At the risk of having my bookmark permanently deleted by the majority of my readership, I’d like to mention that it would appear that a Lean Certification standard is under way as per this month’s issue of Standardization News from ASTM. Yippee! Although I’ve written of ASTM in the past, I reiterate that the American Society of Testing Materials -of which I am a member (and a voting member no less -what was the membership committee thinking?)- is the outfit that supplies this industry with all manner of specifications and standards used in the manufacture of sewn products. This minimally includes labeling requirements, seam specifications and sizing standards (see my previous post for details on standards you’re most likely to use). From September’s Standardization News:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing are working together to develop a new standard for lean certification. The organizations are collaborating with industry and academia in the initiative, which has been encouraged by lean constituents. The certification scheme is being designed for manufacturing professionals who want recognition and credentials to illustrate their knowledge and application of lean principles. Certification candidates will have to serve as mentors and be mentored, provide a portfolio to illustrate how lean principles were applied in organizations, and pass an examination.
The Shingo Prize (sometimes described as the “Nobel Prize” of manufacturing) website states:
The Lean Certification is currently comprised of four levels. The first level is intended to measure knowledge of Lean principles. Candidates at the second level should be capable of applying lean principles and tools to drive improvements and show measurable results. This is not intended as an introductory or knowledge survey evaluation. At the third level, Lean practitioners are expected to be senior employees/team leaders who are capable of applying Lean principles and tools to drive improvements and show measurable results plus orchestrate the transformation of a complete value stream. At the highest level of Lean certification, the practitioner is at a point of influence and authority over assets, processes and people, with a solid understanding of all aspects of Lean transformation across the entire enterprise.
Here you can read a press release covering the certification program, while this link provides the full brochure (1.3MB) complete with misspellings I might add. I find misspellings in material put out by quality organizations to be ironic, don’t you?
Now before you go away, you might want to check out the September issue of Standardization News because this month’s focus is the Textile Industry. Usually the magazine covers something of absolutely no interest to me such as the nuances of uncoated steel strands for use in pre-stressed concrete or test methods for determination of slow crack growth parameters of advanced ceramics by constant stress flexural testing stress rupture at ambient temperatures -and you guys think I’m anal- but this issue includes an interesting discussion regarding Apparel and Sewn Product Automation with universal data exchange. This simply means that ASTM is determining standards that every CAD software/hardware developer will need to integrate into their systems so that your Gerber graded patterns can be printed out via a Lectra systems plotter with no data loss or distortion. There’s also an article on Textile Test Methods, Cotton Fiber Standards and how Imports to the United States are governed by ASTM D-13 standards. The latter is a must-read item for my non-US readers bent on getting products into US stores.