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Lean Manufacturing

In order to attain world class manufacturing efficiency, investing in a machine is only the start.

The processes before and aft need to be addressed as value or non-value added activities, through asking “What is the customer prepared to pay for”. The CAD/CAM selection would be the first consideration and a good system needs to be selected for the best material efficiency, minimized machine motion to produce that parts ease of programming and connection to the company MRP/ERP system for full benefit. The next consideration is the MRP/ERP system itself which should only be introduced once the value stream mapping process has been carried out and the non-value added activities have been identified and either eliminated or reduced and a continuous improvement program set in place. Waste is anything that doesn't add value to the end product.

In Lean Manufacturing, there are eight categories of waste that you should monitor:

1. Overproduction – Are you producing more than consumers demand?

2. Waiting – How much lag time is there between production steps?

3. Inventory (work in progress) – Are your supply levels and work in progress inventories too high?

4. Transportation – Do you move materials efficiently?

5. Over-processing – Do you work on the product too many times, or otherwise work inefficiently?

6. Motion – Do people and equipment move between tasks efficiently?

7. Defects – How much time do you spend finding and fixing production mistakes?

8. Workforce – Do you use workers efficiently?

If any of these Wastes are holding your company back, contact us for a value stream mapping exercise and let’s get your company back on track

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