LEAN TOYOTA TPS

5S Find – Notes on Mizusumashi 1995

Continuing the fortuitous find of my old notes taken from a two week lean study tour of the USA in July 1995, I present some hand typed notes on Mizusumashi.

“Definition – Mizusumashi= ultra high frequency pulling and is the method of transportation, or the provider of such transportation used to collect and deliver things in kits to multiple processes that need them on a Just in Time basis.”

The feature image is one I took at one of the Japanese assembly plants and show the Mizu picking his parts ready to go out on the next logistics run.

Often one of the most senior assembly operators graduate to become a Mizu, they know every job and how to solve problems as they complete their work. They also have Standard Work, running like a bus timetable, on a set logistics rout and a given frequency, typically every 20-30 minutes cycles.

Mizu maintain the replenishment of parts and information and ensure that the operators are focus on their standard work, a simple solution and one I have encouraged many to adopt successfully. The trick is to find the skills within the team so that they can have a “conductor” ensuring everything is in harmony.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Mizusumasi, please read these notes or line richard.steel@richardsteel.co.nz

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