problem solving tools and techniques to make a difference on-the-job. It went very well!

Hopefully, this "appetizer" training experience will lead them to make a full-fledged commitment to embark on the "Lean Manufacturing Journey" in the not-too-distant future.


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