Archives : Lean Manufacturing

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    When Organizational Change is Required by Lean Manufacturing?

    Lean manufacturing has become a very popular and widely adopted economic and corporate management philosophy. Companies around the world are starting to turn to it amid political and economic crises even in the most progressive all nations.

    Yes, the hard times have extended from the third world countries to the fully developed or first world countries. It is because economies are now led and influenced by volatilities involving oil producers and companies.

    Because all industries are practically run and powered by energy, companies seem to not get away from the problems hounding the energy sector.

    For almost more than a year now, firms around the world have been suffering from crunches brought about by the increasing and soaring prices of oil in the world market.

    A lot of companies have fallen and have weakened due to the rising oil prices. There are more and more companies now filing for bankruptcy protection not because their management messed up or some executives defrauded them, but because of the external environment posed by volatile oil prices.

    That is why, lean manufacturing is getting more and more attention, and more and more companies are deciding to finally implement the principles of the strategy.

    Lean manufacturing

    What exactly is lean manufacturing? The popular Web site Wikipedia defines lean manufacturing as a philosophy in management that concentrates and looks closely at the reduction and elimination of the seven wastes.

    The seven wastes are the usual tasks, equipment and practices found in the modern day work place. The seven wastes are identified as factors that hinder productivity or significantly weakens it.

    The seven wastes lean manufacturing tries to scrap are the following:

    Over production—experts believe that over production is a total waste of energy, efforts and capital. That is because overproduction makes up for over supply and piling up of inventories, which in turn will lower or bring down prices for the manufactured goods.

    Over production also drains capital from firms, with most of the excess products either put into the trash can or reaching expiration dates.

    Over processing- Over processing is basically similar to over production, only that over processing commands additional and unnecessary processes.

    Transportation and motion- Lean manufacturing aims to reduce unnecessary costs for transportation. Motion is the pace of action within the work places. If the work stations are too compressed and small, workers will not be able to move freely, affecting their productivity.

    Inventory and waiting- As mentioned earlier, lean manufacturing eliminates piled up inventories. Waiting time in all aspects is abolished because of the streamlined structure and because productivity is accelerated.

    Scrap and defects—Mostly, lean manufacturing aims to combat the manufacturing of commodities and merchandise with scrap and defects.

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    The Theory Of Constraints And Lean Manufacturing

    The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two of the most famous business beliefs that have made an impact to the business industry for years.

    Though both popular in the business field, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are both similar in some aspects as they are in complete conflict in other views.

    Listed below are some of the strengths of the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.The theory of constraints provides focus to the student in a world of information overload.

    2.The theory of constraints provides its practitioners an opportunity to improve their organization by limiting their focus on very few issues which are the seen constraints to ongoing profitability.

    3.The lean manufacturing on the other hand became famous after being derived from the system of the successful Japanese automobile maker Toyota. The lean manufacturing approach teaches that to improve the organization, a practitioner must focus on the elimination of any or all waste.

    Listed below are some of the similarities of both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.As is evident, the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing both focus on the improvement and advocate techniques to control the process flow of a material on the manufacturing shop floor.

    2.The theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have both demonstrated impact results of implementations. That is, profitability skyrockets, as well as inventories and lead times are slashed and the operations are drastically simplified in both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing.

    3.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing recognize that the perspective of the change agent must not be limited to the manufacturing part of the business but must echo throughout the rest of the company. This is in order to gain and maintain the improvement trends that both theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are focused on.

    4.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are able to expand their scope in order to cover principles and practices of the entire business system. This will enable a continuous system-wide improvement for both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing.

    5.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embrace the concept of value. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are two philosophies that agree that value is defined by the end customer.

    6.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing have an acknowledgement that the customer value is created by a chain of interdependencies that pushes far beyond the walls of manufacturing.

    7.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing also acknowledges that the work goal of every person in the business organization is to turn the inventory into throughput.

    8.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing observe defining the system and understanding the actual process flow as an early step.

    9.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing advocate the concept of the importance of flow.

    10.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing embraces the Pull principle while also offering methods of control to the flow of product that are based from the Pull principle from the market.

    11.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that the business organization is focused on pursuing ongoing improvement. Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing agree that it is an endless pursuit of perfection.

    12.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing are also recognizing the importance of the workforce in participating in improving systems. It is noted by both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing that it is the ownership of ideas together with the demonstrated results that ignites the flame of continuous improvement.

    Listed below are the main difference between the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing:

    1.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how they focus their energies. The theory of constraints focuses on the notion to improve the system beginning with the current state of the system. The lean manufacturing, however, is bent on eliminating or reducing waste.

    2.Both the theory of constraints and lean manufacturing differ in how the boundaries are defined in the value stream itself. The theory of constraints focuses on resources that are shared across value streams while lean manufacturing organizes itself around specific products.

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    Getting The Lowdown On The Principles Of Lean Manufacturing

    Principles of lean manufacturing heavily focus on the reduction or elimination of waste during the operation of a manufacturing business. It is so important to reduce waste that it even has its own term in principles of lean manufacturing, “Muda” which also means waste in Japanese.

    There are seven types of waste these principles of lean manufacturing are dedicated to eliminate, namely:

    1. Defects – Having to repair or refurbish the defected product and the time and effort it takes.

    2. Processing – Having different add-ons that the customer does not need.

    3. Motion – The movement of people during production.

    4. Inventory – Having to store the product.

    5. Over Production – Producing more than what is demanded in the market.

    6. Transportation – Unnecessary transportation of products or materials from one location to another

    7. Waiting – Idle time of people because of bottlenecks in the manufacturing system.

    In minimizing these wastes, the principles of lean manufacturing employ strategies that focus on improving the production process. These are:

    1.Value – The price of the product is solely based on the customer’s expectation. This means that as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, it must be value for money and must meet his or her requirements at a designated time. What manufacturers do to change the raw materials to the finished product is not of relative importance to the customer.

    These principles of lean manufacturing are one of the hardest to achieve because of competition that the company has to optimize its operations and identifies the different tasks that add value and those that don’t add value.

    2.Continues Improvement – As one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this involve mapping out the whole business process. From analyzing the business process to reviewing the most efficient points, as one of the principles of lean manufacturing, this changes how the business is handled from the very foundations.

    As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, it is crucial to gain optimized levels of performance from time, delivery, to resource management and of course, profit.

    3. Customer Focus – Every manufacturing firm always has the customer first before profit. As part of the principles of lean manufacturing, customer focus makes sure that customer satisfaction is reached, feedbacks are heard and the necessary changes implemented to satisfy the customer base as a whole

    4. Perfection – One of the principles of lean manufacturing takes into mind that there are lots of ways of using company assets efficiently. This principle focuses on the reduction of operating costs while meeting customer’s expectation.

    To be able to carry out all the principles of lean manufacturing in a business, the consultant has to be able to:

    1. Motivate People – Motivate people for the new changes that the principles of lean manufacturing has done to the company. This can be done through training of the personnel and recruitment of people with the needed skills for the job.

    2. Employee Involvement – Giving the normal workers the right to decision making will give them a sense of involvement and value to the company is essential to follow the principles of lean manufacturing. Having different activities that will bring out the best in each person.

    3. Sharing of Information and Experience – Having experienced co-workers give information to the newer ones on how to get the desired results while carrying out the specific task serves the principles of lean manufacturing.

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