A Journey Towards Becoming Lean

The traits of a “World-Class Manufacturing” are: Being the best, Delighting the customer and Being the lowest cost producer. Achieving these has now become a sustaining factor in the Manufacturing industry. Lean Manufacturing is a crucial first step in pulling this off. Companies are now shifting on a higher gear to ensure that they can cope-up with the stiff competition. Internal improvements are as equally important as customer satisfaction. Waste identification and reduction are the cornerstones for an effective and successful lean manufacturing implementation. By means of Lean, any organization can achieve Flexible production environment, Development of capability for rapid change and improvement and Careful use of resources.

Lean can create a paradigm shift in any organization as it creates a culture of problem prevention rather than correction. In general, Lean can make any organization realize its objectives of Customer Satisfaction, Profitability and Greater Control.

Lean Manufacturing is focused on: “Muda” – waste, “Mura”- inconsistency and “Muri” – unreasonableness.

The seven (7) wastes are identified as:

  1. Waiting
  2. Correction
  3. Motion
  4. Overproduction
  5. Conveyance
  6. Inventory
  7. Processing

By identifying, reducing and developing actions for these wastes, Lean thrives on 5 principles:

  1. Define value from the customer’s perspectives
  2. Identify and map the value stream
  3. Reduce waste and improve flow
  4. Pull from the customer
  5. Pursue perfection

After identification comes the challenge to ensure that these wastes will be reduced and ultimately eliminated. Lean provides the so-called “Enablers”. These are:

  1. Value stream Mapping (VSM)
  2. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
  3. Kanban System
  4. Just in time (JIT)
  5. Cellular Manufacturing
  6. Single Piece Flow
  7. Pokayoke

Lean is a journey! A continuous journey towards perfection!  Everyone needs to be in the bus that will take us to our journey of having a “World-Class Manufacturing”.

Sonny Tapia, ECCI Senior Consultant

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