World class manufacturing involves the use of certain theories, procedures and techniques in the general running and operation of a manufacturing company. It has been used by many companies to be in the lead when it comes to competition. Basically this process is done to ensure that the company continuously produces items that are of good quality at affordable prices to their clients. The process ensures that the employees are totally involved making them part and parcel of the entire procedure.
One of the techniques used in world class manufacturing is multi-skilled employees. It is used to reduce waste in that the employees are able to operate in different departments under minimal supervision. Having a team of workers who are skilled in different fields in a company reduces the numbers of employees required to run its normal procedures. It is a good and reliable way of creating lean and well coordinated companies and always lead to escalated productivity. However, the reduced numbers should not undermine production levels and quality. In that case if the workers are qualified, chances of defects or errors will be minimal. They will also be identified in good time before they affect the quality of products.
Another technique that has been in use lately and proved to be quite valuable in world class manufacturing is total preventive maintenance. This is a process which ensures that equipments are in good condition always and able to function at their required speed. The cost of maintenance should be as minimal as possible but the returns should be higher. Proper maintenance will ensure that there is no error or waste but at the same time, equipments perform at the expected speed. Preventive maintenance will also improve the overall production. It will only work if the workforce is well trained and know what is expected of them.
SMED is termed for Single Minute Exchange of Die. If you own a production company, then you should use this tool to save your costs and at the same time increases your production as well. A lot of people think that this is just so impossible to do. Once you increase your production, then you should definitely increase your cost for this two components to work together, right? Well, this is really hard and way impossible if you don’t follow the Single Minute Exchange of Die technique and implement it to your business.
This is one of the lean techniques that any business should implement because even though this is just a simple idea, you will be amazed by how powerful the results it creates. In your production, you will notice that there is a lot of production time that is consumed. It actually takes 3-5 hours maximum with engines running for nothing so your money will just be put to waste for this number of hours every day. Just imagine how far that length of time will go if it will be used in the right way. By strictly following the stages in SMED you will see results in no time.
If you are not convinced by this technique you can certainly perform a pilot test any time you want. And if you wanted to do it, just do it as soon as possible so you will know its effects and apply it to your business as soon as possible. The first thing that you should do is start a kaizen event that performs the SMED technique in the machine. It usually takes for about 3-5 days for the even to finish and repeats SMED’s four stages until you get fine results. You may have to do it several times until you reach your goal.
One of the common things that draw clients away from a company is failure. In line with this thought, it is therefore vital for every company to avoid committing any failure as much as possible. An error-free company will have a great chance of attracting and keeping clients to be loyal for a long period of time.
In the Lean manufacturing process, there is a mechanism being used and this mechanism deals with avoiding mistakes. The term for this mechanism is called pokayoke. It is a Japanese word that means mistake proofing. Basically, this mechanism aims to eradicate for good the possible human failures that can happen leading to the creation of products with no defects.
One of the best features of pokayoke is that anyone can use it. It is a very simple mechanism that anyone can make use of. Nonetheless, despite how simple the mechanism is, the results can be outstanding. A very common example where pokayoke mechanism can be applied is by simply using common sense all the time especially when dealing with products. Common sense coupled with knowledge and skills can come a very long way.
When going for the pokayoke mechanism, other than your common sense there are also devices that can help you detect errors and possible correct in before distributing to the clients. These pokayoke devices have to be affordable and easy to use. Furthermore, it is more advisable to go for pokayoke devices that do only need minimal to no supervision at all to the user or operator. It must be able to do its job and that is to prevent errors to happen even without the user. Thanks to the advanced technology of today, there are so many pokayoke devices that are great to use for any manufacturing company.
As much as possible, pokayoke exists in order to have no errors at all. The mechanism believes that humans are very capable of committing errors thus it is important that they use devices that will not let errors happen even though they are not paying attention to the manufacturing. One of the many advantages of using pokayoke devices other than producing error-free products is of course increasing client satisfaction.
In these days, business world has become extremely competitive. Finding the right balance between the availability of raw materials, customer demand and production speed and cost, has become a complicated task and the fierce competition is making matters worse as well. That is where the importance of lean logistics comes in and applying this model will improve the efficiency, competitiveness and profit of a business organization.
Lean Logistics aims at increasing the product flow and speed by identifying and eliminating wasteful activities from the supply chain. Implementing lean thinking will benefit business organizations in many ways and a good number of companies have already implemented it to reap the benefits of lean logistics. The implementation of lean logistics will result in the reduction of environmental impact (elimination of waste) and more efficient customer service.
Four processes can be associated with lean logistics and they include specifying value, mapping out value stream, creating a product flow and establishing a customer pull. First of all, customer value will be identified and it will be added with the supply chain network. Secondly, all processes of the supply chain network will be evaluated to eliminate the unwanted processes and this mechanism of mapping out the value stream will help a business organization to understand the value of a product from the perspective of the customers.
Thirdly, product flow will be created by applying the factors outlined and the whole system will become smooth by minimizing downtime, inventories and other forms of obstructions. During the fourth phase, clear cut awareness about the demand will be available and manufacturing will be arranged according to the demands of the customers. All these four steps will ensure maximum value and the waste will be reduced to an optimal level. That is why a huge number of companies follow lean logistics to perform better in this world of cut throat competition.
A certified lean practitioner has plenty of opportunities to choose from. Starting one’s own consultancy is not a bad option or one can join a leading lean consulting agency. These types of jobs are highly rewarding and quality certification programs will equip a person with all the required skills of a competent lean consultant. Selecting the best certification program demands a fair amount of research and the reputation of the institute will also have to be given proper attention. The reputation of an institute has a lot to do with the opinions of the students who have already passed out and collecting information from them will be of immense help for a person who wants to join a lean manufacturing certification program. There are a good number of online programs as well and an extensive online search will make people familiar with reliable and reputed institutes in the field of lean manufacturing certification.
Quality lean manufacturing certification programs will cover different topics like kaizen, pull systems, 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain), poka yoke, value stream mapping, SMED, kanban and error proofing. Lean certification will equip a person to show his competency in different types of manufacturing plants and quality courses will teach students the most effective ways to implement various lean tools in different organizations like banks, hospitals and other types of businesses. The students will learn how to cut down the unwanted time and effort in less productive areas and these types of courses will also teach the students how to improve efficiency and performance in a feasible manner. Reputed institutes will also give great importance to affordability and they will never compromise on the quality as well. The theory and the practical will be given equal importance and the students will be ready to take up the assignments immediately after the completion of the course.
Lean manufacturing adds great value to the end product. The quality will get improved with this philosophy and all focus will be towards finding much better and efficient ways of accomplishing the same tasks. The customers will not pay for defects and they are least bothered about the extra cost of having big inventories. They pay for value of the product and their expectations will have to be met in the best manner. Lean manufacturing goes in complete harmony with this line of thinking. Waste can be described as something that does not add value to the end product.
According to lean manufacturing, waste can be classified into eight categories. Over production is the first one and business organizations will have to find out that whether they produce much more than the demands of the customers. If the answer is in the affirmative it should be treated as a waste. The second aspect is about the lag time between production steps and it can be described as waste in the form of waiting. The third aspect deals with inventory and the companies will have to find out whether their work-in-progress inventories and supply levels are exceedingly high. It will also be treated as waste in lean manufacturing.
Moving the materials in an efficient manner assumes great significance in lean manufacturing and it is being known as transportation. Inefficiency in transportation will be considered as waste as well. Another aspect is over processing and the business organizations should not work on the product in an inefficient manner. According to lean manufacturing, Working on the product too many times will not add value to the product and it will be considered as another form of waste.
If the employees and the equipment do not move with great efficiency between tasks it will also be identified as another form of waste. The time taken for identifying and fixing the production mistakes will have to be kept at an optimal level and if that is not the case it will be treated as another category of waste in lean manufacturing. Last but not the least, inefficient deployment of the workforce will not add value to the product and it will also be considered as another form of waste in lean manufacturing.
Poka-yoke is a management method that was initially referred to as baka-yoke, a Japanese word that means “idiot-proof”. This lean production technique was later molded by Shigeo Shingo to improve Toyota’s out-put and distribution efficiency. Shingo’s books inspired management authors such as Norman Bodek who is amongst the lean management pioneers in the United States where Poka-yoke has been adapted as a management system in production of goods and service oriented industries. Poka-yoke’s rise in popularity can be attributed to the management system’s ability to expose human error and prevent product defects that can lead to customer dissatisfaction and promote waste of raw materials. You can introduce lean management at any manufacturing step along your production or service distribution lines especially if you are suspecting that there is something wrong with a given production unit. This makes Poka-yoke instrumental in unearthing mistakes that might be making it difficult for your business to attain the desired growth rate. According to Shiego Shingo, mass production of goods cannot be effectively carried out without having a system that can, through contact, identify shape, color and size defects. A role that is efficiently played by the Poka-yoke style of management that is also designed to notify operators should workers make moves that can bring about technical confusions capable of affecting machine and computer operations along the production line. Poka-yoke’s motionstep aspects makes it possible to know whether a given product has been manufactured using systems that are in line with environmental, legal and in-house production policies. Proper adoption of the system makes it possible for you to identify problems before they occur. This makes the lean management strategy significant in avoiding breakdowns that might be costly to repair. In cases where the damage is severe, you might be forced to close certain sections or the entire production line, leading to a drop in production.
Lean Manufacturing is a new consumer oriented management approach that has been adapted by a lot of manufacturing, service and industrial businesses. This proactive approach works under the principle of addressing the consumers’ demand while identifying and eliminating process waste by continually improving the product. This management philosophy was mainly attributed to Toyota Production System (TPS) and was designed by Sakichi Toyoda, and that’s the reason why it was previously known as Toyotism. It was only in 1990s that this philosophy was renamed as Lean. Toyota initially a small company but now known as one the world’s largest automaker first utilized this concept to eliminate waste and achieve a high percentage of customer satisfaction.
Lean Manufacturing Philosophy: An Overview
This philosophy focuses on the idea of eliminating waste or “Mura”. Once waste is eliminated, aside from the fact that the quality of product would improve, the production time and cost will also be reduced. This idea centers upon the truth that a customer will only pay for products that have value and that anything without value would be a waste of money and therefore not worth buying. So, therefore, those steps that would only produce waste during manufacturing should be eliminated. This proactive approach works a set of tools that a company must learn step by step to bring about a positive change in the company. Some tools in Lean Manufacturing are Lean Management and 5S, these two together with the idea of Lean Leadership and other tools make up the totality of Lean Manufacturing. This philosophy, however, would not work without the help of each and every employee of the business.
Here are some points to produce an ideal Lean Manufacturing System
• Try to design or implement a simple system to manufacture (decreased time, less inventory, higher productivity and profit)
• Always improved, LMS is an idea that focuses on the improvement of product and services to satisfy the changing demands of the consuming public.
• Do not stop and continue to improve the system.
What is a Lean Office?
A Lean Office is a place where the best customer service is offered by eliminating all the possible waste during production. It is accomplished by creating a smooth flow of work in the lean office and creating a standardized way of accomplishing work. The lean office operates using the principles used in lean manufacturing.
Lean Office vs. Lean Manufacturing
The Lean Office and Lean Manufacturing have many similarities but there are certain differences that are needed to be pointed out in order to have a more effective lean office.
One of the main differences of the two is the waste it produces. Manufacturing wastes are easily quantifiable and are quite visible. This makes it easier to apply problem solving techniques to lessen the waste. Office wastes, on the other hand, are difficult to spot. Office work usually involves a lot of people making it harder to monitor. It is also hard to monitor the pending work on each work station. Because of these factors, it is more difficult to make solutions to office waste problems.
Another difference between the two is the culture. Culture can affect the manner by which the company works. The manufacturing culture is informal unlike the lean office culture. Having a formal working environment makes it easier to assign responsibility and define job roles.
Also, it is easier to carry out changes in the lean office than in manufacturing. Changes done in the office are often minimal. Further training could suffice to make these changes. Managing changes and monitoring them is easier in a lean office environment.
The Lean office and lean manufacturing share most of the principles in reducing the waste in the workplace. Both follows the lean principles that started in the manufacturing sector but found its way to the offices and administrations. Although they do share some principles, the differences should also be noted to make a more efficient and effective working environment.
Nowadays several organizations seek to restructure their organizations so as to attain competitive advantage over the competitors through delivering of goods and services by use of less resource to get superiority quality. The aim of lean manufacturing is to streamline an organization in order to decrease wastage by getting rid of unnecessary steps and individuals. Lean manufacturing idea is based on Toyota Production System, that aim to deliver goods and services constantly using appropriate tools, knowledgeable staff and proven methodology.
Here is a guideline to implement lean manufacturing. Get senior management that will support lean manufacturing. The management will implement fully and support the outcome of lean manufacturing. Set the goals to be achieved. To get the support of all workers, tell them reasons for executing lean manufacturing, the way it will bring impact on their lives and what they are required to do. Come up with a team for lean manufacturing. Select a good team leader. He should have good communication skills, charismatic and devoted. The team must include key staff from different departments of the organization, not only the manufacturing department. Educate the team on various techniques of lean manufacturing. Involve a lean techniques expert to train them. Choose the most suitable lean technique for the organization, for instance Total Quality Management, that focuses on ensuring internal guidelines and procedure standards diminish errors and make supply chain management more efficient. Lean technique chosen should be quite simple to implement to ensure success. Prioritize the execution of lean technique chosen by selecting a pilot project. This pilot project must not fail since it is designed to set the lean implementation pace. Roll out your pilot project to various departments. Perform an assessment of the outcome to find out the project success. Identify another project which you will carry out once the on going project is underway. Repeat previous steps appropriate to execute other lean techniques.