The majority of books about lean focus on lean for assembly operations – what is known as discrete manufacturing. There isn’t much available that focuses specifically on process manufacturing – those industries that do not make assembled products, but produce foods, chemicals, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals, for example.
Lean principles can certainly be applied to process manufacturing, so general lean books have some value. And we do publish TPM in Process Industries by Tokutaro Suzuki. But of course, lean is a lot more than TPM. And there are differences in how lean might be applied in process industries.
That is why we are pleased to be publishing Lean for the Process Industries: Dealing With Complexity by Peter King, a new book that will be available in May.
King is a principal consultant in DuPont Corporate Operations, in the Lean Center of Technology. He has over 40 years experience at DuPont in R&D, manufacturing, systems analysis and work process improvement.
As the title implies, this book focuses on how to apply lean in process industries to achieve the greatest benefit. This is discussed not only in conceptual terms, but also with diagrams, graphs and charts to clarify the concepts. And the book features an application of its concepts to a hypothetical process, including use of a value stream map.
Predicting success is difficult, but I believe this is likely to be one of our best-sellers.
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