In order to stay competitive in the global market, many companies have turned to lean manufacturing as a keystone for success. Lean manufacturing is a concept of production that enables businesses to increase production, reduce costs, improve quality, and increase profits. There are five key principles to lean manufacturing: identify value, map the value stream, create flow, establish pull and seek perfection. In this article, we will discuss these five lean manufacturing principles in detail so you can apply them to your business!
What is Lean Manufacturing?
Let’s first recap what lean manufacturing is all about. Derived from Toyota’s 1930 operating model, “The Toyota Way,” lean manufacturing is a method of production that aims to reduce waste and improve workflow. The goal is to create a system where the maximum amount of value is added for the customer while producing the least amount of waste. That way, businesses can be more efficient and profitable.
The Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing
Now that you have a general understanding of lean manufacturing let’s discuss the backbone of this concept, which are the five principles that drive it. Lean manufacturing principles are the foundation of any manufacturing business and can help create products tailored to customers’ wants. With that said, let’s take a look at each principle and understand its significance.
The first lean manufacturing principle is to identify value. To create a product that meets the customer’s needs, it is important to first understand their worth. What are they looking for in a product, and how can your business provide that? In this case, value requires:
- Designing products that meet the needs of customers.
- Eliminating product features that don’t specifically meet the customer’s needs.
By creating products that meet specific needs, your business can eliminate wasteful steps that don’t add value to customers. One method that can help identify value is the Design for Six Sigma.
With DFSS, companies can analyze, define, and measure what features their customer wants for their product. Once they determine what their customers want, companies can design products tailored specifically for their customers.
Map the Value Stream
The second principle of lean manufacturing is to map the value stream. This also involves creating a visual representation of the steps it takes to bring a product from start to finish because this diagram will show you where the waste is in your process and how you can eliminate it.
An example of a tool that helps companies map the value stream is the Value Stream Mapping. This method can also be used to visualize and map out the entirety of the production flow. Once you manage to map out the value stream, it will become easier to pinpoint and minimize steps that don’t add value.
The third principle of lean manufacturing is to create flows. This means organizing the steps in your process so that products can move through the system smoothly and without interruption. When products can easily move through the production line, it creates a smooth flow of materials and eliminates waste.
One way to help create flows is by using a Kanban system. The Kanban system is a visual management tool that uses cards or boards to signal when more of a product is needed. This method helps reduce the need for excess inventory and ensures that products are produced only when there is an order.
The fourth principle of lean manufacturing is to establish pull. This means producing products only when there is an order for them and not before. This also helps reduce the need for excess inventory and ensures that products are made to meet customer demand.
A pull system provides the following benefits:
- Increases output
- Maximizes usable workspace
- Reduces unnecessary inventories
- Eliminates errors due to too much ‘Work in Progress (WIP)’
- Eliminates underproduction and overproduction.
One way to establish pull is through a just-in-time (JIT) system. The JIT system is a production method that relies on inventory Kanban signals to produce products only when needed. This system helps reduce the need for excess stock and ensures that the correct amount of product is made at the right time.
The fifth and final principle of lean manufacturing is to seek perfection. This means constantly looking for ways to improve your process and eliminate waste. No matter how efficient your process is, there is always room for improvement.
One way to achieve perfection is through a continuous improvement process (CIP). The continuous improvement process is a methodology that allows businesses to continually identify and eliminate waste in their system. This method also uses data and statistics to help identify areas for improvement and make changes that will impact the bottom line.
Why You Need DataMyte
The DataMyte features a Planning and Scheduling System, which is the perfect tool for businesses that want to implement lean manufacturing principles into their production process. We also offer various software applications that will help you enforce the five principles of lean marketing by using a visual representation of your work process.
DataMyte also helps you seek perfection by allowing you to make changes and improvements to your process continually. This software is the perfect tool for businesses that want to improve their productivity and efficiency.
DataMyte’s array of software include:
- Digital Clipboard: Turn data into actionable results with our automated workflow software.
- Escalate: Pinpoint and address flaws and errors in real-time using DataMyte’s escalation management tool.
- DataMetrics: Boost performance and productivity and be on the leading edge using DataMyte’s DataMetrics software.
- Quality Planning Studio: Plan, document, and monitor your core quality requirements using our integrated FMEA software tool.
- QPS Cloud: Be in control of your core quality requirements using our premier cloud-based QPS system.
- EnGage Plus: an intuitive tool for all of your gage management tasks.
With DataMyte and its software offerings, you can create a lean manufacturing workflow that follows the five principles of lean manufacturing and improves your business. Visit the official DataMyte website to learn more about each of these products.
These are the five principles of lean manufacturing. So by understanding and applying these principles, your business can improve its efficiency and competitiveness in today’s global market. Therefore, go ahead and try them out today using DataMyte and its range of productivity-improving software applications.