5 examples of lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing has many tools and techniques that are valuable for businesses. Regardless of whether you are just starting to implement lean practices into your workplace environment or you want to improve existing processes, C Tek will share some good examples of companies that have successfully integrated lean’s techniques into their own practices. Collectively, these examples show how lean’s techniques can make production and manufacturing more efficient.


Cable Manufacturing

The first example is a cable manufacturing company. This company wanted to improve efficiency, minimize set-up time, and ultimately reduce lead time to market. To address the problems at hand, the company incorporated lean’s practices to streamline changeover requirements and make machine set-up more efficient. The company also introduced a scheduling system to support just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. It also used JIT manufacturing to balance the upstream production of parts with manufacturing and parts assembly further downstream. Ultimately, by changing some of its core processes, the company experienced dramatic improvements. For starters, the time that it previously took the company to complete machine set-up was drastically reduced from five hours every day to just 35 minutes. The end result meant that machines gained about five hours of up-time every day, which in turn translated to about 25 hours per week. The company experienced greater productivity and product output as a result.


Truck Manufacturing

Another example of lean’s versatility and value appears in the trucking industry. In this example, C Tek looks at the benefits of implementing lean into the truck manufacturing process. This case study follows a truck manufacturing company in South Dakota. The company builds truck frames for the industrial and service markets. The problem that the company wanted to solve in this case was keeping up with customer demand in both markets for its products. In addition to meeting customer demand, the company wanted to streamline its processes to improve efficiency in its production process. A team of lean-trained professionals worked with the company’s leaders to help understand their goals and reach them. The team of professionals provided training for managers, key operators, and supervisors. To improve their processes, the company installed a Kanban system to reduce its inventory levels and increase its just-in-time manufacturing. Ultimately, the company increased revenue by about 20 percent, and it increased productivity by five percent.


Printing Industry

A third example of lean’s success looks at the printing industry. This example follows the story of a printing company that wanted to make some improvements. In this case, the company had a specific issue that it wanted to address. The company was having trouble delivering products on time, and it was also experiencing lead times that were longer than it hoped for. These issues led to a buildup of inventory in the company’s warehouse. Ultimately, more than 10 percent of the company’s products were thrown away due to the surplus of inventory. The company implemented value stream mapping to optimize workflow and reduce waste.


Automotive Parts Manufacturing

Another case study follows an auto manufacturing company. The company was struggling with efficiency during the changeover when work shifts ended. The company had three work shifts per day, with a 30-minute gap in between shifts that led to a decrease in productivity and efficiency. The company ultimately launched a new changeover structure that reduced downtime and resulted in an increase of $1 million in revenue each year.


Warehouse Management

A final example looks at lean’s impact on warehouse management. In this case, a customer used a warehouse to store large volumes of materials. It had high operating costs as a result, and material storage was also a concern. The company using the warehouse implemented a Kanban system combined with JIT to increase production and minimize other expenses.


To find out more about how lean can benefit your company, contact C Tek today.