Waste management in Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a whole heartily process done to reduce waste at any cost. Nothing could more define this mechanics better than above line. An organization and company runs on its employees and machines, then this is obvious that they owe maximum responsibility and Lean manufacturing focus on the management of these two pivotal parts to minimize waste due to equipment breakdown and maximize output due to employees correct maintenance system.

But how lean manufacturing works to achieve this target, let us see.

  1. Stages of Lean manufacturing process

It has three key stages of waste management.

  1. Identify the waste- Even in the well-running top companies, waste exists. Any manufacturing organization would have some waste, no matter how good the process is. So, the first stage is to identify the waste. A deep look that how raw material is processed to bring final product, how all the departments are connected, would able to highlight the waste. See which process is beneficial and which is not to get a better idea.
  2. Find the root cause- Each waste would have a basic reason which causing it. It might be the machine, which continuously causing breakdown or it may be the only operator which is unskilled to operate it. Whatever the reason is, it should be identified.
  3. Solve the root cause- Once you identified the waste then find means to solve it and consistently repeat it.

Tools to Reduce Waste

There are various tools to reduce wastage

  1. Just in Time

The first handy tool to reduce waste is JIT. This tool is based on ‘pull’ model. Through this tool the production is done depending on the exact demand of the customers rather than expected demand i.e. the raw material is purchased and processed according to the requirement. Also, small batches are produced for smooth and efficient production. It ensures the quality and reduces risk of wastage.

  1. 5S

The proper arrangement of your working equipment is very necessary. Leans believe in standardization so 5S tool could help in accomplishment of this goal. This tool includes Sort (eliminate that which is not needed), Set In Order (organize remaining items), Shine (clean and inspect work area), Standardize (record standards for above) and Sustain (maintain the standards).

  1. Continuous flow

Most of the wastage form due to irregular chain of production process. This tool ensures that work process smoothly flow for production with minimal buffers between steps of the production process. It could help in eliminate many forms of waste for example waiting time, transport.

  1. Zero Defects

Any defect in the production process or within organization is completely unacceptable. This tool ensures this notion. It motivates workers of every department to execute work and fix problems permanently on the first time itself, rather than waiting or doing it temporarily.

Above process are applicable to almost every company but the areas of wastage is different for every other organization. It is better to hire a Lean Manufacturing Consultant, which can professionally asses your company and could give beneficial advises.

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