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Optimizing materials and time

Whether you are running a manufacturing company, a grocery store or a peanut stand, you have one goal in mind and that is to make money.The better you can use your time and the more you can get out of the materials you have the more you will have left in your wallet at the end of the day.Optimizing materials and time is the goal of a manufacturing process called, lean manufacturing.

Lean manufacturing is a type of manufacturing system that aims to eliminate waste in all of its forms.Waste is defined as activities that add no value to the overall production of a good or service.The less you waste, the more you can save and ultimately the more profitable your company is going to be.But, you are not only one who wins in this arrangement.The customer benefits from the lean manufacturing system by benefiting from the cost savings that the manufacturer can pass on to the consumer and also by receiving a product that is free from defect or fault, as is the objective of a waste free system.

Whether you are looking to optimize materials, time, man-power or whatever else you may be worried about, the lean manufacturing system has seven categories of waste that you may want to look at.If one of these wastes is getting in the way of your optimization of materials or time, the first step to eliminating it is to identify it.Once you are aware of the root of the problem, it becomes easier to make a plan of action that has a greater likelihood of yielding a sustainable and beneficial change.

Optimizing materials and time by eliminating the following.

  1. Waste from overproduction - Overproduction occurs when what is produced is more than what is required by the customer.Unnecessary inventory is generated and both time and materials are wasted in the process.Your production should not exceed the demand for your product.
  2. Waste from transportation - Transportation refers to any movement that the product takes part in as part of the production process.Time is not used optimally when multiple handling or movement is not required by the production process.
  3. Waste of motion - Waste of motion refers to the time that is wasted by workers, machines, and handling due to the fact that they are working or moving more than is necessary to perform their assigned step in the production line.When time is wasted in the motion of looking for tools, the worker is not able to give as much time to his role in the production process.
  4. Waiting - Time is wasted whenever there is a period of waiting in between steps.You can optimize time by ensuring that the production process runs smoothly and that there is little to no down time.
  5. Processing - Processing can eat up a lot of your production time.This is why it is smart to have employees and machinery that can perform multiple functions.
  6. Inventory - Inventory items are also referred to as products that are still "works in process."Inventory items include all components of the product (including the finished piece).Inventory items are of no value to the company as is, they only bring value when they are sold and a profit is made.Spending time building or storing inventory is not optimizing materials or time.
  7. Defects - The ultimate enemy of optimizing materials and time is the occurrence of defective products.Even if there is a system in place for the inspecting, scrapping, or repairing of these defective products, their creation is by definition pure waste according to Lean Manufacturing principles.

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