Lean manufacturing is a popular practice that can benefit many different businesses. One industry that benefits from implementing lean is batch production, or batch processing. Many customers mistakenly think that lean only applies to large-scale production companies rather than smaller niche markets. However, as the experts at C Tek will explain, lean manufacturing also has a place in batch processing. For smaller companies, lean’s main benefits are reducing waste and increasing levels of productivity, order, and customer satisfaction.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing strives to find ways to reduce waste and in turn improve a company’s level of customer satisfaction. Lean reduces waste, improves efficiency, and minimizes excess in terms of product production and expenses. Greater efficiency, more streamlined practices, and increases in productivity and revenue are just a few highlights that companies can expect to see when they adopt lean manufacturing processes. Ultimately, lean manufacturing’s core principles are also linked to other manufacturing philosophies and principles, including just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing and Kanban. Fortunately, batch-production companies have a number of easy and effective ways to incorporate lean manufacturing into their practices.
Encouragement and Engagement
In many ways, employee engagement and encouragement forms the foundation for adopting lean practices and principles. After all, employees will be the ones responsible for carrying out a lean manufacturing process, so they need to understand how the process works and what advantages it will have for them and their company. Encouraging and engaging employees is essentially a two-way communication system. Employees at all levels of the company’s chain should feel that their opinions are valued and respected. Asking for their feedback and input on ways that the company can improve goes a long way in improving practices across all departments. If employees feel that their opinions are supported and respected, they will be more likely to share their thoughts and ideas that can help the company improve over all. Engagement is so important that it is considered to be the foundation of transitioning to a lean-focused work environment.
5s is a system that helps a company clean and organize its workspace. The principle behind 5s is simply getting rid of waste and removing any unnecessary items from the workplace. After removing any excess and nonessential items, a company can turn its attention towards putting items in the place where they belong. This helps with organization, efficiency, and even safety. Finally, the last fundamental principle of the 5s system is cleanliness. Once a workplace has been cleaned up, employees should make an effort to keep it that way. A clean work environment will also be safer and more efficient.
Visual management includes elements of 5s. It also has a holistic approach to deciding where tools and equipment should be placed so that they are accessible to employees and arranged in such a way that they reduce clutter in order to improve efficiency and productivity. Management should look at the production cycle on the manufacturing floor to pinpoint any problems that may be solved from making changes to the production floor’s arrangement and overall design.
Companies can also employ the PDCA practice of improving their operations. PDCA was developed by and for the healthcare industry. However, it can just as easily be used by a company that produces large volumes of cookies or croissants. PDCA involves bringing people and equipment together in such a way that they work harmoniously to reduce downtime and improve efficiency. PDCA can be used by individual departments and implemented as a cross-department strategy for improvement.
Batch production companies can benefit in many ways by incorporating lean manufacturing processes into their daily business operations. Ask the C Tek experts today how lean can improve your company’s operations.