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Lean Manufacturing Principles

One goal at Bossard is to help our customers achieve lean manufacturing. There are many principles that need to be considered when looking to improve manufacturing in order to operate lean. All principles are important and must be understood by everyone involved in the manufacturing process in order to effectively implement lean manufacturing practices. When starting to look at how you can operate lean, there are a few basic principles to examine first.
Eliminate Waste

One important component of achieving lean manufacturing is the elimination of waste. This principle focuses on the review of all areas of the organization to identify non-value adding work in order to reduce and eliminate unnecessary steps and spending. In manufacturing, there are typically seven different types of waste including:

• Unnecessary Motion

• Inventory waste

• Over production

• Overprocessing

• Unnecessary wait time

• Defective production

• Transportation waste

Continuous Improvement

Often thought to be the most important principle of lean manufacturing, constant improvement is the base of lean manufacturing practices. Without continuously striving for improvement in all areas of production and the business as a whole, the progress of the company will slow or even stop. Constant improvement promotes improvement and work towards a goal. This goal can be big or small, but needs to be sought after by everyone.

Employee Respect

Breaking away from the more measurable principles, it is important to look at the people that make everything happen each day. Without the employees that come to work each day, the business cannot achieve success. The principle is simple. Respect the employees and they will respect the company. Show the employees a lack of respect, and they are likely to do the same for the company. Employees usually want to do well at their job and want to know they are of worth to the company. Make sure employees are constantly reminded that they are valued and respected through constant communication, positive feedback and by listening to their ideas and input.

Level Production

The foundation to achieving lean manufacturing is levelized production. Almost all companies base manufacturing on customer orders. However, waiting too long for customer orders to come in before beginning production can increase delivery time which could result in unhappy customers. On the flip side, you do not want to over produce and have a surplus. Achieving levelized production works by looking both at history and the forecast to find the key balance.

Just In Time Production

Just in Time production or (JIT) works with levelized production to produce the quantity of products needed when they are needed at the quantity needed. This principle of lean manufacturing decreases unnecessary movement and transportation by producing only when required. When using this principle, manufacturers can save both time and money.

Built In Quality

Keeping quality in mind from the beginning, starting with product design, is the last principle when starting to move towards lean manufacturing. Quality should be built in to every step of the manufacturing process from initial product design to packaging and shipping. Getting it right the first time will cut down on quality control time and costs later on.

These guiding principles will be the starting point on the road to lean manufacturing. These basic principles can be used for manufacturing on any scale to help improve your production practices.

To learn more about the learn manufacturing principles, contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

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June 18, 2014

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