Lean Manufacturing initially started at Toyota in Japan (The Toyota Production System, TPS), which is now a much talked about concept in the manufacturing industry. So, what does it actually mean? The philosophy of this term is all about focusing on the customer as the most significant part of a business. The methods and processes of such a manufacturing model aim to maximize value, and at the same time, minimize waste! The intent is to add value to a product that customers actually pay for. All other things are considered a waste and should be removed from the manufacturing process.
To understand Lean better, let us talk about why the need for it was felt. There are two main purposes why Lean exists: To achieve customer satisfaction, and to do so in a profitable manner. Every part of Lean centers on the two purposes; with customer satisfaction being primary at all times.
In this model, anything that does not provide a value to the customer is a waste. Unless customers insist on including something specific, lean manufacturing eliminates it. This makes a process more efficient. Quite often, managers work in haste and apply lean principles to a business application, without even considering the customer-need for it. This leads to change, which customers do not expect or desire. Thus, it is important to ask “why” before implementing a lean principle. In this context, Synergy Resources’ lean manufacturing consultants are always there to help you plan your strategy.
Lean manufacturing is also considered to be an environment-friendly process. With efficient and well-planned production, organizations help reduce energy, water and other raw material consumption and expenditures. Additionally, there is lesser hazardous waste disposal, and consequently; a less polluted environment. Lean manufacturing can bring a lot of green-edge to a company. This is an additional benefit that organizations get in the wake of their argument that environment-friendly manufacturing processes are way too expensive and require a big investment into it.
Let’s also take a look at what ‘waste’ processes lean manufacturing eliminates:
- Over-production – Manufacturing a product more than the required quantity may lead to excess inventory and eventually selling it off at a loss.
- Inventory management – Piling up excessive items in inventories leads to further expenses of inventory management
- Transportation – Unnecessary transit of products may damage them, leading to loss.
- Rework – Ideally, production flow should move in only one direction every time in a seamless manner. Lean eliminates repetitions in the workflow due to corrections or re-work
- Motion – Non-essential and incorrect motions or movements may cause undue stress or injuries; and can be done away with! Improvements and higher efficiency in this area results in fewer employee injuries and lesser claims for compensation.
- Processing – Unplanned or unstructured production practices cause manufacturers to additional processes that may not be cost-effective. These can be eliminated with the help of a VISUAL ERP system.
- Waiting time – In a manufacturing workflow, the equipment operator should have the least or no idle time, as it is a total waste.
By reducing wastes in the above scenarios, organizations can maximize their profits with lesser floor space requirements, reduced operator effort, lesser inventory maintenance and reduced lead time. Waste elimination requires a major understanding of lean manufacturing practices. The experts at Synergy Resources can help you gain by implementing lean manufacturing practices.