Lean Manufacturing Principles: 4 tips for implementing lean in your workplace

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Become more responsive to your customer’s demands and provide greater levels of service without compromising your business objectives.

Apply lean manufacturing techniques in the storage and handling of parts in your production processes and deliver significant performance improvements for your customers and your business. 

The goal of LEAN is to identify and eliminate non-essential and non-value steps in the business process in order to streamline operations, improve quality, and gain customer loyalty.

Lean is a systematic method of eliminating waste, improving productivity, and increasing efficiency. The lean model originates from the Japanese manufacturing industry, particularly Toyota, that has revolutionised the optimisation of processes in manufacturing and production.

There are several principles to help guide lean manufacturing. This page will cover 4 of the core concepts, their meaning, and how Tube & Bracket’s lean solutions align with your business goals. 

7 Wastes

One core element of lean production & manufacturing is what the Japanese call “Muda” or Waste. Wastage can be defined on many levels throughout the manufacturing process and can be split into 7 categories. These being the 7 wastes: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Over Processing, and Defects. By reducing these 7 categories, companies can be well on their way to creating a lean production system. 

So how else can you implement a lean manufacturing system? Takt time, also known as cycle time, plays a big part in calculating the rate of production in order to increase yield, meet customer demands, and manufacture lean. 

7 wastes of manufacturing also known as muda

Takt time

By defining a cycle time, production lines can work to targets and achieve better productivity. If calculated correctly, it can show early signs of any supply issues and help to benchmark the productivity of your lean manufacturing implementation. Not producing at takt time creates an issue in the demand of the product, this is why we need takt time to stay on-track and on-target.

Calculating takt time using the takt time formula is easy. Simply divide your total available production time by the average customer demand. But be sure to exclude breaks, scheduled maintenance, and other necessary downtimes from this calculation. Overall, this should give you a minimum rate at which your production needs to run to meet demand. Read more about just-in-time production to learn more about takt times. 

Kaizen 

Continuous improvement is an important principle of lean manufacturing. By moving in a constant direction of improvements keeps your business working to the best of its abilities and bettering its position in your target market over time. Kaizen has more personnel-focus in its approach to making your business lean. By improving your employees with training and equipment, their performance with making small improvements and get incrementally better day-on-day. Kaizen is also about listening to your employees to understand what would make their jobs easier, quicker, and improve the quality of manufacture. 

5s

The 5s methodology is once again based on the Japanese manufacturing industry. The basis for this principle is to keep a clean, tidy, and organised workplace and workstation that encourages improvement. The 5s methods broken down are to Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain. By keeping to the 5s system, your build efficiency which would otherwise be lost by ill-placed components, tools, and stations. 

5s lean manufacturing principle

There are more lean manufacturing principles that could be followed to improve productivity, shorten lead times, and much more. At The Tube & Bracket Company, we’re passionate and excited to help you make these changes to your manufacturing. Interested in how we’ve helped implement lean manufacturing solutions for other businesses? Check out our case studies here

Lean manufacturing systems should be demand-based. Inventory should be pulled through production to meet customer demands. The benefits of creating a lean system include decreased cycle time, less inventory, increased productivity and increased efficiency. Our solutions can help you achieve all this.  

We design bespoke solutions that suit your industry and business to increase performance. Some of our lean solutions involve the installation of kitting trolleys, shadow tool boards, live storage racking and ergonomic workstations; all made from our signature materials, Leantek and Graphit. 

Talk to our expert team and find out more.