Pick’s Theorem is a simple way to calculate area. This theorem is particularly useful when calculating the reduction of square feet (or square meters) that was achieved by improving a process layout. To use Pick’s Theorem, overlay a sketch of the area that you want to calculate onto a square grid of points. The grid of points should be fine enough that any bend on the boundary coincides with a grid point.

Let’s suppose there are three BIG potential orders in your sales pipeline. What are your chances that you are going to win an order? This is a question that faces manufacturing and service industries all the time. If they chase too much business, they run the risk of winning the business and not being able to fulfill the request but if they don’t chase any business, they run the risk of being idle.

Plan-Do-Check-Act is the key learning cycle that is at the foundation of lean thinking. But how do you make a good plan, and more specifically, how do you estimate how long the tasks in the plan will take?

If you have historical data, or you can accurately estimate the work content, the task of estimating task duration is very straightforward. But if you are doing something you have never done before, estimating the task duration can be very challenging.

Available time for changeovers per period (Ta∆), also called available time for (internal) set-ups, represents the time per a given period day, shift, week, etc. during which a machine, equipment, or resource (i.e., room) can be changed over from one product to another, prepared for a different medical procedure, cleaned for another customer, etc. Ta∆, is foundational to every part every interval (EPEI), changeover distribution, and kanban sizing calculations.

A rather simple sounding but often vexing challenge that faces lean practitioners is: What is the optimal physical route for pickups and/or deliveries? This is especially true for a fixed interval, variable quantity material replenishment system design for water spider (a.k.a., waterspider, material handler, mizusumashi, etc.) conveyance. 

Interestingly enough, the same question and logic applies when designing the best neighborhood snow plow route. 


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