Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing

7/4/19 10:30 AM

Production planning can be incredibly challenging, especially when obstacles come into play such as machines breaking down, employee absenteeism, upstream supply chain matters, quality issues, and more.

Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing This is why utilizing a proper manufacturing method such as lean manufacturing can be a viable solution to the problems within your manufacturing operation. Lean manufacturing provides a means for waste minimization, which is key to dynamic order fulfillment while maintaining a low waste manufacturing production plan. Lean production with adequate forecast can boost operational efficiency within your operation with ease. Before implementing the lean methodology into your manufacturing operation, it is important to understand the basic principles of it. Lean manufacturing encourages the practice of continuous improvement and is based on the fundamental idea of respect for individuals. Below, we have listed the five principles of lean manufacturing. 

Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing 

The five principles of lean manufacturing include defining value, mapping the value stream, creating flow, using a pull system, and pursuing perfection. A more detailed explanation of these principles includes the following: 

  • Define Value - The first principle of lean manufacturing pertains to defining value. It is important to understand what value is before anything else within the process. Value is what the customer is willing to pay for. It is important to discover the actual needs of the customers. At times, the consumer may be unable to properly articulate what exactly they want, which is common in areas of novel products or technology. There are many techniques such as interviews, surveys, demographic information, and more that can help you discover what exactly customers find valuable. 
  • Mapping the Value Stream - The second principle within lean is identifying and mapping the value stream. In this step, the overall goal is to utilize the customer’s value as a reference point and locate areas that correlate with the their values. Any activities and processes that do not add value to the end customer are considered wasteful. The waste can be broken into two categories: non-value added but necessary and non-value & unnecessary. The later is pure waste and should be eliminated while the former should be reduced as much as possible. 
  • Creating Flow - After removing the waste from the value stream, the following action is to ensure that the flow of the remaining steps will run smoothly without interruption or delays. Some strategies for ensuring that value-adding activities flow smoothly includes methods such as reconfiguring production steps, leveling out the workload, creating cross functional departments, and more. 
  • Establish Pull - Inventory is one of the biggest wastes within a production facility. The overall goal of a pull-based system is to limit inventory and work in process (WIP) items while ensuring that the requisite materials and information are available for a smooth workflow. A pull-based system allows for Just-In-Time delivery and manufacturing where products are created at a time they are needed and in the quantities needed. Through following the value stream and working backwards through the production system, you can ensure that the products produced will be able to satisfy the needs of customers. 
  • Pursue Perfection - Waste are prevented through achievement of the first four steps which include identifying value, mapping value stream, creating flow, and adopting a pull system. The fifth step, pursuing perfect, is by far one of the most important among them all. It makes lean thinking and continuous process improvement a part of the organizational culture. All employees should attempt to strive toward perfection while delivering products based on the customer needs. 

A software that can aid with a lean manufacturing operation is PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software. PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software has become a must for manufacturing operations that are seeking to take their operation to the next level in terms of efficiency enhancement and waste reduction. Since lean is more focused on waste and cost reduction, APS software can aid with this through enabling you to have a visual representation of your overall production process. This allows you to manipulate your overall production process and areas of production that are in need of enhancement and ultimately reduce waste within your overall operation. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

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Topics: Lean Manufacturing


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