So you have heard about lean manufacturing and lean techniques. What is the fuss all about? Does it really work? The origins of lean are rooted in the manufacturing of cars. In particular Toyota.
Traditional manufacturing methods are gradually developed with the final product in mind. It is as though the product itself is the most important thing. Lean is different.
It approaches manufacturing with a far wider perspective and remembers that the customer is the most important thing and that the ‘production’ process must serve the needs of the customer. That includes variables like cost and production time.
Lean can make a huge difference to your business. Lean can lead to 80% reduction in waste and 50% lower production costs. Read on to learn more about integrating lean manufacturing into your processes.
The average American is overweight. That means they are carrying fat that the body does not need. This is not too different from most businesses. Within the business, there are steps and processes that do not serve any real purpose or benefit to the business.
Like the gradual process of becoming overweight, businesses can gradually acquire processes and steps that do not add any value to their product. Lean is about identifying those steps and process by stripping back what contributes value to the end product.
It is an iterative and continual process that yields ongoing benefits and efficiencies. It must begin with honest analysis. There are many tools that can help you achieve this. The right tool will depend on your industry and your business setup.
Lean Manufacturing Tool Box
A skilled workman is only as good as his tools. That emphasizes how important it is to use the right tool for the right job. Here are just a few tools that can help you get started with integrating lean manufacturing principles into your business.
Sort – identify waste
Set in Order – organize your value processes
Shine – simplify your work area
Standardize – document processes
Sustain – maintain processes
2. Just in Time
Most often we project demand and push production parts in response to our projections. This approach is the opposite. It allows customer demand to dictate production by pulling parts through the production process.
It leads to lower levels of stock and lower demand for storage and less pressure on cash flow.
3. Value Stream Mapping
This is the development of a visual road map that identifies waste within your production system and helps identify the important value adding steps. Waste is eliminated and value is facilitated.
Here are some examples where lean has made a big difference.
Contact Our Lean Manufacturing Consultants
Lean manufacturing is an exciting and highly effective method for improving your business. The techniques are solidly grounded in success stories and statistical analysis where the numbers do not lie.
Don’t lose any more time. Get in touch with the experts here.