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Bosch Rexroth is a global automation leader, helping companies increase productivity, cut costs and improve product quality. Our linear motion products and cartesian robots are deployed around the world in pick-and-place, assembly, soldering, gluing, material handling, and other applications---even in demanding environments. EasyHandling Systems, in single or multi-axis cartesian systems save hours of engineering and implementation time; linear guides, ball screws and linear bushings provide many options for precise positioning. Easy-to-use, open, PC-based controls (with Rexroth's award-winning Open Core technology) simplify programming and speed implementation. Pallet-based assembly conveyors, VarioFlow modular chain conveyors, lean production systems and aluminum framing round out the offering.

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Daily Problem Solving Tips in a Lean Organization, from Bosch Rexroth

POSTED 09/13/2008

Daily Problem Solving Tips in a Lean Organization, from Bosch RexrothCommon, everyday problems do not go away once a company has successfully adopted lean. Daily problem solving must still occur in order to sustain a lean operation.

(Buchanan, MI – Bosch Rexroth has compiled tips for solving daily problems in a lean operation. These tips aim to help organizations solve the everyday problems that they face in order to sustain improvements achieved with lean implementations and prevent backsliding.

Developed with lean manufacturing expert Jamie Flinchbaugh, “Daily Problem Solving in a Lean Organization” explores principles and work practices that businesses which have already implemented lean can use in daily problem solving to sustain the improvements they’ve made, and to deepen their commitment to lean.

Flinchbaugh, who is co-founder of the Lean Learning Center and co-author of the popular book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, emphasizes that lean manufacturing is a process and a culture, and not simply a project. Continuous improvement is needed to sustain a lean operation.

Daily problem solving tips in a lean organization:

  • Keep what may seem like ‘little problems’ from adding up and becoming big problems in the future. The only way to work on tomorrow’s problems is to work on the problems today while they are still small.
  • Use visual management and standard work tools to catch problems before they start adding up.
  • Build the skills, tools and systems needed to deal with those problems as soon as possible.
  • Start using the ‘5 Whys.’ Continue asking ‘Why?’ at different stages in order to dig deeper into the root cause of a problem.
  • Use Plan-Do-Check-Act, or PDCA. Without fully understanding the cause of what is happening in a situation, an organization will not have the control in its processes in order to sustain lean.
  • Understand that the small problems are a valuable contribution for future results.

"Daily Problem Solving in a Lean Organization" is episode number six in Rexroth’s lean manufacturing podcast series, available for listening or free download from the company’s website at The podcast series is also available from the iTunes podcast library and other podcast directories on the web.

Developed by Bosch Rexroth’s Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies group, each eight- to ten-minute lean manufacturing podcast episode presents guest experts and information to help manufacturers and OEMs understand and apply lean principles and practices in their businesses.

Bosch Rexroth AG, part of the Bosch Group, achieved sales of approximately $7.4 billion (5.4 billion Euros) in 2007 with nearly 33,000 employees. Under the brand name of Rexroth the company offers all drive and control technologies, from mechanics, hydraulics and pneumatics to electronics and associated service. Over 500,000 customers worldwide utilize Rexroth’s unique technological know-how to implement their innovative and future-oriented systems and machine concepts. The global player, represented in over 80 countries, is an extensive supplier of components and systems for industrial and factory automation and mobile applications.