Goehl delivered the opening keynote today at the 2016 AIMCAL Web Coating & Handling Conference Europe at the Westin Bellevue Hotel in Dresden, Germany. In his talk on “Lean Management – Now Also for Roll Converters,” he explained how much of lean management can be achieved by applying improvement and coaching “katas” established by successful Japanese firms.
Some of the key points:
- Western management misunderstood how Japanese kanban methods worked; assembly industries (like making cars at Toyota) are not the same as process industries (like R2R converting, coating/laminating and metallizing).
- Converters need to learn "katas.” In other words, learn how to do something so well that it becomes second nature; like tying your shoelaces.
- The Improvement Kata includes Plan, Do, Check, Act. Form hypotheses to determine if various aspects of your plan will succeed, but always also test the ways that it could fail.
- The Coaching Kata: Know the difference between the target you’re trying to reach and the various target conditions; routines are often interrupted by uncontrollable conditions.
- Avoid specificity in target conditions to allow creativity in finding new solutions; you must know the target vs. actual conditions.
- Lean management means “creating solutions to create new problems to then help you see the next round of creative solutions.
So, what does all this have to do with French mothers and metallizers? Goehl explained that French mothers seem to be unique in that they will not immediately run to their new babies when they make the slightest sound in the middle of the night, thus training the babies to start sleeping through the night at a much earlier age than, say, German, Italian or American babies. This “Make a Pause” method is really their second-nature target condition for a new family. It makes life easier for the parents, lets the mother return to the workforce sooner, and helps give her career and personal life a boost.
Metallizers and other R2R converters can take a cue from French mothers, Goehl says, by going after target conditions with a mindset of “this is the new normal.” Diligently applied, but yet dealing with some uncontrollables, targets in lean management can be achieved to the long-term benefit of your coating, laminating or metallizing operation.