Top Lean Manufacturing Tools

4/15/22 2:20 PM

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Lean manufacturing maximizes efficiency and lowers waste in an industrial environment. Waste subtracts progress from manufacturing companies. It adds nothing to the business except for headaches, stress, and profit loss. 

There are a lot of great ideas in lean manufacturing that can increase the health of your company. Here is a brief description of some tools that can enhance processes on the shop floor. 

5S

5S places an extreme focus on the arrangement of the workspace. By reorganizing your work area, you can eliminate the wasted time spent searching for a tool and present a clean:

  • Sort: Subtract what you don’t need. This can mean supplies or tools that you don’t use regularly. 
  • Straighten: Focus on the remaining tools you use daily and place them in areas where they are easily accessible. 
  • Shine: Sanitize the workplace to present a clean work area free of filth and debris. 
  • Standardize: Write down these new processes so they can be deployed to other sites that feed into yours or coworkers that work around you. 
  • Sustain: Keep practicing the tenets of 5S to avoid sliding back into old rhythms that created issues in the past. 

Andon

Andon is a tool for visual feedback on the shop floor. It calls specific attention to production status and alerts. The Andon process grants operators the power to stop the production and focus on blockers that could slow down progress on the shop floor. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to communicate problems such as a rogue piece trapped on the conveyor belt or a malfunctioning machine as they happen in real-time to be quickly fixed.

Bottleneck Analysis

Bottleneck Analysis targets specific areas of the supply chain that are limiting progress. For example, the manufacturing process pace can increase exponentially by strengthening low-producing resources and components. 

PlanetTogether APS Software

The good news is that PlanetTogether's Advanced Planning and Scheduling software is designed to tackle these top three tools and increase efficiency. PlanetTogether is a clean digital workspace that encourages communication on the shop floor and fixes bottlenecks in the supply chain process. Deploying lean manufacturing in your company can be daunting. Still, software like PlanetTogether is the fast, easy way to deploy these three tools and more in your plant, factory, or warehouse. 

Topics: Lean Manufacturing, PlanetTogether, bottlenecks, Lean Tools, 5S, Andon, bottleneck analysis

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