Lean Manufacturing Definition
Lean manufacturing, often called Lean production or simply “Lean”, is a practice that is considering the expenditure of resources for goals other than creation of the value for end customer to be wasteful and a target for elimination. Working from perspectives of the customers who make used of the products, “value” is simply defined as “any process or action that a customer is willing to pay for”. Meaning, the lean is centered on preserving the value with a lesser work. Lean manufacturing management philosophy was derived mostly from the TPS (Toyota Production System) which is also coined after “Toyotism”. It was found only later in the 1990s. It was renowned for the focus of reduction on the original Toyota seven wastes for improving overall the customer value, but there are many varying perspectives on how it is achieved best. The growth of Toyota Company from a small company to one of the world’s largest automaker has focused its attention on how it has achieved.
The Lean method allows the organization to have the ability to rapidly change and adjust to the client needs and offer the most value with the productions and its people costs. The lean organizations are improving their processes continuously, and further improving the product qualities.
The 5s work area organization process usually starts by sorting out and differs the useful from unnecessary. The only things that must remain in workplace are the tools, parts, & instructions that are needed to do the job. In the Standardized phase of Lean 5S, routine cleaning becomes a way of everyday life. Preventive maintenance is performed routinely, perhaps with the planning, scheduling, and responsibilities done by some of the central maintenance department, and with much routine maintenance are possibly performed by the persons that knew the work center better than someone else.
The Shitsuke the term used when the 5S becomes already a routine way of life. The root causes are identified routinely and dealt. The systems 5S forms and Standard Work Auditing are very familiar. Both the supervisors and workers have come to appreciate the benefits of 5S and the Lean methods. Some companies name their program as 6S to emphasize the safety, but the truth behind it is that safety inseparably intertwined with every phase of the traditional 5S categories. A workplace that is uncluttered is a safer work area. A well maintained piece of equipment is simply safer piece of equipment. A clean workplace is always a safer workplace.
Analogy of process and the benefits of lean manufacturing
Shigeo Shingo is a leading expert on Lean manufacturing method; he used a great analogy which simply shows what Toyota Production System is all about. There are only three elements in the analogy: a Ship which means the business, the ocean of water that is the resources, and the rocks which are the waste. The analogy is quoted as “a business is simply like a ship that is floating on the ocean of rocks”.
In the conventional factory, the rocks are dealt with simply with this: More water is being pumped in to cover them. The ship must be able to sail. A conventional manager or a captain thinks “I have to prevent the ship from stopping at all costs, because it’s very expensive. Pumping more water will cost less than just hitting the rocks and then stopping the ship. It is true because that getting of gasoline a few miles away will sooner cost more than the normal cost, less than cost for your vehicles tune-up or installation of traffic lights is more expensive than crossing carefully on a busy street without a signal or traffic light. Simply in other words, adding more water is a cheaper solution, but it is only temporary and a short term solution, and can not actually solve the problem. As water will evaporate, the rock surface will again emerge and more water will again have to be bought to cover them. In the short run of adding more inventory may solve problems by removing the real obstacles or the rocks is what Lean manufacturing refers to all about.
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