What Does Lean Manufacturing Entail?
At its most basic, lean manufacturing focuses on the elimination of waste; not just physical waste, as in an excess of materials, but also waste that occurs as the result of overburdening, or via uneven workloads. It systemically streamlines the entire manufacturing system to make it as efficient as possible, ultimately leading to greater efficiency, lower costs and faster production times. In fact, research has shown that when lean principles are put into place, it can produce significant results, including reduced manufacturing lead times and floor space requirements, and increased first-pass yields, throughput and productivity.
What are the Benefits of Lean Manufacturing?
As we mentioned earlier, lean helps metal fabricators to be more efficient, reduce waste, and increase productivity. Therefore, there are numerous benefits:
- Improved product quality: Increased efficiency helps to free up employees and resources for innovation and quality control that would have been wasted under different circumstances
- Better lead times: When manufacturing processes are streamlined, businesses can respond better to fluctuations in demand and other market variables. In the end, this results in fewer delays and improved lead times.
- Employee Satisfaction: Employees understand when their daily workload is stuffed with unnecessary work, and it often leads to decreased morale. Lean philosophy works to boost not only productivity, but employee satisfaction.
- Sustainability: Incorporating lean philosophy leads to less waste and better adaptability, creating an environment for business that’s better equipped to thrive far into the future.
What Does Lean Look Like in Practice?
Implementing lean practices, requires a shop to identify and eliminate the wasteful practices and procedures and replace them with more optimized strategies.
Here are a few brief examples of lean in practice:
- Mapping Processes & Analyzing: Value stream mapping and process mapping involve evaluating and charting broad and specific processes to better understand precise areas of waste. Once processes are mapped and analyzed, existing issues can be pinpointed and eliminated or streamlined.
- Streamlining Automation & Production Flow: Well-implemented assembly lines are critical to lean production. Lines should be automated where possible, but accommodate live workers where quality control demands.
- Employee Training: Beyond training employees on lean principles, they will also be trained on specific lean methods and processes to be utilized moving forward.
CAMM Metals | CT Lean Manufacturing
As a lean metal fabrication and manufacturing job shop, we utilize the tools and systems that for the framework of the lean philosophy to streamline our work processes. This ultimately leads to greater efficiency, decreased costs and faster production times. CAMM Metals use of lean creates value for our customers in several ways, including rapid prototype completion, allowing for quicker turnaround on future iterations.