Lean Manufacturing


Contact Information

Bill Rafferty
Manager
Lean Manufacturing
(210) 522-5865
wrafferty@swri.org

image: kanban processes to improve the work flow, significantly reducing the aircraft's downtime

As part of a nationwide effort to implement lean manufacturing processes in the U.S. Air Force F-15 avionics repair facility, SwRI staff members developed kanban processes to improve the work flow, significantly reducing the aircraft's downtime.

Lean manufacturing principles help transform manufacturers into lean enterprises, saving time and money while avoiding errors.

Our Customers Are Unique

Our customers are unique enterprises with distinct cultures and business processes. However, most of them experience similar challenges pertaining to quality, cost, and delivery. For this reason, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) promotes a Lean implementation methodology that helps our customer organizations develop their own customized Lean Business System.

Lean principles and tools, as well as other process improvement methodologies and technologies, are adapted to meet the needs of the products, processes, and culture rather than forcing an organization to modify their ways to an "off-the-shelf" business system. This allows our customers to build a comprehensive and sustainable Improvement System, such as SwRI's Lean Maintenance or Lean Repair efforts with the U.S. Air Force.

Experienced industrial engineers at research and develop processes that

  • Systematically identify, classify, and eliminate waste or nonvalue-added activities
  • Apply lean engineering tools and methods, such as one-piece flow, quick changeover, and kanban system concepts and process improvement training, to enable client personnel to remove waste
  • Provide lean manufacturing training to factory personnel to achieve continuous process improvement, workflow optimization, process improvement, and six sigma results

Lean Plus™

Lean transformations affect the entire enterprise. Although Lean typically initiates on the shop floor, it quickly becomes apparent that to reach Lean improvement goals and targets, an organization will have to address issues related to equipment, facilities, information systems, human resources, technology, etc.

As a nonprofit, independent R&D organization, SwRI's trademarked Lean Plus process allows the infusion of various expertise, successes, and lessons learned into a comprehensive and dynamic Improvement System. As practical developers of technology, information architectures, and processes, SwRI can tactically apply additional expertise to recapitalize the technology infrastructure.

Related Terminology

 lean manufacturing training  •  six sigma principles  •  lean enterprise  •  six sigma  •  kaizen workflow  •  tpm  •  TPM process improvement  •  value stream mapping  •  six sigma approach  •  kaizen 5s  •  workflow management  •   continuous process improvement  •  process improvement training  •  one piece flow  •  office kaizen  •  lean manufacturing 5s  •  lean manufacturing consultants  •  lean manufacturing concepts 

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
07/13/16