The main objective of Lean Manufacturing is the absolute elimination of waste within the operation. Generally when discussing wastes in most manufacturing the following 8 areas are usually referred to:
- Unused personnel resources
Lean Manufacturing is the most efficient use of Man, Machine, Methods and Materials. To support this philosophy are the underlying primary principles of:
- Zero Quality Control
- Work Cells
- Poka Yoke
One way to begin the process of Lean Manufacturing is to employ The 5S Philosophy which focuses on effective work place organization with standardized work procedures. 5S simplifies your work environment, reduces waste and non-value activity while improving quality, efficiency and safety. This entails the application of:
- Sort - Sorting (Seiri)
- Set In Order - Simplifying (Seiton)
- Shine - Systematic Cleaning (Seiso)
- Standardize-Standardizing (Seiketso)
- Sustain - Sustaining (Sitsuke)
It is important to understand that undertaking any one of these possible methods for improvement will have a positive effect on your organizations competitiveness. The greater the commitment to areas of improvement the greater the effect the company will see.
But remember this undertaking should be tempered with common sense. Choose the area(s) of greatest concern and work from there to improve the company's manufacturing operations. In the final analysis use only the components listed that fit and can be best implemented for results in your operations.