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What is 'Lean' manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing works around the ideology of ensuring you maximise production whilst at the same time minimising on waste. Sounds pretty basic doesn't it but you would be surprised how much fat it is possible to cut our of your manufacturing pipeline, whilst still maintaining quality and standards. In this weeks blog we explore some of the ideas behind 'Lean' and we conclude this blog in a second part next week.


What are the basics of Lean?

The core principle in implementing lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste to continually improve a process. When you reduce waste to deliver improvements, value is delivered.

Waste can include processes, activities, services or products that take up time, expertise or cash, but don't actually help the end customer. Maybe your not using the talent in your company effectively, or maybe you have too much stock, and your process in achieving work is way over the top. Getting rid of such inefficiencies help to reduce cost, and time and eventually provide value to the customer.





How can Lean help?

Time = Time is money so any practice that is using time inefficiently is costing you in relation to your bottom line. Also in stopping pointless, time costly exercises you will also improve moral, so any meetings that have no point or use can be stopped and as a result people will be happier.

Quality = Improving quality will ensure that you are ahead of your competition and again as a result you will keep your customers coming back for more.

Waste = Waste is everywhere, just a small inspection of your daily exercises and efforts will highlight waste, and lean is big on cutting this out.

Cost = Overproduction and having too much of any one thing in your pipeline will cost you, so again pay attention to waste and the end result will be cost savings.


Where did lean come from?

Lean is strongly associated with car manufacturing, specifically Ford and Toyota.


At the heart of the Lean philosophy is the concept of “kaizen” or continuous improvement.


The goal is to eliminate all waste in the value delivery process.


Henry Ford was the first to really create a production system which was not surprisingly called ‘mass-production’. Ford created what was called a flow production, which involves continuous movement of elements through the production process. Ford used mass production to make and assemble the parts of his vehicles within a few minutes rather than days.


It was Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno of the Toyota Motor Corporation who really took these ideas and ran with them, and these were to become what was dubbed lean manufacturing.


More next week on Toyota and how they implemented Lean, and how you can understand the principles and values of Lean in your organisation.


If we can help in any way in regards to your conveyor project needs, then reach out to us here at Central Conveyors Ltd.




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