6 Essential Lean Manufacturing Tools

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6 Essential Lean Manufacturing Tools

If you have landed upon this article, you are probably already thinking about starting your journey into lean manufacturing. This straightforward guide will give you an insight into what lean manufacturing is, educate you about the tools involved, and illustrate how you can use them to benefit your career and personal lifestyle.

Scroll down to find a run-down of the most important things you need to know.

A Smart Way to Start

Before you investigate lean manufacturing tools, it’s crucial to plan a realistic route first. If you’re seriously contemplating professionally using lean manufacturing and want to know more about the concept, then you need to get your foot in the door by getting the qualifications required. Many courses will provide preparation and give you a stepping-stone for your future endeavors.

Perhaps you have already started the process by graduating and wish to continue your studies. If this is the case, choosing a post-graduate education is a wise decision and will grant you even more opportunities. You can obtain your master’s in lean manufacturing online through Kettering Global if this sounds like an appealing option for you.

Kettering Global is a highly established educational institute with a great reputation so we highly recommend you consider this as a viable placement.

Key Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing revolves around a set of definitive principles. They underline how modern workplaces and everyday tasks should be managed in order to maximize productivity. These principles are formulated using five simple concepts: seek perfection, promote learning, deliver quickly, integrity and empowerment, and establish pull. For further details on these key fundamentals, click here.

The Most Essential Lean Manufacturing Tools

Now that you know the basics of lean and have a comprehension of its main principles, you can put it into practice by using the top main tools:

Bottleneck Analysis

It is a reoccurring problem in the world of business when projects don’t progress beyond the developmental stage. Bottleneck analysis is used to detect possible problems beforehand and find multiple ways in preventing them. It’s vital to formulate backup plans. Ultimately, this provides desirable results by saving time, resources, and other outgoings.

Just in Time

This type of lean tool is a structural way of ensuring that products are only manufactured after a customer has comminated to purchasing them. Unnecessary stock that remains left in the company’s inventory can drastically drain a company’s finances. Therefore, the implementation of JIT avoids the risk of wastefulness through overstocking.

Value Stream Mapping

In summary, VSM is when a company uses visual maps to make it clear exactly which components are necessary for the smooth running of their trade. Using visuals, their aims are achievable as it gives them the whole picture of the process.

Equipment Effectiveness

Analyzing the overall effectiveness of the equipment a company uses is known as OEE. It calculates productivity by considering availability, performance, and quality. In doing so, companies can establish a realistic, initial baseline.

Prepare, Implement, Check, Respond

In the world of lean manufacturing, it’s crucial to make plans before putting them into action. Afterward, analyzing how successful the project was is paramount. Finally, a strategy must be put into action to improve productivity. This method is known as PDCA and is scientifically proven to increase profits.

Don’t Fix, Prevent

It’s common knowledge that in order to minimize waste, preventing the issue in the first place is essential. The formal term for this is Error Proofing and is implemented by institutions worldwide. It takes human error into consideration and concentrates on potential technical issues. This gives business owners an advantage as they ensure they avoid as many problems as possible.

How are Lean Manufacturing Tools Beneficial?

There are many ways that businesses use lean manufacturing techniques to benefit themselves.  They can be easily explained and include:

Waste Minimization

A crucial motivation for implementing lean manufacturing is to reduce as much waste as possible. By eliminating excessive production, companies can increase their profits and reduce their outgoings. It’s also better for the environment.

Cost Reduction

A result of minimizing waste is that it means you don’t have as many financial burdens. If you only have the amount of stock you need, then you save the expense of warehouses that must harbor unnecessary products. Furthermore, it protects you against having to pay wages and sick pay/holiday allowance for extra employees that are not really needed.

Meet Promised Dates

If you remove unnecessary costs, you will find you gain much-needed time to meet promised deadlines and hit targets in a timely manner. This optimizes the productivity of the business and makes customers happy, ensuring full satisfaction to all those involved with the corporation.

Improve Quality

If companies make a conscious effort to improve the standard of the products and service they deliver, then they ensure content customers and improve their overall satisfaction. Furthermore, when a company concentrates on eliminating flaws in the production stages, it saves time and promotes a stress-free environment for employees.

Skills You’ll Gain and Other Perks of the Job

Hopefully, you have now enhanced your understanding of the principles and tools used in lean manufacturing. If you implement lean tools in the workplace, you’ll inevitably improve your overall skillset. The first example of this is problem-solving; you will be accustomed to taking initiative and finding ways to overcome issues. Furthermore, you will become adept in critical thinking as you’ll learn to think critically, not only regarding industrial productivity but also in your everyday life. This can help you to be more self-aware and ensure that you meet higher expectations.

It’s good to be aware of how continuing your career in lean manufacturing can be beneficial to your personal development because there are numerous additional ways that it advances your abilities.

To conclude, if you incorporate the principles and utilize the tools listed above, you guarantee that you’re able to deliver them efficiently and resourcefully. Furthermore, it will open the doors to a variety of career possibilities and benefit your general quality of life.

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