There are several manufacturing methods that help manufacturing companies limit their waste, enhance productivity, and reach their continuous improvement goals. One of the most popular methods is Lean Manufacturing.
What Is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean Manufacturing is a production method that was created in the 1990’s and is used by businesses to improve their efficiency. It includes principles that are generally applied to an entire business/organization, such as logistics, supply chain management, lean planning and lean enterprises. The goal of this method is to meet customer demand as quickly as possible with minimal waste.
How Do Lean Methods Improve Efficiency?
Lean Manufacturing helps manufacturers reduce costs by reducing or eliminating unnecessary movements and processes, whether those activities are performed by workers or machines.
For example, manufacturers may introduce an Andon system to notify personnel more quickly of production floor disruptions, or a scheduling system to limit work-in-progress inventory and make sure that workers only perform the tasks that add value to the business.
Lean Manufacturing can help to improve efficiency by eliminating waste in an organization’s processes. It also helps businesses develop lean thinking cultures where employees are encouraged to take initiative and make improvements based on their observations and experiences.
How Does Lean Manufacturing Complement Continuous Improvement?
Continuous improvement focuses on an organization’s waste and productivity levels and is one of the main ways to improve efficiency. Manufacturing firms constantly modify their continuous improvement goals to increase profits.
Making lean improvements in the workplace by eliminating unnecessary actions, reducing excess inventory and overproduction, and simplifying processes are a few ways to reach continuous improvement goals.
There are also some specific practices within Lean Manufacturing that greatly complement continuous improvement.
Lean Thinking: Lean thinking is the framework of Lean Manufacturing applied to an entire business. It aims to develop innovative ways of thinking about the best and most efficient ways to deliver value to consumers while eliminating waste.
Lean Enterprise: Lean enterprise is Lean Manufacturing applied across a broad value chain. It is a production principle that operates on the basis that any aspect of an enterprise that does not directly benefit the product being made is unnecessary.
These two principles help eliminate waste and guide continuous improvement towards more specific, achievable goals. As continuous improvement becomes more attainable, efficiency increases.
What Types of Lean Technologies Are There?
There are several technologies that help to eliminate waste and simplify processes.
One of the most common lean technologies is a smart Andon system, which immediately notifies production personnel when there is an issue on the production floor. They can also predict when production equipment may need repairs or upgrades.
Another common technology is an OEE system, which is a hardware and software solution that increases output and minimizes downtime, allowing manufacturers to increase efficiency. OEE solutions provide rapid communication across your production floor, as well as real-time monitoring and advanced reporting.
Manufacturers may also use visual management solutions to get immediate visual status on production output and display any issues that may be impacting production speed or efficiency.
The Bottom Line
Lean Manufacturing methods and technologies can help your business improve efficiency. Whether you need to reduce waste, increase output, or enhance your continuous improvement goals, Lean Manufacturing is a great way to address your needs.
To learn more about VersaCall’s Lean Manufacturing systems, contact our experts today.