At this point, all current mapping is complete, and waste or non-value-adding steps have been removed from the process to the extent possible. In this chapter, cleaning techniques are applied to remaining process steps in order to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Cleaning can be thought of as the difference between the Japanese and American views of process improvement. Americans say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Japanese say, “If it isn’t perfect, perfect it.” This chapter’s techniques all relate to perfecting otherwise operational process steps.
To begin this discussion, we add two techniques critical in complex process control: statistical process control, which is discussed in ...