Applying LEAN Techniques to the Engineering Process 2008-01-2284
Many companies have successfully adopted Lean manufacturing as an operational philosophy, creating a universal understanding of value and waste which in turn provides significant advantages in the market. However, few have reached the true goal of driving this mindset throughout the organization. For many reasons, this has proven particularly difficult in environments such as engineering and development due to the iterative nature of design and test, the lack of repetition, and the over-all length of time consumed by the process.
However, product development is in fact a process that can be controlled. This paper describes methods used by a group of Curtiss Wright companies to improve the overall execution of the product development cycle by first creating inter-departmental flow, tracking that flow with visual metrics, and improving performance with a variety of Lean techniques.