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An overview to lean manufacturing

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Eliminating waste and improving the efficiency of your manufacturing company should be at the top of your list. There are many different ways to help your business reduce waste and increase efficiency but the one strategy that ranks at the top of the list is lean manufacturing.

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How to improve your manufacturing cycle time

clock63312045.jpgCustomers always want their products when they order them and not too many people are excited to wait on a backorder list. Improving your manufacturing cycle time is one of the best ways to keep your customers satisfied and to meet your goals and demands you have set forth for your company. How can you focus on faster delivery time and still maintain a high quality product? If you can start with your manufacturing cycle time first, you will have an easier time making products to order, thereby reducing wasted money with inventory and getting them out to your customers in a timely manner.

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The use of printed circuit boards

safteybox30446579.jpgAre you seeking to improve your manufacturing facility? Since everyone has various jobs to do within the plant and the plant is very large, how can you find ways to keep the company organized and to focus on strengthening the way your company is being run? Printed circuit boards are a great option as they help you run your company in a simple and timely manner.

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Creating a Lean office

buildings19268963.jpgLean manufacturing was created specifically for manufacturing plants to reduce errors and focus on quality control. If you are like most companies there will be times when you are producing a lot of waste at your company and you aren't getting the most out of your employees that you should be. Creating a lean office is a smart move and it can be done in a short amount of time.

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What are key performance indicators?

businessnegoations19314770.jpgAn important component of measuring manufacturing production is known as key performance indicators. Key performance indicators (KPI) are used to measure the performance of different processes within a company, but are especially important in measuring the manufacturing process. Key performance indicators most often come in the form of scorecards and graphs. They look at performance over time, which is why it is typically displayed as a graph. Manufacturing companies that implement lean manufacturing or process improvement, often use Key performance indicators to measure their data. If you the manager of a manufacturing company it is important to understand what key performance indicators are and how to use them-

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Ready to eliminate waste?

trash22475110.jpgManufacturing companies are constantly worried about waste and looking for different waste to reduce or eliminate waste. If you have noticed that waste is starting to build up and you are stuck with over-production costs and other things, you need to take time to implement Six Sigma or lean manufacturing.


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Learning about Just In Time manufacturing

clock63312045.jpgHolding too much inventory can be a huge burden to your company. If you are carrying a large inventory and your customers aren't buying the inventory in a timely manner, it will tie up your cash reserves and this leads to problems with the day to day manufacturing process. You won't have free money to pay for other needs of the business because you are waiting around for customers to come in and buy the products you have already produced.

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How to create a better workflow

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgMany manufacturing business owners get caught up in the everyday running of their business, and overlook the need to create a better workflow. They becomes so focused on producing their product, they often do not take into account the need to run their production line, efficiently and smoothly. This can seriously affect the bottom line of any manufacturer. When the workflow is not running smoothly and efficiently this means that there are hidden costs that can ultimately affect the overall profitability.

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Using the DMAIC method

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgThousands of manufacturing facilities have turned to Six Sigma as a way to reduce errors and waste. They often see that implementation of Six Sigma yields higher profits, happier employees, and a healthier company. One method in the Six Sigma process is known as DMAIC. This method helps you draw out the defects in your manufacturing process so you can start saving money and getting rid of waste.

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Using DMADV to strengthen your manufacturing plant

manufacturing_systems.jpgThere are many different ways you can go about improving your company and building better and stronger products. Since errors have been a common problem for many manufacturing plants, it is vital to look for new ways to reduce these errors and to ensure that you have a successful company. Six Sigma was designed to reduce errors and get them down to a defect ratio of 3.4 per million items. This way when you have produced products you will be able to produce better products to hand over to your customers. As you are able to do this, you will have a better chance to generate higher sales as your customers are happy about the type of products you are providing. Not only will your customers be happier with the company and the products, your employees will also be happier with the company as well. Six Sigma helps to fix the problems with the company and helps to provide you with greater results that you need to strengthen your company. What is DMADV and what does it mean for your manufacturing plant?

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What does lean manufacturing mean?

interview26236689.jpgMany companies turn to lean manufacturing to reduce or eliminate waste from their manufacturing processes. The goal of any plant is to reduce waste and produce better products for their customers. Lean manufacturing originally got its start it Japan and it has expanded all over the world to hundreds of companies.

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Saving the planet with Green Manufacturing

brokenpiggy19109501.jpgMore companies are taking the initiative to go green and reduce their impact on the environment. Green manufacturing is a great way to gain positive publicity for your company but more then that it's a cost effective way to make sure your employees and your overall company is healthier.

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Eliminating wasted time with Lean Six Sigma

clock63312045.jpgSix Sigma and lean manufacturing are two popular methods used to eliminate waste and improve your businesses productivity and performance. Combining the two together you are given a process known as Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma focuses more on increasing productivity through identifying the production inefficiencies.

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Why you need lean manufacturing

woodstack26498474.jpgWaste reduction and the removal of unnecessary process can save companies millions of dollars a year. Lean manufacturing benefits not only the company but the consumers of the products. The customers get to enjoy increase value to their products while the employees appreciate their jobs do to the incentives and motivational tools used to make the working environment flow better. The purpose of lean manufacturing is to reduce cycle times and get the products to the customers faster than anticipated.

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What you need to know about TQM

chair30393486.JPGTotal Quality Management (TQM) provides organizations with the ability to improve its effectiveness, competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility in order to best suit the needs of its customers. Many companies quickly catch onto the philosophy of TQM but they struggle with the implementation of it.

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Value stream mapping

laptop30347367.jpgOne of the tools used in Six Sigma is called value stream mapping. Value stream mapping allows you to see where your company is at now and where your company is headed. This allows you to plan for large customer demands and to prepare for times when customer demand is minimal. Value stream mapping is easy to implement and it provides companies with a great view of their manufacturing processes.

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Using visual control for process improvement

cautiontape41824589.jpgCompanies that are seeking to increase production efficiency may want to consider using visual control as part of their Six Sigma or lean manufacturing process. Visual control helps employees perform their jobs easier because they can look at a visual sign to see what they need to do. Visual control does exactly what it states, it makes things visual. When things are visible, they tend to remain in our minds for longer periods of time. Having these visual reminders around the plant will provide employees with constant reminders, allowing them to make quick decisions when necessary.

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Using the 5 "S" method in your process improvement strategy

gears15607918.jpgReducing waste and improving manufacturing processes is at the top of the list for many companies that are trying to save money. Most people will use Six Sigma or TQM to improve the way their business currently runs. One of the most effective tools of a process improvement strategy is the 5 "S" method.

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Using DMAIC to improve your business processes

oldermanstanding26239732.jpgDMAIC is a part of the Six Sigma method that is used to help improved companies by pulling out defects that are slowing the company down and costing too much money and waste. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. Use the following steps to improve your business and decrease waste.

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Using DMADV to create new products

emptychairs30393444.jpgThere are several methods out there when it comes to creating new products or new product lines. There are differing philosophies all that seem to concentrate on one or two key items in new products. One of these methods is called DMADV. DMADV is an acronym for the following processes: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify. This process can be used to create new products and also to replace an existing system that is failing. DMADV is typically used in conjunction with Six Sigma processes. DMADV is described as follows:

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The Toyota Production System

coastalplant36588209.jpgAnyone that has worked with lean manufacturing and Six Sigma knows that the two processes share several different variables. It often poses the question, "should I implement one or two process improvement strategies?" While you can implement different tools from each system, it is best to pick one and then add on the additional tools as your company gets used to it.

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The role of Black belts in Six Sigma

ladywithpiechart.jpgThe role of a black belt in Six Sigma is for individuals who know the knowledge of the Six Sigma philosophies. A person who is certified with a Black Belt has to be able to show team leadership and responsibilities while working in a management or non management position. You have to be educated on lean management and DMAIC to qualify for the Black Belt role. Being certified as a Six Sigma Black Belts will allow you to be responsible for helping employees meet their potential and their goals and will allow you to oversee projects responsible for the Six Sigma. When you are a Black Belt, many times you will work in a management position, but often times you will be asked to use your skills on certain issues.

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The Principles of BPI

chair30393486.JPGCreating a lean manufacturing environment is based on using several different philosophies. Business process improvement or BPI is one of many principles that is use to reduce waste and increase efficiency. BPI focuses on stepping back, diagnosing, analyzing, and making things more effective. It attempts to find ways measure, assess, adapt, sustain, and improve the business processes.

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Single minute exchange of die (SMED)

manufacturing_systems.jpgSingle minute exchange of die (SMED) provides a rapid and efficient way to covert a manufacturing process from running a current product to running the next product in line. The rapid changeover to a new product is part of the lean manufacturing principle, Mura. Mura is aimed at improving the overall flow of production.

Companies that have already implemented a lean manufacturing system should look into SMED as one of their tools. It helps to eliminate unnecessary waste within the company and it aims to improve customer satisfaction. The different with SMED and other lean tools is that it is focused on one small step in the entire manufacturing process, which differs from other concepts that look at is as a whole.

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Measuring performance

recession19085238.jpgIf you are building a total quality environment, you need to establish some tools to measure your company's performance. TQM is focused on improving quality within every aspect of the organization. Some companies prefer to measure performance through the use of financial gains. This is a good way to get a number, but it fails to provide you with the quality of your businesses performance.

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Implementing process improvement roles

accountant37004113.jpgProcess improvement focuses on getting things right the first time you do them. Instead of waiting for variations and product mistakes, you will take steps to change the inputs so the outputs are correct. Typically process improvement will define the goals of the company to figure out what purposes your product serves. From here you will determine who your customers are and why you serve them. The last thing process improvement will uncover is how to align your business process to make production faster and speed up all the other systems within the company.

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How to be successful with BPI/BPM

womanwriting19115187.jpgProcess improvement methods target the needs of the customers and the efficiency of the company. In order to become successful with business process improvement or business process management, you need to carefully follow these steps:

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How production flow impacts your process improvement strategy

redcontainers24646344.jpgManufacturing plants often work with process improvement strategies to reduce errors, accidents, and waste. Many companies engage in production flow or mass production. Production flow refers to mass amounts of products being produced by large machines on assembly lines. Car manufacturers are often thought of when you hear the word `production flow'. This is usually due to the Ford Model T car that was produced using mass production in the early 1900's.

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How does TQM help my business?

manatcontrols24240145.jpgWith all the different process improvement strategies out there, it is easy to get confused about which ones you should use to reduce wastes. One of the process improvement strategies out there is Total Quality Management or TQM. TQM helps to eliminate waste and improve the production process through various standards. Here are some examples as to how TQM can help to improve your business:

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How can lean manufacturing improve production?

clock19132124.jpgLean manufacturing was developed to help companies quickly recognize problems and inefficiencies in their production process. Most manufacturing plants measure production as the output that is created by input used, meaning employee labor = output per hour. The slightest inefficiency in the production process can reduce your output per hour, which hurts your profit margin. Lean manufacturing is a way of life for most companies as it incorporates ways to change your production process to reduce waste and improve production. To gain insight to lean manufacturing, you must understand 7 different types of waste that may be hindering your company's ability to increase productivity.

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Does BPI save money?

graphpresentation16486405.jpgBusiness Process Improvement (BPI) focuses on helping businesses make changes in the way they are currently doing business. It works with three simple steps:
1. Defining the organization's strategic goals and purposes (Who are we, what do we do, and why do we do it?)
2. Determining the organization's customers (or stakeholders) (Who do we serve?)
3. Aligning the business processes to realize the organization's goals (How do we do it better?)

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Creating key performance indicators

chart30392829.JPGKey performance indicators (KPI) are used to measure the performance of different processes within a company. Typically KPIs come in the form of scorecards and graphs. KPIs look at performance over time, which is why it is typically displayed as a graph. Time series charts are the best way to display KPIs. Companies that implement lean manufacturing or process improvement often use KPIs to measure their data. Here are some tips on how to create key performance indicators:

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Committing to process improvement

handshake32145701.jpgCompanies have been using process improvement strategies for several years. Lean manufacturing happens to be one of the most popular process improvement strategies. Many companies have jumped on board with process improvement with the hope that they will save money by cutting or eliminating wastes and improving customer satisfaction. While this is a good goal, you need to truly commit to process improvement in order for it to be successful. Process improvement is not something that you can quickly implement in the company and expect it to work, it is a long-term approach that requires constant work, involvement, and commitment from everyone at your company.

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Building a lean environment

windmills30521278.jpgIn order to build a lean manufacturing environment you must have total dedication from your employees and you need to have good manager. To create a lean environment, you must select which type of lean manufacturing works for your company. Most companies select the Toyota Production System (TPS) which is also known as just-in-time manufacturing. This method focuses on eliminating waste within the company and putting the customer first. Each department must take steps to ensure that the customers are satisfied.

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Why manufacturing standards are good for consumers

ladywithheadsetsmiling30342942.jpgAs consumers we have expectations for the products and services that we pay for. We assume that the products that we buy to eat will not be harmful to us and that the services rendered to us will not result in injury. Although these assumptions are fundamental to our decision to buy, we assume that the manufacturers of the products we buy will automatically comply with high standards and therefore fail to really stop to think about whether or not the products we buy really have been made to our expectations. As consumers it is obvious what is wanted. In short, what we want is to have our expectations met or exceeded. We want quality, reliability, protection (both of safety and health), compatibility between products designed to work together, consistency, choice, clear product information, lower prices and fair competition, and environmental sensitivity. As consumers, we work hard for our money and want to make sure that we are exchanging that hard earned money for a product that is comparable to the price in every way.

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Using TQM in manufacturing

airplane30902462.jpgTQM, or total quality management, is an organized management system that-as the name implies-works to improve the overall, or total, quality of a business. This is done by helping manufacturing employees to look for areas within their process than needs to be improved, and then working through steps on improving their entire manufacturing process.

Using TQM in manufacturing will result in a number of improvements, including increased profits, more satisfied customers, and better business practices in general.

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Seven step quality manufacturing

buisnessmeeting26238539.jpgQuality manufacturing is crucial when it comes to manufacturing processes; when implemented properly, it results in decreased waste, better quality products, and an overall improvement in customer satisfaction.

The seven step quality manufacturing process is a series of steps designed to help improve the quality of manufacturing products as well as the productivity of the work force.

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Rapid manufacturing

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgRapid manufacturing is a type of manufacturing that can help speed up the manufacturing process. Manufacturers who use rapid manufacturing can create custom products quickly. This can help the manufacturer keep up with its competitors. This article discusses more about rapid manufacturing.

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Prefabrication

woodpiles30512995.jpgPrefabrication has been used for hundreds of years in one form or another. And today more and more manufacturers are using this technique, especially in the building industry, to save time and money. This article discusses more about prefabrication, what it is, who uses it, and the drawbacks as well as the benefits to using it.

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Measuring your manufacturing performance

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgSomething that you are going to need to do to determine if your manufacturing plant is succeeding in the economy is to measure the performance of your manufacturing plant. When you are measuring the performance of your manufacturing plant, you will be able to tell if there is problems in your business, plus what the main causes of these problems are. If you are doing things right you should be able to spot these problems ahead of time, which will allow you to stay on top of your game even when things are going on outside of the manufacturing plant that are affecting the economy.

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Mass production

barrels41840423.jpgManufacturing is when people or machines make products. There are many different types of manufacturing. One type of manufacturing is mass production. The increased usage of mass production has definitely changed the face of manufacturing. This article discusses more about mass production manufacturing.

What is mass production?

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Manufacturing processes

manlookingatfiles32146472.jpgManufacturing is a very broad term that is used all over the marketplace to describe all kinds of businesses, but some of the most important ways a manufacturing business is classified are the processes they use while producing something. There are many different approaches that can be taken to manufacturing and various solutions work in different industries and for specific types of products.

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More on Lean manufacturing

books30364900.jpgLean manufacturing is a term that is being heard more and more often in the industry and is really getting a lot of attention. The idea has been around for quite some time now, but people are starting to realize how this can really affect businesses and the economy as a whole given the current state of the economy. Many people wonder if we would still be in the same situation where we are now if lean manufacturing had been more of a focus in earlier years.

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Lean manufacturing

happyman19220291.jpgThere are several types of manufacturing processes that can help a manufacturer save money. One way is by using lean manufacturing. This article discusses lean manufacturing and how it can help manufacturers.

What is lean manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is another form of manufacturing which purpose is to help eliminate waste. There are many things are a regular assembly line and manufacturing plant which can be considered wasteful. The purpose of lean manufacturing is to identify those wasteful things so that the manufacturer can eliminate them from their manufacturing process. Eliminating this waste can save the manufacturer a lot of money.

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Outsourcing manufacturing to cut down costs

business41865609.jpgIn a bad economy, most businesses are looking for different ways to cut down on their overall costs. The main reason that they are looking to cut down on their overall costs is that they want to do everything that they can to save money. Saving money in a bad economy can sometimes be the difference between staying in business and having your business fail. With manufacturing businesses, one of their biggest costs is manufacturing all of their products in one location, by outsourcing a portion of their products overseas they will be able to save money.

If your manufacturing business is interested in outsourcing some of your manufacturing overseas here are the steps you will need to follow.

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Does outsourcing your manufacturing affect the economy

chair30393486.JPGOne of the biggest controversies in the current economy is if outsourcing your manufacturing has any kind of an effect on the economy. Some people believe that outsourcing your manufacturing is going to negatively affect the economy because it is taking jobs away from the economy. Those jobs could be given to other people, which could boost our current economy. Other people think that outsourcing your manufacturing is not affecting the economy because it is allowing manufacturing businesses to cut their costs, which means they are making a profit. If the manufacturing plant is making a profit that means they are going to stay in business so there will still be jobs available for people from this company.

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Becoming a six sigma black belt

blackbelt9821513.JPGSix sigma is common within manufacturing. In a nutshell, six sigma uses a set of quality and statistical methods to define and then improve a company's overall processes. In turn, the company will typically waste less time and money, continually improve the quality of their products and services, and improve their customer satisfaction and business.

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Agile manufacturing

confidence30842627.jpgMany manufacturers have developed methods to help them best meet the needs of their customers as well as meeting their own needs. One of the philosophies that manufacturers have developed is agile manufacturing. This article discusses agile manufacturing.

What is agile manufacturing?

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Save money by using Six Sigma

manwithmoney23268183.jpgThe Six Sigma method is very similar to the lean manufacturing way of thinking in that they are both promote incorporating a method of operation which will lower costs by reducing waste. Through the use of Six Sigma, everyone is a winner. The manufacturer saves money and can produce a higher quality product. The customer is happy because he receives a higher quality product on a consistent basis and often times the savings in costs are passed down from the manufacturer to the consumer. The Six Sigma method is focused mainly on reducing variation, thereby decreasing the resulting loss of resources that comes with inconsistencies. The concept of saving money by using six Sigma to eliminate waste is simple. Identifying waste in its many forms presents a challenge. In the paragraphs that follow, you will be able to read about some more specific Six Sigma ways that you can save money by using what resources you have more wisely.

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Using Six Sigma in your organization

factory26813920.jpgSo you've heard about Six Sigma and you think that your organization can benefit from what this implementation and operational process has to offer.but where do you start? Using Six Sigma in your organization for the first time is going to be a process. Fortunately, there are a good number of trained individuals who can serve as consultants and even full-time employees for you if that is what you anticipate as being the most productive way to implement these processes most effectively.

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Trends in custom manufacturing

clock19132124.jpgManufacturing is a process that is ever changing and continually changing to adapt to the needs of the business and the consumer. Technology is keeping up with manufacturing and there are new methods and equipment being developed to meet the needs of a more and more sophisticated manufacturing industry. Here is some more information about custom manufacturing trends and the way things are going to look in the future of manufacturing.

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Tips for custom manufacturing

assemblyline19192148.jpgCustom manufacturing has made thousands of businesses more efficient and more effective at meeting the needs of their clients while providing a good profit base for the company at the same time. Custom manufacturing is a process that involves the blending of many different ideas and combines the expertise and observations of experts to come up with strategies and methods that improve a business in many ways.

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The lean manufacturing concept

trash22475110.jpgLean manufacturing is a business operational type that operates with the objective of eliminating waste in its various forms. Waste is defined as an activity or material that provides no value to the end product or service being offered. Companies are interested in lean manufacturing because of the prospect that it introduces for saving more money, thereby making more money for the business. Lean manufacturing aims to take care of the waste problem from a company-wide approach. This means that everyone from upper management to employees on the manufacturing floor is affected by the lean concepts that are being applied to processes as well as materials. The term used to describe the smooth running process that lean manufactures' aim to achieve is called a value stream. A value stream refers to the continuous flow of products and materials that is not burdened by the starts, stops and delays of dealing with waste. Ideally, you want to create a stream of products and actions that consists of only essential steps, of which no step can be eliminated without dramatically affecting the end result.

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