Lean Manufacturing is a business method focused on eliminating wasteful practices in manufacturing. It is also referred to as Lean Production, Lean, or Toyota Production System (TPS). Lean focuses on value and reduces everything that doesn’t create it by using a set of practices to identify both value added and non-value added (waste) steps within manufacturing business processes. Auditing current systems and processes and implementing changes to improve workflow, including adding automation when needed, is the broadest overview of Lean.
What is the Goal of Lean Manufacturing?
The bottom line goal of Lean Manufacturing is to create efficiency, and therefore the most profitable manufacturing process. The objective of reducing all areas of waste, including that created from both unevenness in work load and overburden, is also a part of Lean.
TPS looks at 8 areas when discovering true wastefulness- things done that don’t add value and are unneeded for the final product outcome. These 8 areas are summed up in the acronym “DOWNTIME”:
Defects: Anything done incorrectly, not meeting customer requirements, requiring rework or scrap
Over-production: Building more than what is required- leads to excess inventory
Waiting: Areas of down time in production
Non-Utilized Talent: Not engaging employees in continuous improvement
Transportation: Additional movement of product within the facility
Inventory: Carrying more than what is required, especially “frozen” inventory
Motion: This refers to damage and wear and tear (both to people and equipment)
Extra-processing: Doing more or using more than what is required for the desired outcome
Implementing Lean Methodology
Implementing Lean practices is more than simply using tools. While Lean practices focuses on having an efficient and effective work flow, a cultural shift must happen as well. The organizational value of continued improvement must be adopted. Business agility is required, which means all employees and management must be flexible and willing to change.
True transformation is open-ended and not all business cultures allow for that. Therefore, Lean Manufacturing, in order to offer the long term benefits, must be embraced at all levels and incorporated into onboarding, training, management practices, production, research, and more. This change will not happen overnight and does require a long term commitment to the continuous improvement effort and cultural change.
How PBEX LLC Supports Lean Manufacturing
Trained in Lean Manufacturing Methods, PBEX LLC helps by providing:
• Lean Process Management
• Gemba Walk
• Visual Management
• Value Stream Mapping
• Facility Layout
• Cellular Flow
• Problem Solving
As your “Lean Sensei”, I use these non-software based solutions that can be implemented quickly and easily to reach the goals you are desiring. Contact me today to learn more about how Lean Manufacturing can simplify and improve your business processes making them easier to understand, perform and manage. Together, we will create a continuous improvement culture and healthier bottom line.