What to Look for in a Lean Manufacturer

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What is Lean Manufacturing?

A concept known as lean manufacturing aims to increase productivity while eliminating waste in industrial systems. Anything that buyers do not think makes a significant contribution to and aren’t ready to shell out money for is considered waste. Lean manufacturing has many advantages, some of which include shorter lead times, lower operational expenses, and better product quality.

Companies from a variety of industries can enable the technique of lean manufacturing, commonly referred to as simply lean or lean production sometimes. Intel, Toyota, Nike, John Deere, and other well-known organizations all employ lean techniques.The strategy is now gaining rapid popularity and is being employed by numerous other businesses of small and medium scale. A lean manufacturing approach can be advantageous for businesses that use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

Qualities to Check When Choosing a Lean Manufacturer

Transportation, inventory, mobility, waiting, oversupply, overprocessing, and errors are the seven categories of waste that are commonly present in industrial environments. Lean manufacturing assists in identifying and eliminating these wastes. Manufacturers are progressively implementing lean techniques to boost productivity, dependability, and product quality in order to overcome this. How can you tell if your supplier in manufacturing or production is lean? Check for these 6 essential components.

1. Organizational Skills

Kaizen, or continual improvement, is the primary idea behind the lean methodology. Set, Sort, Shine, Standardize, Safety, and Sustainability are the guiding concepts.

Smart manufacturers employ a method every day to educate employees on the significance of establishing and sustaining strong organizational practices. This eventually motivates the entire staff to continuously seek out more effective methods of doing things. It also establishes the framework for, perhaps, the most important—yet sometimes disregarded—aspect of lean practices: transforming the culture.

Automated machine at work in a factory

2. Lean Culture in the Organization

No strategy, plan, or technique will be successful until everyone adopts it as a habit. It requires persistence, self-control, and organizational leadership. Keep in mind that lean will not really happen instantly. It’s a continuous thing that never truly stops.

Having a single department dedicated to lean manufacturing or processes isn’t enough. A company must adopt the lean culture totally and make it their daily practice to minimize waste. This is important when you’re considering organizations to outsource your manufacturing requirements to.

3. Mapping of their Value Stream

Any technique that enhances a product or a service and for which the clients are prepared to pay is considered to have value. The bare minimum number of non-value-added processes will be eliminated by lean manufacturers. They employ mapping of value streams to graphically depict how a plant is set up in order to make this easier to understand.

In their mapping of value streams, common tasks including transportation, storing, processing, measuring, and shipping are often represented by standard symbols.

An excellent map identifies an organization’s current position and highlights its desired future course. Mapping of the value stream clearly identifies wasteful regions, such as a location where components are kept too long before being processed.Value stream mapping may also be utilized in conjunction with other visualization tools to digitally reorganize the working space to try out different configurations for resource optimization. Before spending money on new procedures or equipment, wise decision-makers do something like this.

4. Reliability of Their Data

Making informed decisions is essential to intelligent manufacturing. A firm may track stock levels automatically and accurately by using linked techniques like NFC chips or RFID tags, which eliminates the requirement for tiresome human counts and classification.

Advanced Manufacturing Executions Systems (MES) software can then be used to process these real-time numbers and data, giving managers better visibility than ever about the conditions that exist on the production line at all times. However, unless this information can be put to use, which requires connectivity, it is meaningless.

A storage and warehouse facility

5. Connected Facilities

Immediate Equipment Access is built on a connected system. In smart factories, all essential equipment and procedures can be digitally connected, allowing organizations to engage and improve operations at the push of a button in addition to being able to view what’s occurring on the ground in the factory.

Some operations can be totally automated in connected factories where every manufacturing unit is in communication with the others. These can include placing a supply order when inventory gets low, changing to a fresh CNC program module after the current one is complete, or getting in touch with a shipping firm to grab a shipment that is sitting in a completed products warehouse.

If properly configured, a connected system can operate more swiftly than people, saving both money and time.When systems are proactive rather than just reactive, they function efficiently. This only happens when these systems and transformed into smart systems.

6. Smart Systems

Constant improvement is valued in modern, intelligent, and lean production. In order to allow artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, control parameters must be supplied back into the system. The more intelligent the framework, the more effective it’ll be able to anticipate when a device requires maintenance downtime, notify you when and how to replace a certain part. For example, a worn cutter top before it becomes dull, etc, to monitor the temperature and regulate the humidity and temperature in the production plant so that it does not affect the quality of the finished product. Proactive rather than reactive.

Engineers working on an engineering plant

Outsource Lean Manufacturing to Connekt, LLC

If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient lean manufacturing firm, Connekt, LLC is your best option. Lean manufacturing techniques and processes are what we offer to support business growth in the digital era. Our business assists clients in increasing output, lowering costs, decreasing waste, and improving product quality. Our services include rapid prototyping, finite element analysis, 3D printing, injection molding, and more in the Bay Area, CA. Get in touch with us now for more information and assistance.

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