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Your Lean Blueprint: 4 Lean Manufacturing Tools and Strategies

Eric Fogg
July 27, 2016

Working Hard-1.jpgOk. So you’ve decided to “go lean.”

Great. But where to start? After all, there are plenty of lean tools out there to choose from. An effective lean program uses a combination of strategies and tools. 

Here’s a lean game plan that puts you in position to get the most of your lean manufacturing tool efforts. 

It all starts with a mindset…

Lean Visioning

Determining where you want your lean journey to end up is the first step to establishing an effective plan. Your Lean Road Map will help guide you to a successful outcome. Start by conducting a series of senior management sessions to establish a basic understanding of the lean manufacturing principles that are necessary to set the stage for lasting results.

Investing time to create a Lean Vision will help you identify targets for change, create an implementation plan, establish goals, and a path forward.

The next step involves…

Creating  a 5S Workplace

Establishing a 5S workplace creates a clean, well organized, and efficient work environment and is a lean tool strategy you can use to quickly jumpstart your organization’s efforts with rapid, visible achievement while preparing for an advanced lean manufacturing tool implementation.

The 5S concept is one of several lean manufacturing tools designed to improve workplace efficiency through facility-wide organization and cleanliness. The emphasis is on achieving greater organization, standardization, and efficiency—all while reducing costs and boosting productivity.

Once you’ve created some early momentum, it time to ramp things up with…


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

TPM is a powerful program for planning and achieving minimal machine downtime. This lean tool strategy emphasizes proactive and preventative maintenance to maximize the operational efficiency of equipment.

The implementation of a TPM program places a strong emphasis on empowering operators to help maintain their equipment. In the right environment this approach can be very effective at increasing up time, reducing cycle times, and eliminating defects.

After you have your lean tool strategies in place, you’re in position leverage the power of technology by implementing…


Machine Monitoring

A machine monitoring system, also known as an MES (Manufacturing Execution System), arms you with accurate real-time data that allows you to make faster and better-informed decisions that can improve your productivity by as much as 20%.

Where lean visioning, a  5S work environment and TPM provide a framework for your lean strategy, an MES gives you active control of your lean manufacturing process.

You can start to use factual information for decision making.

This quantitative data will allow you to quickly identify and eliminate productivity drains in your existing production process. And you also gain access to additional data that can help you uncover “hidden” issues that could be negatively impacting your shop.

Machine Metrics offers a powerful, cloud-based MES platform that puts you on the fast track to maximum lean efficiency.

Data from any machine or manufacturing process is made actionable with instant notifications and real-time dashboards. Machine downtime, quality issues, and poor performance can be categorized automatically or by the operator.

With access to Pareto charts, historical reporting and other lean tools, managers can make continuous improvements and provide complete transparency that can improve productivity by over 20%.

Learn More


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