Targeting Transformation

FOR MORE THAN half a century Dr. Shigeo Shingo has been acknowledged as an engineering genius for his contributions in creating and disseminating the benefits of the Toyota Production System. Today, with a major award bearing his name, this recognition seems destined to continue.1 Yet, despite all of the fanfare, his methods seem generally misunderstood; the general focus of many lean initiatives today appears to be drifting away from the underlying intent of his teachings.

Shingo’s attention was not so much on addressing widespread inefficiencies; instead, his focus seemed to be on advancing key elements making possible deeper aspects of lean transformation. One major emphasis was on speeding equipment changeovers ...

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