Lean manufacturing has contributed to a 25 percent increase in productivity. Additionally, it has resulted in a 20 percent reduction in lead times.
Lean manufacturing is a business philosophy focusing on reducing production waste. It aims at improving efficiency and creating a better working environment for employees.
It is a systematic approach to minimizing waste and enhancing quality. Furthermore, it reduces costs to maximize value for customers. It is based on continuous improvement and continuous learning. Also, it is often associated with the Toyota Production System.
By eliminating non-value-added activities, it focuses on the customer's needs. Lean manufacturing helps companies achieve their business objectives rapidly.
This post covers a lot more details about lean manufacturing. Here is all that we shall learn on this page:
- What is Lean Manufacturing?
- How does Lean Manufacturing Work?
- Lean Manufacturing: Brief History
- 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing
- 8 Wastes of Lean Production
- Advantages of Lean Manufacturing
- Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing
- Examples of Lean Manufacturing
- Lean Vs. Six Sigma
- How does Lean improve ERP usage?
- How can Deskera Help You?
- Key Takeaways
- Related Articles
What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that focuses on the following two aspects:
- reducing waste
- increasing efficiency in the production process.
It is based on the principles of the Toyota Production System. Through this, it seeks to eliminate waste and promote continuous improvement. Additionally, it ensures customer satisfaction. Lean manufacturing techniques include reducing inventory and reducing lead times. Aside from that, it also strengthens flexibility. Lean manufacturing aims to deliver the highest quality products at the lowest cost and in the shortest lead time possible.
How does Lean Manufacturing Work?
The central aspect of implementing lean manufacturing is to minimize waste. This results in continuous improvement of processes. Lean manufacturing provides value to the consumer by improving processes.
Any activity or service that does not provide value to the customers can be called waste. Moreover, all such activities consume resources. These can include underutilized talent, surplus inventory, or inefficient or wasteful procedures.
Removing these inefficiencies should streamline services and reduce costs. Ultimately provide savings to the customers for a specific product or service via the supply chain.
Lean Manufacturing: Brief History
Let’s take a quick look at the history of lean manufacturing:
- Lean manufacturing is a production methodology that was developed in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s.
- It is based on the concept of eliminating waste from the manufacturing process. It aims to create a more efficient production system.
- The original goal of lean manufacturing was to reduce costs and increase quality and productivity.
- Over the years, lean manufacturing principles have been applied in various industries. These include healthcare, retail, and aerospace.
Today, lean manufacturing is used in many industries around the world. It is seen as an essential part of the modern manufacturing process.
5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing
The principles of lean manufacturing are utilized as the foundation for implementing lean. These are as follows:
- Value stream
This refers to how much they are willing to pay for products or services. It is determined from the customer's point of view. The manufacturer or service provider should then aim to eliminate waste and costs. By doing this, they can achieve the ideal pricing for the client and maximize revenues.
Value Stream Mapping
This technique entails analyzing the materials and resources required to manufacture a product. It is essential to discover waste and opportunities for improvement.
The value stream encompasses a product's complete lifecycle. The journey begins with raw materials through a disposal. Each stage of the manufacturing cycle should be inspected for waste. It must also evaluate aspects that do not add value and should be eliminated. Chain alignment is frequently advocated as a method of accomplishing this phase.
Most of the modern manufacturing streams are complicated. Thus necessitating the collaboration of engineers, scientists, and designers.
This is the process of removing functional barriers to improve lead times. It guarantees that operations run smoothly and with minimal delay. Any unnecessary waste is also eliminated.
Implement a Pull System
Companies must understand the Push Vs. Pull system. A pull system works by only starting work when there is a demand for it. Push systems, utilized in manufacturing resource planning (MRP) systems, are the inverse of this.
Push systems plan stocks ahead of time. Their output is scheduled to meet sales or production projections. However, not every forecast is accurate. This can result in either too much or not enough of a product being produced to fulfill demand.
Furthermore, it can result in higher warehousing expenses and timetable disruptions. Additionally, it can lead to poor customer satisfaction.
A pull system only operates when there is a demand for it. Its success is dependent on flexibility, communication, and efficient operations.
The pull strategy may entail teams only going on to new tasks after the previous steps have been accomplished. Thus allowing the team to adjust to obstacles as they arise. This can happen while knowing that the earlier work is mainly pertinent to providing the product or service.
The pursuit of perfection via ongoing process improvements is known as 'Kaizen. The term was coined by Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro Toyoda. Lean manufacturing necessitates continuous review and improvement of processes. In a way, this guarantees the elimination of waste. Also, it identifies the best system for the value stream.
To create an authentic and long-term change, continuous improvement must be embedded. It must also involve the assessment of metrics such as lead times, production cycles, throughput, and cumulative flow.
It is critical for a continuous improvement culture to permeate all levels of an organization. This begins with team members and project managers all the way up to the executive level. These practices foster a sense of collective responsibility for development and value creation.
8 Wastes of Lean Production
The 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing include the following:
- Overproduction: This implies producing more products than are needed.
- Waiting: This explains the delays in production processes that lead to idle time.
- Transportation: This is about moving materials and components unnecessarily.
- Over-Processing: This entails using more steps than necessary to complete a process.
- Inventory: This describes unnecessary stock of raw materials, components, or finished goods.
- Motion: This is about the unnecessary movement of people or equipment to complete tasks.
- Defects: It is all about the poor quality of materials or products that lead to rework or scrap.
- Underutilized People: When the companies do not make use of all available resources to maximize output.
These wastes can be split into three categories. These are Mura, Muri, and Muda. Let’s see what these mean.
Mura, Muri, and Muda are three Japanese terms used in the Toyota Production System.
This means unevenness or inconsistency. It refers to eliminating waste related to the unevenness of production. These may include uneven workloads and the uneven distribution of resources.
This means overburden or strain. It refers to eliminating waste related to overburdening or straining people or machines. These include excessive overtime or machines that are not designed to handle the workload.
This implies waste. It refers to the practice of eliminating waste in all its forms. This includes wasted time, materials, energy, and space. It also includes any activity that does not add value to the product or service being provided.
Advantages of Lean Manufacturing
Let’s learn about the advantages of Lean Manufacturing.
Shorter Lead Times
Lean manufacturing increases the efficiency by eliminating non-value-adding activities. It eliminates waste and streamlines the production process. This results in lower costs and shorter lead times.
By eliminating waste and non-value-adding activities, lean manufacturing helps to improve product quality. This results in a better product for the customer.
Streamlining the production process and eliminating waste helps to reduce the amount of inventory on hand. This leads to lower costs. There is less need to store and move inventory.
Lean manufacturing helps to create a flexible production process. Such processes can respond quickly to changes in customer demand. This helps to ensure that customers get the product when they need it.
Improved Employee Morale
Lean manufacturing helps to create an environment where employees are more engaged and motivated. This leads to improved employee morale. This, in turn, can lead to improved productivity.
Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing
Let’s learn about the disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing in this section.
Difficulty in Implementing
Implementing lean manufacturing can be difficult. This is mainly for companies using traditional manufacturing methods for a long time. It requires changes in process, mindset, and culture. All these can take time to adjust to.
Reduced Employee Flexibility
We know that lean manufacturing is focused on eliminating waste. Thus, it can reduce the flexibility of workers. Workers may no longer be able to perform the same tasks they were previously assigned.
Lean manufacturing processes can lead to quality issues if not implemented correctly. Mistakes can occur if procedures are not well-defined or monitored closely.
High Initial Costs
The upfront costs associated with implementing lean manufacturing can be pretty high. These can be difficult for some companies to afford.
Examples of Lean Manufacturing
A classic example of Lean Manufacturing is at Toyota Motors. The company uses a combination of Lean Manufacturing principles, such as Kaizen, Just-in-Time, and Kanban. These techniques help to reduce waste and increase efficiency in their production process.
This includes reducing setup times and streamlining inventory management. Also, it improves communication between all departments. Toyota also utilizes automation and robotics. Additionally, it facilitates a continuous improvement culture.
Here are some more real-life examples of where lean manufacturing is implemented. Further, it has provided companies with outstanding results.
Manufacturing of Cables
A cable manufacturer desired to cut set-up processes and shorten lead times to market. The lean team discovered strategies to simplify machine set-up and changeover requirements. These included installing a scheduling system to improve just-in-time manufacturing. Also, setting up upstream part production with downstream manufacturing and assembly.
Machine setups that took five hours per machine were reduced to 35 minutes. Thus, adding around five hours of uptime per machine each day.
Printing companies often experience late orders and lengthy lead times. Let’s assume its inventory is piled up in its warehouse. It has more than 10% of the finished goods are discarded.
In such a case, a lean team can help to map the value stream.
It can also identify waste that might be removed from the workflow in order to enhance efficiency. Before installing cellular manufacturing technologies, 5S (visual workplace) was also used. It helped to optimize workflow.
It experienced the following outcomes.
- On-time delivery increased to 90% with significantly shorter lead times.
- Improved inventory management resulted in less finished product waste.
Automotive Parts Manufacturing
Automotive manufacturers usually work in shifts. These shift changes average about 30 minutes each. When they introduce lean manufacturing, they can experience the following:
- Minimize downtime
- Facilitate equipment maintenance for the next shift
- Have better communication
The new work system can provide the company with added production uptime. Thus, the overall throughput can be incredibly enhanced.
Lean Vs. Six Sigma
We know that lean believes waste is caused by extra stages, processes, and features that customers do not believe add value. On the other hand, Six Sigma believes waste is caused by process variance.
Despite their differences, Six Sigma and lean can be integrated to form a data-driven strategy known as 'Lean Six Sigma.'
Six Sigma is a quality management system used to improve manufacturing processes. It aids in reducing defects and increasing efficiency. The concept is based on a set of tools and techniques. These tools and techniques focus on improving the quality of products or services. It does so by identifying and eliminating defects in the production process.
Six Sigma aims to reduce variation, improve quality, and reduce costs.
Both lean and Six Sigma come across as similar terms. However, the differences can be summed up through the following points:
- Lean is focused on optimizing processes. Six Sigma is focused on the optimization of product quality.
- Lean is more concerned with time and cost reduction. Six Sigma is more concerned with eliminating defects and improving customer satisfaction.
- Lean emphasizes continuous improvement. Six Sigma emphasizes minimizing variation.
- Lean is more of a philosophy and set of principles. Six Sigma is more of a structured system of tools and processes.
- Lean is more suitable for simpler operations. Six Sigma is more suitable for complex operations.
- Lean is more suitable for smaller organizations. Six Sigma is more ideal for larger organizations.
How does Lean Improve Manufacturing?
Lean production systems improve manufacturing by reducing waste and increasing efficiency. The main principles of lean production involve streamlining processes. This way, it eliminates any non-value-adding activities. This includes excessive inventory, overproduction, and unnecessary movement of materials.
Lean production methods also encourage the use of tools such as 5S, Kaizen, and visual management. These tools help to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve quality.
In addition, lean production systems focus on building relationships with suppliers. They ensure materials and components are delivered on time and in the right quantities. This helps to reduce waste further and improve efficiency.
How does Lean Improve ERP Usage?
Lean production systems help drop waste and inefficiencies in the supply chain and production process. This can help reduce the cost of ERP systems, as it reduces the amount of data that needs to be processed, stored, and managed.
Organizations can streamline their processes and reduce overhead costs. This can be achieved by using lean production systems, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective ERP system. Additionally, lean production systems can help organizations identify inefficiencies in their ERP system. Following this, it can make corrections to ensure that it runs.
In conclusion, lean manufacturing is a powerful tool for businesses. Companies that seek to reduce waste and increase efficiency can utilize this concept.
By implementing lean principles, businesses can reduce costs, improve quality, and increase customer satisfaction. However, lean manufacturing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With the right tools and strategies, businesses can achieve significant benefits.
Lean manufacturing can help businesses reduce waste. With the right approach, it can improve productivity. Thus, leading to sustainable growth and success.
How can Deskera Help You?
To make result-oriented decisions, manufacturing processes, in general, require a clear vision. Deskera MRP can handle your company's bottlenecks. All while concentrating on your primary tasks.
Here are some ways Deskera ERP and MRP systems might benefit you:
- Create production schedules.
- Keep a Bill of Materials.
- Make detailed reports.
- Among other things, create your own dashboard!
Deskera provides Enterprise Resource Planning software and a Materials Requirements Planning system to assist you in navigating the obstacles your firm faces. That is entirely integrated, compliant, and simple to put in place. It's a web-based business management application that provides a real-time snapshot of your company's operations.
Deskera Books, an accounting expert from Deskera ERP, automates all of your accounting procedures. Invoicing, billing, costs, payments, and taxes are all included. Reporting, approval flows, multiple currency payments, payment getaways, and much more are all included.
Deskera CRM makes it easy to grow your customer base. Email marketing, CTAs, landing pages, help desk options, and more ways are available. Furthermore, it is now simple to automate sales and transactions. Moving them through the sales process and gathering real-time data is also simple.
Deskera People is a simple tool for centralizing human resource management responsibilities. With this technology, payroll processing is speedy. It also assists you with overtime, employee benefits, training programs, and much more.
- Lean manufacturing is a business philosophy focusing on reducing production waste.
- It aims at improving efficiency and creating a better working environment for employees.
- It is a systematic approach to minimizing waste and enhancing quality. Furthermore, it reduces costs to maximize value for customers. It is based on continuous improvement and continuous learning.
- Also, it is often associated with the Toyota Production System.
- By eliminating non-value-added activities, it focuses on the customer's needs.
- Lean manufacturing helps companies achieve their business objectives rapidly.
- Value, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection are the 5 principles of lean manufacturing.
- Value refers to how much they are willing to pay for products or services. It is determined from the customer's point of view.
- The value stream is a technique that entails analyzing the materials and resources required to manufacture a product. It is essential to discover waste and opportunities for improvement.
- It is essential to discover waste and opportunities for improvement.
- Creating flow is the process of removing functional barriers to improve lead times. It guarantees that operations run smoothly and with minimal delay.
- A pull system works by only starting work when there is a demand for it. Push systems, utilized in manufacturing resource planning (MRP) systems, are the inverse of this.
- The pursuit of perfection via ongoing process improvements is known as Kaizen. The term was coined by Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro Toyoda.
- The benefits of lean manufacturing are shorter lead times, improved quality, and reduced inventory.
- It also offers greater flexibility and improved employee morale.
- Difficult implementation and reduced employee flexibility are the disadvantages of lean manufacturing.
- Also, it has high initial costs and could lead to a highly competitive environment.
- Six Sigma is a quality management system used to improve manufacturing processes. It aids in reducing defects and increasing efficiency.
- Despite their differences, Six Sigma and lean can be integrated to form a data-driven strategy known as 'Lean Six Sigma.'
- Lean production systems help eliminate waste and inefficiencies in the supply chain and production process. This can help reduce the cost of ERP systems, as it reduces the amount of data that needs to be processed, stored, and managed.