5/22/18 8:12 PM
No matter how prepared a company is, materials will not be fully utilized, ultimately leading to waste. According to the Lean Enterprise Research Center (LERC), 60% of activities through production is waste, which has a loss of value to the consumers. Manufacturing waste is a hurdle to overcome and holds facilities back from reaching their goal: maximum efficiency.
Now, this is much more easier said than done considering that unplanned hurdles are presented everyday, hindering a facility’s ability to be able to reach that point of maximum production. There are various methods on how to reduce waste and reach overall efficiency, with many of the manufacturing methods being used for years - but there is always room for improvement, right? If minimizing waste is the goal, then this introduction to lean manufacturing may be the answer.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing has spoken for itself through companies such as Toyota. It is a systematic approach of waste minimization without surrendering efficiency and productivity. This method of reducing waste was developed for two reasons; consumer gratification and profitability. After all, the consumers are the deciding factor in what will be bought, therefore making a durable product that they choose out of all competitors only makes sense. With lean, anything that is not providing value to the consumer is considered waste. There is no value in an item that is not being made money off of, so what is the point of ramping up inventory cost for an unwanted product?
Understanding what consumers explicitly value is a step in the right direction of minimizing waste and moving more toward lean manufacturing. Of course, this is easier said than done, but gathering a consensus on what consumers as a whole are asking for will allow an insight into what is being produced that is considered “wasteful”. Lean manufacturing is becoming a top method for manufacturing industry leaders to further enhance the operation through production efficiency.
Advanced planning and scheduling systems (APS) are a great way to implement lean manufacturing into a manufacturing facility. Companies of any size can utilize lean manufacturing and improve their production process. Along with being compatible with any size company, there are various other benefits pertaining to APS and lean manufacturing such as the following areas where waste is minimized:
As an operation is beginning to need production on a much larger scale, lean manufacturing may be the solution, and advanced planning and scheduling systems reduce the headache of dealing with complex waste minimization methods such as lean manufacturing. APS decreases the workload and enables manufacturing companies to focus their attention on the facility as a whole. With lean and APS, there is a guaranteed overall facility improvement, waste minimization, and production efficiency.
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