Casey Bralla J. R. Casey Bralla

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Success Stories

Most Lean-Sigma sites include success stories that show how using these tools can solve all your problems, help you win the girl of your dreams, and cure world hunger. In that long and illustrious tradition, we are doing the same.

Each of the presentations below show how Lean and 6-Sigma tools were used to solve a particular problem. In most cases, the problems solved were not as profound as world peace, but each step in a journey gets you closer to the end.

(If you have a story you'd like to share, we'd love to include it here. Send me an eMail, and we will put it here for others to learn from.)


  1. Using Quick Changeover to Fight Breast Cancer
  2. 5S & Quick Changeover for a Drill Press

Using Quick Changeover to Fight Breast Cancer

Lean & SMED in a Breast Imaging Center
by Bob Loose

Bob Loose is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence who holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and an MBA in healthcare management. After a 20-year career in manufacturing, Loose joined a Wisconsin health organization in 2008 as Operations Improvement Manager, where he is using Lean Six Sigma concepts to find better ways to deliver healthcare.

This article discusses how he used traditional SMED principles to increase capacity, reduce patient waiting time, improve diagnostics, and lower costs in a breast imaging center. The breast imaging center where he works had 2 modern digital breast imaging systems, and a third older unit that gave inferior results. The hospital asked Bob to lead a team to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the center. Bob applied traditional SMED principles pioneered by Toyota and dramatically lowered costs, while simultaneously improving service to his customers.

Click here to download the article.

5S & Quick Changeover for a Drill Press

Results from a Kaizen Blitz

Hedstrom corporation was an old-time maker of outdoor play equipment (swing sets and trampolines). At their Canadian plant, they made wooden outdoor swing sets, and suffered through long changeover times on a multi-head drill press.

We formed a Kaizen Blitz team and greatly reduced the changeover time.

Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation of the results.

NOTE: Hedstrom is out of business now. Their business was highly seasonal, with strong sales in the spring and almost none in the winter. Their demise proves the Lean concept that value is only achieved when the customer purchases your product. Hedstrom was "profitable" every month, but when the cash on hand fell to zero, they went bankrupt, and put many people (including me) out of a job.