Just back from doing a Muda walk with a client. A Muda or Waste walk is when you go to the line and deliberately look for examples of motion, transport, unnecessary inventory, waiting, over production, defects and unnecessary processing. We saw a lot of defects and hats of the company for going out there to tackle the problems they now see.
The issue we decided to focus on was a simple one. A package would fall over, stopping the line, requiring an operator to go (run) over reset the package and restart the line. We counted approximately 10 line stops in a 20 minute window.
How to solve this problem, well it is a matter of go see again. Where does the package fall over, pretty quickly the team narrowed it down to a 1 meter section of line. The homework for the team is to identify where exactly it falls over. Then between the operators, supervisor and maintenance the actual cause of the tottering packages will be understood. One thing I know, everything about this old problem is going to be solved by going and seeing.
I'll let you know how they progress on their first quality improvement/waste removal project.