Eliminating Waste Through Lean Manufacturing Practices

Lean manufacturing describes a set of methodologies that are intended to improve the quality and efficiency of a warehouse or manufacturing facility. The basic principles are not revolutionary and reflect many of the ideals that have been slowly implemented since assembly line production first started. The concept is to create a better product for the end consumer. This goal is achieved by reducing inefficiencies throughout the manufacturing process. The way that individual businesses deal with these inefficiencies varies by How To Be Seen As An Expert and location. There are three broad areas where many manufacturers make lean changes in order to improve performance.
Motion
Large warehouses do not always grow in logical ways. Shelving is sometimes placed in an open location even though it is inconvenient for workers. Similarly, the placement of gravity conveyor systems that move parts could be the result of open space and not because of an intelligent layout. Lean methodologies measure the amount of movement that each employee must undertake in order to complete the most common tasks throughout the day. Optimizing these movements means that a worker will travel shorter distances when completing a job. This reduces the cost of production and improves the output of the individual.
Inventory
Many manufacturers maintain a large inventory of parts to ensure that the assembly line never stops. Lean manufacturing principles see this type of inventory buildup as a waste. It is considered wasteful, because storing a large quantity of components requires an equally large amount of storage space. Special equipment must sometimes be used to pick the necessary parts when they are located in inconvenient areas. Classification Of Manufacturing Industries Storing components in this way also means that there is distance between the assembly point and the pick location. A lean manufacturer maintains smaller batches of parts. Each of these batches is kept close to the assembly point. This increases efficiency by reducing the amount of space that is needed and by placing the assembler closer to the products so that inventory problem are identified immediately.
Waiting
The concept of waiting as waste is not unique to lean practices. Waiting describes when one employee must wait for others to complete a task before being able to start work on an item. Waiting is a waste of time and resources. Optimizing movement and placing component inventories near each station will help to reduce this problem. Using smarter types of equipment, such as gravity feed conveyor systems, will also produce a better result, since an entire line will not have to stop if just one person slows down for a minute. Eliminating long waiting times often involves changes in both manufacturing processes as well as equipment.

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