By Jon Miller | Post Date: January 25, 2008 1:15 AM | Comments: 6
ECRS stands for Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange and Simplify and is an age-old industrial engineering process analysis method. We humans are not too bad at rearrange, but if we were a lot better at simplify, eliminate and combine the world would be a better place. In keeping with the "motion" theme we have been on for the last few of the 101 kaizen templates, here is a motion-themed ECRS Worksheet (only "eliminate: section shown):
Please feel free to modify the questions in the left hand column as appropriate for your gemba. The key is to use the open-ended questions beginning in 5W1H (what, where, when, why, who, how / how much) so that the answer is not yes / no but requires a positive identification of a kaizen opportunity.
We often talk about lean being the elimination of all waste an non-value added, or the pursuit of a waste-free process. But what if you can't eliminate a certain waste from a process? What to do? Try harder? Move on to an easier process and come back later? Call it "non value added but necessary" and fool... err... comfort ourselves for a while? We can still do kaizen if we remember that we can combine, rearrange or simplify.
There's a hint that TPS architect Taiichi Ohno may have applied ECRS on the ECRS tool itself by eliminating the CRS. In the selection below from the great Superfactory article TWI Influence on TPS and Kaizen, Art Smalley interviews Isao Kato, who reflects on the influence of ECRS in particular on JM and by implications later iterations of kaizen and the approach to waste elimination at Toyota:
The simplified yet broadened focus on the elimination of the 7 types of waste has certainly served Toyota well over the years. If we keep the 7 types of waste in mind and use the ECRS tool in combination with other efforts such SMED (single minute exchange of dies, a.k.a. quick changeover) or 5S it will be powerful indeed.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.