What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing goes by many names. Just-in-time manufacturing. JIT. Flow production. Each of these versions are essentially subtly different flavors of Lean manufacturing. The Toyota Production System is often also uses synonymously with Lean manufacturing, as the car manufacturer popularized modern Lean and is particularly open with its teachings on the subject.
Essentially, Lean manufacturing is the reduction of waste to improve the flow of products and services through a company. This increases the value to the customer while reducing the costs to the company.
Lean operates with some basic tools. It uses Standard Work to pull the variation out of processes and 5S to make workplaces more effective. It uses kanban to support the reduction of inventory which is only possible when long setup times are reduced. Lean manufacturing makes extensive use of heijunka, or load-leveling to provide stability to production processes.
Lean manufacturing promotes flow through its production, which just means a product is being continuously worked on. It that isn’t possible, it maintains its pace by only passing on work when a downstream worker asks for it. This is known as a pull system.
Lean manufacturing also uses jidoka (autonomation) to make machines smarter, which reduces the load on people.
Making Your Lean Manufacturing Efforts More Effective
Each of the Lean tools listed above is only effective when a Lean culture exists, and when there are systems in place to support them.
We have a short video available for you to view to see how all of these tools work to make production in Lean manufacturing far more effective than in traditional batch-and-queue.
If you are interested in learning how to make your Lean manufacturing efforts more effective, please email us at Info@Velaction.com or call us at 1.800.670.5805 to learn how our Lean consulting services can help you.