LEAN - The way ahead

Discussion in 'REME' started by A_Mech, Feb 11, 2007.

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  1. Have been chatting with the boys who were on the same line last year. Apparently yet another unit down the road think its the way forward and a huge sucess everywhere its done. If thats the case why do we still have kit off the road?

    Anyway we think it should be:

    L - loss of Morale
    E - Extra Work
    A - Arrse Working Hours
    N - No Spares, No Life, No one gives a fcuk.

    What do the boys who have done the last 3 WRP and all the other units who have tried it think? :frustrated:
  2. Never been in a Lean unit, but i sounds arse to me, but it will no doubt get some one a MBE some where.
  4. I agree LEAN is Arrse!

    You think you got it bad, I have just spent time on a course at REME Arms School building 13amp plugs for a day to try and demonstrate all the advantages of LEAN!

    Got good at putting plugs together but am seeing a phsycologist to get over the 8 hours of theory bollo*ks after the plugs lesson, with a very interesting Officer.....NOT!!

  5. Lean is a European attempt to conceptualise the Japanese approach to manufacturing and in particular the Toyota Production System (TPS). Like any human system it is mix of processes, methods, tools and a big chunk of culture.

    Thanks to the likes of HMG's favourite consultants, McKinsey, the public sector is now spending £s on slavishly copying an operations management philosophy that has largely failed in the European private sector. Mention Lean in the presence of an average UK operations manager and he'll punch you.

    The main reason for this is that Lean is generally used in the West for short term cost down. This is contrary to the whole point of Lean, it is a long term approach to massively increasing quality and reducing error and variation.
  6. Hmmmm...new to this ARRSE thing, spent lots of time reading stuff by other blokes in THE Corps, never felt the urge to post a comment myself, until now! I've done a bit with LEAN over the past 2 years, started out as the biggest cynic ever (badly bitten on the arse by TQ as a fresh tiffy) and was convinced it was just the latest 'BIG THING' from the ivory tower in Arborfield. I have to say I am a bit of a convert - not that it works all the time, but it is a useful set of ideas when tackling something like a rehab, or putting kit into Ashchurch, - or dare I say it WRP! I was PS at BATUS a few years ago when we did WRP the old-fashioned way with 100+ TS trawled for every year. Of course every unit sent their very best tradesmen, and always sent exactly what was asked for in terms of Trade/Class etc! What did work then was demanding spares in advance, based on what we thought we would use, to ensure they were available. We also produced standard job cards, to avoid too much in the way of In Inspection. Funny old thing...the LEAN approach is to pre-position all the spares you require at the point of repair, and work out beforehand exactly what work you are going to do, based on an agreed output standard. All the other stuff - workspace reorganisation, the 6S's (whatever they are) and all the other 'LEAN speak' Bo*#ocks, is stuff we should be doing anyway - making the workplace a tidy, safe and efficient place to work.
    Anyway - got that off my chest now, I can go back to being the noseyparker. :thumleft:
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing

    Having had the Lean lectures before Lean was adopted as the next saviour of the Corps and reading the comments in this & other posts, the above link may give some idea why a lot of people at the sharp end in REME see it as a failure or the next fad.

    IMO the idea may be good for big coys in civvy strasse, but lack of time, spares, and the constant need to be noticed for that next promotion may just get in the way. The fact is that in civvy strasse you are able to rely on having a static location, doing the same or similar processes to the same or similar equipment and having a workforce that does not constantly change.
  8. Seems that we have a lot of emotive comments from the non converted, if the guy couldnt understand the whole point of the plugs or feels he is so effecient and effective that Lean couldnt help him then love to visit his unit!
    WRP 06/07 is going well as i have seen it! and yes it is processes that we have used before but we never did the planning up front like they have and they are continously improving however the first two WRP proved that without the knowledge and training Lean techniques could not be used successfully.
    Civilian companies are using Lean techniques or 6 sigma as i have been on several interviews so Fred_cat you need to broaden you research.
    At the end of the day use Lean or dont but we all could be more effecient in what we do and spend to much time doing work but the wrong work so get on board or get left behind.

    Aussie army are very interested in it!

    happy for other comments

    Bring it on
  9. Thankfully it hasn't reached the shop floor in Aus yet - we are working quite well without it.
    If the Aussies do take it on, it will be sensibly with no fanfare or forcing it to work - as 2 Bn did, slavishly both in Iraq and Fally.
  10. Well done Nige.

    Be afraid though, it would appear that our LEAN advocate has firmly set his sights on joining you down under.

    It's just a shame that the aussie cricketers are applying LEAN techniques before the World cup starts. I hope you're not laughing too much.
  11. Nige surprising comment coming from an armourer! But 2 Bn is a perfect example of lack of understanding and training but like i said it has its application but its change, took toyota 60 years and they are still learning!
    Coiled spring you seemed to have been burnt by Lean tell us all!
  12. Spurs fan- i've never really been burned by LEAN, the majority of it is common sense. It's just that it takes the old dinosaur (MOD, et al) such a long time to embrace anything remotely "radical" that by the time it has become doctrine another new idea has come along. The poor guy on the shop floor doesn't know if he's coming or going.

    Let's face it currency/competency and REWC's are a prime example of continually moving goal posts.
  13. Hey S_F
    I've nothing against LEAN as such I do have issues with the British Army (REME) application of the techniques. As with TQ etc. it was being force fed from above that we must use the techniques no matter what. The fact that those being asked to implement LEAN had little chance to prepare for the LEAN lines shows that it was doomed to failure.
  14. I agree LEAN line is **** I know of a unit in BATUS right now who are working their tits off, just so some head shed can look good and prove everyone wrong about how great it is. So good in fact that half of the 3/4 of the CS coy (aswell as the whole GS) had to go to make it work and leave naff all support back in camp. Yeah nice one.