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Implementation of Lean Manufacturing

5-steps to redefine process and improve efficiency

Lean manufacturing is a systematic method that companies and organizations implement in order to improve efficiency, maintain productivity, and eliminate waste in a process. The broader purpose of lean manufacturing is to increase the overall value of products that are delivered to the customer by eliminating waste in the production process. So, how is this accomplished? The difficulty in lean manufacturing is that change is imperative. Lean manufacturing challenges the conventional way that engineers and business managers think about production. However, in order to improve, change needs to happen. Sheigo Shingo, a world leader in lean manufacturing and process improvement says, “The best approach is to dig out and eliminate problems where they are assumed not to exist.”  Companies must reach deep within their manufacturing processes in order to discover changes and improvements that can be made.


"Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before."       - Shigeo Shingo


 

Implementation of lean manufacturing is outlined in five steps that thoroughly analyze an entire process: identify value; identify value streams; make the value stream flow; establish pull; achieve perfection.

 

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Identify value.

All companies and organizations want to provide a product or service that the customer wants. When a company or organization meets the wants of the customer, that product or service has value. However, value will always vary accordingly to the customer’s desired price, location, time, and volume. In this case, value is not monetary rather it is an assurance of the customer’s satisfaction. If the wants of the customer are not met, then the value of the product or service decreases. As a result, to identify value is to identify the wants of the customer.

 

Identify value streams.

A value stream is the set of all the actions required to produce a product or service. Anything from conceptual development to physical production should be identified. The more thorough the value streams are, the leaner the process will become after implementing lean manufacturing. At this point, there has only been identification of value and value streams. In other words, the product has been identified as well as the steps to produce the product.

Make the value streams flow.

Be efficient. The identified value streams can either add value or not to a product. For lean manufacturing, a company will want to eliminate those value streams that do not add value. However, sometimes value streams that do not add value cannot be eliminated. Therefore, a detailed analysis of the value streams and identification of value of each are essential to maximize efficiency. Simplification of the process is key.

Establish pull.

Credibility of a company or organization is important. If a company is credible, then there will be somewhat of a consistent work flow because of the demand from the customer. Why is this important? Well, this will allow for companies to properly adjust their production to decrease waste.

Achieve perfection.

How is perfection defined? For lean manufacturing, perfection is a company that has modified processes that eliminates all types of waste such as transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, and defects. Realistically, perfection is impossible. However, if a company aims for perfection, then the results will be favorable; there will be less waste produced.

Why should lean manufacturing be implemented?

If a company wants to reduce waste, or, in other words, conserve money, while improving efficiency and maintaining productivity, the real question is: why hasn’t lean manufacturing been implemented yet?

Contact LHP

At LHP, we are experts in process and work-flow efficiency. We help organizations reduce complexity, streamline existing processes, and implement new standards, tools, and workflows.

If your organization is looking for process improvement, Contact LHP today

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