Lean Labs: Improving Lab Efficiency through Workspace Improvements

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Presented by: Michele Chaffey, The Boeing Company

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  • Two main things that make this approach different and better than the typical “Lean out and reorganize” approach.
    Need to take all these people (or at least their input) into a unified team
    Educate on goals and seek their input on the goals and how they think they should be implemented
    This will increase buy-in…
    Important to start engaging staff several weeks before the event
    One negative person can change the team morale and the success of the lab event
  • Efficient space can allow for a reduced footprint
  • This lab was set up for a new material with unique processes.
    They have rearranged it many times as they have worked out their process flow
    New equipment comes in, older equipment has or will soon be moved out
  • Moonshine shops are machine or tooling areas in your company where people think up and build solutions for your issues.
    This is usually cheaper and faster than sending out to an outside company for custom items.
    We did, however find that if we could find something off-the-shelf to meet our needs it was the least expensive and usually most efficient method.
    The Lean Labs team was surprised at how much stuff we found on-line.
    We were able to get much more equipment for the money.
  • Left – My mixing room: Was a small paint room off another lab. They wanted us sealed off, which made room seem even smaller.
    Chem labs next to us had a small room off of one of their labs they didn’t really use, so they gave it to us, and we split the cost to tear down the wall between, making a decent little L-shaped room for us to do this kind of messy work.
  • The program has each lab fill out a survey after the event and rate their satisfaction with experience and the outcome
  • Lean Labs: Improving Lab Efficiency through Workspace Improvements

    1. 1. Engineering, Operations & Technology BR&T BOEING is a trademark of Boeing Management Company. Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Lean Labs: Improving Lab Efficiency through Workspace Improvements SWE 2013 National Conference October 25, 2013 Michele Chaffey The Boeing Company
    2. 2. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 2 What is Lean Labs?  Lean  Set of tools and techniques used to manage a work environment in a more safe and efficient way  Laboratory environment  Eliminate wasted space time, and motion, and unnecessary supplies, stock, and equipment  Streamline workflow  Improve safety and ergonomics  Boeing program developed in 2011 to help BR&T labs become more efficient  Based upon Lean implementation in the Boeing Interiors Lab ~ 2008  Over 25 labs in BR&T have used the program Lean Labs is not research, it’s improving the business side of research
    3. 3. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 3 Simple, Team-Based Approach  Well-defined, short-term project to improve one existing process or workspace  Involve all the stakeholders from the beginning  Input work and/or requirements  Customers of output/results  Work the process and utilize the space  Unified team - Input from everyone  Educate staff on the Lean goals  Increase buy-in for the improved process/workspace Not management pushing a new set of requirements or methods onto staff Is whole team working together to improve processes
    4. 4. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 4 Know Your Objectives First  Identify major issues  Workflow  Storage  Equipment / tools (use, location)  Tracking / prioritization of jobs  Set aside specific time to tackle each issue  Designated shut-down time (e.g. 1 continuous week)  Specific regular short spans of time (1-2 hours /day)  Increase efficiency by working smarter  Be willing to spend some budget on organizational equipment  Make the space work for the processes not vice versa Improvements do not come by accident, they must be deliberate
    5. 5. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 5 Benefits Experienced by All Stakeholders  Improved Utilization of space  Improved Efficiency  Improved Morale  Avoid costs due to Quality Findings  Avoid costs due to Safety and Ergonomic issues  Improved Customer Satisfaction Improvements will not last unless everyone benefits
    6. 6. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 6 How Does it Work? What Does it Look Like? Following are specific examples and lessons learned from Extreme Environments R&D labs workshop  What we do  Perform research, development, and testing for Boeing organizations  Fabrication of test articles  Labs have many years of inventory, equipment, and consolidated workspace  Our goals for Lean Lab Event  Improve workflow through lab  Excess unused/out-of-date tools, equipment, supplies, etc.  Organize usable tools, supplies, materials  ADD MORE HERE Labs may not be production areas, but they still need to deliver
    7. 7. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 7 Don’t Let Tradition Dictate Your Space Replace out-of-date or previous process set-ups, equipment, and storage with what works for current processes or projects Before After
    8. 8. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 8 One Lab’s Treasure is Another Lab’s Trash Just because it is a great piece of equipment, does not mean it is right for your application Before After
    9. 9. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 9 Shelving, Wheels, and Label Makers – Oh My! Clutter and precarious box stacking are physically dangerous Bad or no labeling system is fiscally dangerous After Off the shelf storage solutions - more cost effective Before
    10. 10. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 10 Organize Storage to Meet Your Needs Before  No organization of test specimens  Tool boxes blocked  Overhead cabinets inaccessible After  Wire racks configured for high volume specimen retention  Tools and supplies moved to more accessible areas
    11. 11. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 11 Invest in Storage Solutions Supplies/equipment in plain sight remain more organized Mobile tool racks can be moved to point of use
    12. 12. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 12 Before Utilize Space Efficiently and Make it Flexible  Electronic storage requires less space than paper  Moveable work tables make space reconfigurable  Keep tools & equipment at point-of-use locations After
    13. 13. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 13 Let it Roll! Furniture on wheels allows easy lab reconfiguration
    14. 14. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 14 Utilize “Moonshine Shops” for Custom Needs
    15. 15. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 15 Set up Space for Specific Projects where Possible Active Flow Control LabAblator Mix room Utilizing Lean to enable and facilitate more effective research
    16. 16. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 16 Take it Away!  Lean Labs is a deliberate concentrated approach to increasing lab efficiency through workspace improvements  Must engage all staff involved with the lab including engineers, technicians, customers, and managers  Make the space work for the processes in the lab  Customize storage solutions for specific needs  Many off the shelf solutions can be tailored to your requirements  Clear out the clutter  Make workspace reconfigurable (even specific process space)  Keep tools/equipment at point-of-use  Post-event self-discipline is the hardest part  Keep staff involved from the start  Get buy-in to the philosophy with on-going management support
    17. 17. Engineering, Operations & Technology | BR&T Copyright © 2013 Boeing. All rights reserved. Materials & Manufacturing Technology 17 Does it Work? Before After BR&T Lean Labs program has an average score of 4.2/5.0 from participants
    18. 18. Copyright © 2011 Boeing. All rights reserved.

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