Understanding Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing has some of the most revered principles in the production industry. Managers want to incorporate these principles into company culture and processes because of the potential for excellent results and increased production.

There are two main thoughts on exactly what lean manufacturing is. Some see it as a way of eliminating waste in the production line. Others see it as achieving economical perfection through workplace organization and working methodologies in an orderly manner.

The fact is, lean manufacturing is both of these ideas, and a whole lot more.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach that aims at adding value to consumer products while lowing the cost of manufacturing. Lean manufacturing strives to attain order, standardization, discipline and respect at the workplace, while also maintaining safety. Using tools such as TPM, OEE, 5S techniques, and others helps eliminate waste during production, which maximizes profits.

Simply put, lean manufacturing produces high quality goods in a shorter time, all while adding value to the product. This process aims at maximizing profit by eliminating waste, not by increasing prices.Hence, customers get a better quality product for a great price.

Reducing Waste in the Manufacturing Processes

This is one of the most important parts of being lean. That’s why lean manufacturing focuses on identifying waste in all aspects of production. Items that are eliminated during lean manufacturing, include:

  • The use of needless tools and equipment
  • Overuse of manpower
  • Unnecessary processes that are time-consuming for workers and equipment that lead to idle workers and machines.
  • Delaysduring production
  • Waste produced by faulty products
  • Lost labor, time, money, management and resources by rectifying troubled areas of production.
  • Unnecessary inventory loads in the production house
  • Over production caused by first producing and then creating an artificial demand. This is done by studying supply and demand needs.

Adding Value to Products

Lean manufacturing places great emphasis on adding value to products. Value can be added by producing the desired quantity of products and delivering them on time without deteriorating the quality. By synchronizing the production cycle, quality products can be delivered using the same costs but with higher profit margins thanks to waste elimination and lower inventory costs. This allows the consumer and producer to come out winners.

Creating an Organized and Safe Workplace

A clean workplace is vital to ensure safety. A clean workspace that is free of obstructions reduces the chances of accidents, while also invoking a positive work environment. The workforce is trained and inspired to strive for cleanliness and orderliness so that problems can be detected quickly and resolved, which results in less downtime.

Reduce Unplanned Downtime and Frequent Breakdowns

Applying equipment effectiveness techniques to detect problems in real time is a great way to reduce unplanned downtime. Lean manufacturing aims at studying why frequent downtimes occur and then eliminating the causes. This leads to a better overall equipment effectiveness score because of less downtime and higher productivity.

Lean manufacturing is a broad concept with simple principlesthat make the production process more efficient. It allows companies to become more consumer-friendly by producing higher quality products more quickly and at the same cost.