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What is Lean Manufacturing and How Can I Achieve It?

Lean manufacturing is a process that is designed to reduce waste without negatively affecting productivity or quality. By focusing on those elements that add value to the manufacturing system and supply chain, and stripping away what does not, lean management achieves this goal. 

It Is Not a New Concept

As far back as Benjamin Franklin, innovative minds have been touting the idea of avoiding unnecessary costs by reducing waste. Franklin wrote about this concept as being more favorable in terms of profits compared to an increase in sales. 

Putting Lean Manufacturing into Practice

Put into practice, lean manufacturing encompasses tools designed to first identify waste then address this issue. Once that occurs, the costs of operating the system are reduced while productivity and quality are improved. 

The tools of lean manufacturing are varied and diverse. These can include the following: 

  • multi-process handling
  • visualizing workflow
  • value stream mapping
  • total productive maintenance
  • control charts that check workloads
  • error proofing
  • production flow analysis
  • single-point scheduling

It can also be achieved by removing unevenness found in the workflow. This is supported by visualizing the workflow so that areas of improvement are discovered.

Instead of being focused on eliminating waste, improving the workflow takes a system-wide perspective. Waste removal is a natural occurrence when this method is used. 

Lean Manufacturing Principles

Regardless of whether the focus of lean manufacturing practices is simply on reducing waste or it aims to address systemic unevenness in the workflow, the following principles drive the methodology: 

  • flexibility
  • automation
  • perfect quality the first time
  • visual control
  • positive vendor management
  • production flow
  • continuous improvement
  • minimizing different types of waste
  • pull processing

Lean manufacturing, as a concept, is the ideal way for businesses to achieve their goals. It reduces waste, improves productivity, increases quality, and improves lead time.

However, to be most effective, the lean production system must be tailored to the specific company and its needs. This key factor is what drives the successful adaptation of lean manufacturing while enabling the achievement of the company’s unique goals. 

To learn more about how Bossard can help you reach your lean manufacturing goals and improve processes, contact us today at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

What is Lean Manufacturing and How Can I Achieve It? by
January 01, 2021

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