The basics of lean manufacturing
This article will describe the basics of lean manufacturing and the possible implications for your company or business.
Lean manufacturing entails coming up with a management program in order to cut waste as a measure to reduce costs in your business.So, for example, if you are involved in the manufacturing industry, one place where you could cut costs by cutting waste is by reducing the amount of time between when a customer places and order and when that order is shipped by eliminating any waste in the process of production
One of the key things to remember about lean manufacturing is that it is intended to eliminate waste or anything that does not add to the value of your product.Whether or not something adds to the value of your product is determined by your customers, rather than by you.Here's an example of something a customer would consider to be waste: equipment downtime.Your customers don't want to pay for it, and so you can reduce costs by eliminating it, as much as you can.Lean manufacturing is not just beneficial to your customers, however.If you implement a lean manufacturing program in your business, it can aid you in becoming more competitive by helping you streamline your manufacturing processes.Industry Week has done a survey of 967 manufacturing plants, and discovered that 35.7% of those manufacturing plants and factories are using lean manufacturing.Some of these manufacturing plants are Boeing, John Deere, and Caterpillar.In addition to implementing lean manufacturing in their own companies, these three companies also offer training opportunities to their suppliers so that they can become more efficient and more cost-effective.
Lean manufacturing is based on a management approach that is called Five S.The first S is sorted: you need to prioritize.The second S is straighten up: straighten up your workplace so that time is not wasted in searching for things.The third S is swept: clean up your workplace so that nothing is in the way.The fourth S is sustain: sustain your operations.Maintain them well.The fifth S is standardize: the idea is that standardized operations are more efficient and effective operations.By implementing these 5 S's, you can cut down on the time wasted in waiting for the arrival or the availability of different tools and machines, the time wasted in moving equipment around.You can also cut down on time and people wasted on taking care of avoidable processes, like taking care of problems with your inventory, taking care of queue problems, moving people around, or the problems caused by a poor use of space.
There are a number of different important benefits that come from implementing a lean manufacturing strategy.For example, you can obviously reduce costs by streamlining and no longer wasting money on unnecessary processes.You reduce the time of the product cycle.You can also reduce inventory that is taking up space.Furthermore, you can both increase your capacity for production and reduce the amount of work that is in process.And if that's not enough, you can improve productivity, efficiency, and quality.And who wouldn't want that?
The numbers also show that lean manufacturing pays off.The Manufacturing Performance Institute performed an annual survey with Industry Week.This survey demonstrated that a manufacturing plant's return on invested capital, or ROIC, will increase with the implementation of lean manufacturing.Plants with lean manufacturing measures have a median ROIC of 17%, in contrast to the median ROIC of 10% of plants that don't use ROIC.This is true for both large manufacturers and small manufacturers.