What is lean Manufacturing?
Lean Manufacturing has been around for many years, some of the ideas behind it being centuries old, however the lean that most of us know has evolved out of the the Toyota Production System (TPS), the secret of the success of the world leader in the automotive industry.
Many believe that Lean Manufacturing is all about the removal or reduction in waste in the company’s processes, but they are missing out on many of the other aspects of lean and have totally ignored the principles of lean. Any Lean Manufacturing Definition must be based around these principles.
Lean Manufacturing Principles
The first principle of lean manufacturing is to identify value, what does the customer really want? Then to identify how that value flows through the organization, right from raw materials to the final customer. Then that value has to be made to flow, without delays and being held in inventory ( Just in Time). That value has to be pulled from your organisation, not pushed through being piled up as inventory just in case a customer wants it.
Once you have achieved this you must strive for perfection, utilizing the minimum amount of resources to give the customer the value he expects.
Benefits of Lean Manufacturing
The benefits of lean manufacturing can be very significant, often reducing lead times to a fraction of what they were, reducing costs and improving efficiencies to an unbelievable level. This will help you to improve your profits and compete much more efficiently and win more business.