Introducing Takt, Flow & Pull into Assembly

Note: we held this event in July of 2006 - It was my first event as the certified Lean Champion for our site. It was definitely grueling running 3 events concurrently, however i do have to admit that: 1. We had great team members who were energized to get started and make some big changes and 2. We had the opportunity to work with a great leader from Japan who knows lean like I've never seen and who has such amazing spirit it's hard not to contract it.


  • To introduce takt, flow & pull in assembly
  • To create/install assembly streams to promote takt, flow and pull for the assembling of pumps
  • To make the separate streams cross-functional (where possible) as to keep up with ever changing customer demand


  • Training in Takt, Flow and Pull
  • Process mapping of the current state of “flow” through assembly
  • Defining and setting new boundaries (yellow walk lines) throughout assembly promoting flow as well as, and more importantly, safety.
  • Setup 5 assembly cells: four of the cells are located within an area that 4 operators can communicate without leaving the area (the 5th is an M Pump assembly cell)
  • Created a QUICK SHIP cell with one table to assist in our new VCM quick ship program
  • Created an Andon lighting system to highlight when there are problems
  • Developed base TAKT times for assembly/Test/Clean/Paint/Final assembly.
  • Developed cell boards to help communicate TAKT time
  • A test run which illustrated that we can meet the TAKT times and have designated skilled assembler times (80%) and assembly times for assemblers with less product familiarization (100%)

  • Team work, team work, team work!!
  • Safety NEVER takes a back door in Burlington!Make a prototype first and once proven to work, then make your investment
  • Make a prototype first and once proven to work, then make your investment


  • At the new 80% TAKT time and (#) VCMs per year the cost savings will be big bucks
  • Created a more centralized assembly area reducing the area from 1350sqft to 1240sqft – 110sqft of real estate that Burlington can use for something else
  • Increased capacity by adding 2 more tables and improved shop space utilization
  • Developed pull signal to tell stores when to release another kit, and designated a place to park those kits.


  • Created Andon lighting for assembly with a functional visual control board for pump information including TAKT times
  • Put arrows on the floor to show the FLOW through the shop, as well as labelled all cellsDefined and set walkway line through shop to promote FLOW, as well as safety.


  • You can get a lot done in only 1 week if you pull together as a team!
  • Integration between each team and department is very integral to the success of our activities.
  • Good communication between all departments is essential if we want to build more safely, with greater quality and shorter lead times.

Want to see some pictures? Let me know.

No comments: