What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean Manufacturing is a business management technique of waste reduction that used to improve overall efficiency and value.The elimination of waste will naturally save a business money.But the use of Lean Manufacturing is designed to also improve quality and production time along the way.
Although all authorities on Lean Manufacturing do not agree on a set list of Lean Manufacturing techniques, their ideas are generally consistent and include:
It is natural then to also advise the need for continuous improvement and constant re-evaluating.Lean Manufacturing by definition is implemented to reduce costs, improve productivity and essentially be as close to a perfect manufacturer as possible.Naturally in a changing market this is only achieved through constant attention to changes and making adjustments accordingly.
Producing these alternate methods to improve production and other operations is often referred to as flexibility.The Lean Manufacturer must be able to diversify his product (in type and number) quickly and efficiently to meet the changing demands of the market he is supplying for.
In Lean Manufacturing a perfect product is made every time.Production must be such that errors are eliminated and the satisfaction and consistency is guaranteed every time.The producers must be constantly evaluating output, solving problems and making the changes necessary to produce complete conformity.
Materials, activity and hired help that are not vital to the running of your Lean Manufacturing business should be eliminated.All gears in the figurative machine of productivity should be running constantly and at the highest capacity possible.All activities that do not add to productivity are to be minimized, just as all scarce resources should be maximized.
Outside of a manufacturer's own business there are important ties that must be cultivated to remain "lean."Relationships with vendors and high-profile clients provide greater efficiency to a manufacturer.When the manufacturer has a healthy relationship with all those in his production circle, the business is run more predictably.Avoiding un-foreseen problems with un-reliable vendors is reduces waste, improves overall quality and promotes overall punctuality in production.
Many lean manufacturers alter their management plans to meet the social or cultural needs of those employees who will actually be implementing the production plans.The "perfect" process of lean manufacturing can never be achieved if those involved in making these ideas reality are not fully committed to the process.
There are also many different techniques that are often used in sequence to, for example, take a small manufacturing facility to a highly efficient and highly profitable one.Just a few of these different techniques include:Kaizen, 5S, Total Productive Maintenance, Just-in-time Production (Kanban), and Six Sigma.
Thought there are many different tools and methods that a Lean Manufacturer can implement the foundation is the same.Minimize the miss-use of products, time and man/machine power and maximize the production, distribution and evolution of the product to be sold.