Lean manufacturing is a widely practiced approach in many industries that are used for improving the efficiency of a production process by eliminating waste. Lean production emphasizes meeting customers' demand instantaneously with perfect quality.
Before lean, mass production was the traditional approach used in manufacturing industries. This approach focused on producing large quantities of a product but paid little importance to quality. Often a certain percentage of products had to be discarded because it was either defective or of low quality. Mass production also did not take into consideration other important factors like overproduction, inventory costs, longer waiting times, employee’s working conditions, and job satisfaction levels.
Lean seeks to eliminate waste and improve the overall efficiency of operations resulting in better quality products and incurring lower costs.
Different Methods of Lean Manufacturing
There are various methods of implementing lean in any organisation, some popular concepts of lean synchronisation are just-in-time, agile and scrum software, Kanban scheduling, TPM, VSM, and S5 workplace organisation. However, more recently implementing the lean concept in manufacturing involves installing a hardware device to track your machine’s performance or downloading software to give you a picture of your company’s progress.
Until now manufacturing companies had to hire consultants to come in and explain the data from hardware or software which was installed to track performance. ThingTrax is the first state of the art solution which comprises of both installing hardware and software. Installing a ThingTrax solution saves production costs of up to 30%, and there is a 70% reduction in downtime as well.
Advantages of Lean Production
The lean principle aims to eliminate waste from each step of the production process whether it is identifying poor materials or defective end products-it ensures the only high-quality product is produced at the end. There are a few significant advantages of using lean:
1. Cost Saving
Every business owner wants to save costs and increase profitability for its organization. We know that factories have strict budgets to adhere to and cannot afford costly installations. That is why investing in a ThingTrax end-to-end solution is perfect because it takes less than an hour to install and you get ROI within weeks. It works by highlighting areas that need improvement thus eliminating waste, reducing inventory costs and defective product production, and fewer labor hours input.
2. Better Quality
While using the traditional mass-production approach, organisations had to face a lot of issues including inaccurate manual process recordings, excessive waste, more defective products, and lower quality products. Companies paid less attention to the quality of the product and focused more on quantity. By using our ThingTrax solution, manufacturers can feel relieved knowing that only high-quality items will be produced. Our plug and play hardware captures data automatically, so there is no room for error and higher quality products are manufactured.
3. Increased Employee Engagement
The mass production approach showed no empathy towards the employees. They had to work long hours and perform repetitive tasks which left them unhappy. ThingTrax has a fully integrated software for labour shift planning, and it also takes away the process of manual recording from the employees. All the data is recorded automatically ensuring that all essential parameters are analysed and reported. It increases employee engagement by increasing process understanding, reducing lead time, less reworking, reduced inventory, and improved employee satisfaction.
4. Standardization of Work
ThingTrax is based on the lean manufacturing concept which helps to identify gaps in the production process and improves the sequence of tasks. When repetitive tasks are arranged according to principles of lean, they form the basis of standardising work. ThingTrax solution helps to collect machine data, analyse, and report it. Based on the analysis, a company can rearrange its processes or tweak them to achieve optimum efficiency. An organisation which has efficient, standardised processes helps to flow information and material more rapidly through different stages which mean lower costs.
Another advantage of standardised work is that it helps employees understand what they have to do and when.
These are only a handful of benefits that you can get out of implementing the lean approach in your organisation. The real potential of installing ThingTrax is more significant and has to be explored.