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Basics of lean manufacturing


Lean manufacturing is a quality control program for your manufacturing plant that focuses on cost reduction in your manufacturing plant. Lean manufacturing also focuses on any increases in turnover that your manufacturing company is dealing with. When it comes to dealing with the increases in turnover what lean manufacturing does is eliminate any activities that are causing the increase in turnover time and by eliminating any activities that are not needed in your manufacturing process. What lean manufacturing is doing is eliminating and reducing any waste that is associated with your manufacturing processes, whether it is wasted time or wasted materials.

One of the most important tools that is used in lean manufacturing is visual controls because visual controls can be applied anywhere in the workplace, including the sales office and the shop floor. Visual controls are tools that you can use to look at the manufacturing plant to see what is going on. When looking at what is going on you are going to want to see what things might need to be improved or what things are broken.

Using visual controls will allow you to spot problems before they occur, which means you can head off the bigger problems sooner rather than later. Using visual controls in lean manufacturing is important because it allows you to manage any variances in your manufacturing processes, but it also allows you to control the outcome of your manufactured product. Visual controls work the best because they allow you to respond faster to any potential problems that might arise when compared with other lean manufacturing tools.

Something else about lean manufacturing that makes it stand out from other quality control systems is how you train your employees. With six sigma and total quality management, it is most effective to train all of your employees in the manufacturing control system that you are using at one time. With lean manufacturing training, not all of your employees at once are going to work out for the best. To train your employees you are going to want to first train your upper management and a select handful of people from other departments, you want to choose supervisors and other leaders that you can count on. You will only want to train the people that will be working in the department that you will be using to implement lean manufacturing so they will know and understand what is going on.

Another thing to be aware of when implementing lean manufacturing in your manufacturing plant is you do not want to implement it in every area of your manufacturing plant at one time.

What you want to do is choose a small area and use that area to introduce lean manufacturing to your plant. Doing it this way enables you to determine if lean manufacturing is going to be best choice for your manufacturing plant without incurring a lot of cost. Only implementing it in one area will also allow you to implement another quality control system, so that you can compare the two systems to see which one works better for your manufacturing business. Something else to think about when it comes to choosing an area for lean manufacturing is to choose an area that is going to provide you with quick results, this way you can show your employees the rewards of converting to lean manufacturing almost immediately. Showing your employees the rewards of implementing lean manufacturing can help to motivate your employees to use it in other areas of your manufacturing plant before you decide to fully implement it because they will see the benefits of using the quality control system.

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