In his blog Got Boondoggle, Mike Wroblewski talked the other day about right sizing equipment:
“One of the challenges in kaizen is getting people to see beyond their perceived boundaries to what is possible. One example is using right sized equipment. Many times we end up buying the best value of equipment for the money with as many bells and whistles possible, just in case we need them in the future. With this thought process, we end up with larger equipment with unused capabilities than what we actually need.”
Another thing to think about: right sizing the footprint of equipment is essential for reducing waste (muda) of floor space. However, in the goal to right size equipment, many organizations and teams forget the operator and “right size” the working height to a lower level. In turn this can cause the operator (feeding lumber into the saw) to work in a bent and awkward posture; introducing ergonomic risk and waste (muda) of motion.
My point is to consider all elements of the workplace (floor space, flow, motion, ergonomic risk factors) to ensure the improvement of one issue does not introduce another exposure (safety, ergonomic, etc.).