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New guide applies lean management for higher lab efficiencies

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A new guide from Mettler Toledo aims to improve efficiencies and quality in laboratory environments through the application of lean management principles.

Mettler Toledo’s new First-Defect-Stop Guide is designed to help laboratory personnel with rapid identification and elimination of measurement errors, thereby avoiding problems in downstream processes. The ‘First-Defect-Stop’ procedure is triggered once a problem is detected, allowing the laboratory technician to stop the process, identify the problem and resolve it within a few minutes. In the event the problem cannot be resolved quickly or easily, the issue should be escalated by notifying the supervisor or third party service provider.

The objective of ‘First-Defect-Stop’ is not just to resolve the particular problem but to address the cause and eliminate it to prevent recurrence of the error.

Mettler Toledo’s ’First-Defect-Stop Guide’ shows how critical lean management concepts are applied in the lab. The guide is based on two Japanese Lean Manufacturing principles, namely Jidoka, which means empowering machines or operators to stop production automatically on discovery of a defect in a process; and Andon, which is a visual signal or system such as a light or sound alarm, designed to alert staff of a quality or process problem so that remedial action can be taken.

The First-Defect-Stop guide, titled ‘Minimize Errors in Weighing’ is a troubleshooting tool designed to help laboratory personnel identify specific problems with a laboratory balance, such as long settling times or unstable readings.

The Andon problem visualization method can be implemented in the laboratory, just as easily as in a production environment. An example of an Andon method is StatusLight, an alert function in XPE and XPR laboratory balances that warns the user if the balance is not ready to weigh, avoiding calibration or technical errors that may impact the measurement result.

To learn more about these management principles and how lean management can help to streamline lab processes and improve overall quality, download the guide today.

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