Featured Stories

Categories

Lean Manufacturing: Principles and Systems

Graham Immerman
April 17, 2017

In order to stay agile and responsive in today’s demanding marketplace, savvy manufacturing companies are making sure they know what goes into creating an efficient lean process so that they can keep pace with the competition.

In order to stay agile and responsive in today’s demanding marketplace, savvy manufacturing companies are making sure they know what goes into creating an efficient lean process so that they can keep pace with the competition.

A starting place for many is introducing and implementing a 5S program - a basic lean manufacturing strategy designed to improve workplace efficiency through facility-wide organization and cleanliness.

A basic 5S strategy includes the following 5 principles:

  • Sort: Sort out & separate that which is needed & not needed in the area.
  • Straighten: Arrange items that are needed so that they are ready & easy to use. Clearly identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them & return them once the task is completed.
  • Shine: Clean the workplace & equipment on a regular basis in order to maintain standards & identify defects.
  • Standardise: Revisit the first three of the 5S on a frequent basis and confirm the condition of the Gemba using standard procedures.
  • Sustain: Keep to the rules to maintain the standard & continue to improve every day.

Lean Manufacturing Systems:

Setting the stage for a lean process is just the first step, but implementing a system that allows you to maximize your manufacturing productivity results will take your lean model to the next level.

Lean manufacturing systems typically focus on reducing waste and controlling inventory. The goal of lean manufacturing is continuous improvement of production processes, while eliminating waste and cutting costs. Many manufacturing software systems (otherwise known as MES) that either schedule jobs and/or track shop-floor metrics like overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) in real time can provide manufacturers the necessary tools to help achieve their lean manufacturing objectives.

Without collecting and analyzing factory data, manufacturing managers are blind to problems occurring on the plant floor. Machine monitoring systems can contain a wealth of information about the health of the factory, but many operations simply haven’t invested in them—even though those systems are becoming more available and cost-effective.

Why This Matters To You:

In short, an MES gives you active control of your lean manufacturing process.

Not only can you quickly identify and eliminate productivity drains in your existing production process, you also gain access to additional data that can help you uncover “hidden” issues that could be negatively impacting your shop.

Should any problems arise with your machines, you can be on it immediately.

A lean process that combines a lean culture and mindset with technology tools that allow you to listen to your machines will provide you with a sustainable system - without overwhelming your IT department.

Want to learn more about how machine monitoring can help your company stay lean? Click Learn More Below:

Learn More

Comments

Related posts

What is 5S and how does it relate to lean manufacturing?
24Apr

What is 5S and how does it relate to lean manufacturing?

What is 5S and how does it relate to lean manufacturing? IndustryWeek defined 5S as, "5S is an acronym of sorts for five words that begin with the letter S: sort, set in order, shine, standardize and ...

Lean manufacturing principles are multidisciplinary
01Apr

Lean manufacturing principles are multidisciplinary

The principles of lean manufacturing can be used in many areas of business.  KaiNexus said, "Its pillars of continuous improvement and respect for people are universally relevant. Today, Lean is used ...

Lean manufacturing to improve efficiency
28Mar

Lean manufacturing to improve efficiency

The whole concept of lean manufacturing is centered around efficiency and saving money.  When implementing these techniques, remember that you might not see results immediately. Over time, however, yo...

How lean manufacturing can impact your workplace community
04Mar

How lean manufacturing can impact your workplace community

Lean manufacturing strategies can help you improve your workplace's sense of community.  One step that's often missed is showing the product that's being manufactured actually used in the world!  The ...

Lean trends you could utilize this year
27Feb

Lean trends you could utilize this year

When it comes to lean manufacturing, there are a few new trends in 2019 that you should keep your eye on.  The two biggest factors driving change in lean manufacturing are IoT and increased customer e...

What to do when lean manufacturing gets tough
26Feb

What to do when lean manufacturing gets tough

If you have been working toward lean manufacturing initiatives for a while, you're bound to get stuck at some point! First, remember that while you can learn from others' experiences in lean manufactu...

Can lean manufacturing help you retain employees?
25Jan

Can lean manufacturing help you retain employees?

Lean manufacturing can make your business more efficient, but it can also help you retain employees. With large amounts of job openings in the manufacturing field, some companies are finding that thei...

Why lean manufacturing is a powerful strategy
22Jan

Why lean manufacturing is a powerful strategy

Lean manufacturing is a powerful strategy that will help you reduce waste and increase efficiency. It was developed by Toyota during WWII when supplies were low and efficiency was vital. One benefit f...

Applying lean manufacturing to warehouse operations
16Jan

Applying lean manufacturing to warehouse operations

The eight wastes of lean manufacturing can be beneficial when applied to warehouse settings. Bastian Solutions posted examples of each one! Their examples of transportation waste are, "Having fast-mov...

How lean manufacturing helps you access your potential
08Jan

How lean manufacturing helps you access your potential

Implementing lean manufacturing techniques can help you unlock your business's potential and take it to the next level. Becoming more efficient saves time and money as Toyota learned years ago. There ...