The term Lean manufacturing refers to the application of Lean practices, principles, and tools to the development and manufacture of physical products.
Manufacturing is the fourth largest industrial sector in the United States, currently employing about 15.6 million Americans, representing about 11% of the gross domestic product, according to manufacturing.gov.
Many manufacturers are using Lean manufacturing principles to eliminate waste, optimize processes, cut costs, boost innovation, and reduce time to market in a fast-paced, volatile, ever-changing global marketplace.
Contrary to popular belief, the ultimate goal of practicing Lean manufacturing isn’t simply to eliminate waste – it’s to sustainably deliver value to the customer.
To achieve that goal, Lean manufacturing defines waste as anything that doesn’t add value to the customer. This can be a process, activity, product or service; anything that requires an investment of time, money, and talent that does not create value for the customer is waste. Idle time, underutilized talent, excess inventory, and inefficient processes are all considered waste by the Lean definition.
Lean manufacturing provides a systematic method for minimizing waste within a manufacturing system, while staying within certain margins of control such as productivity and quality.
Above all, Lean manufacturing is all about optimizing flow: Creating a system that sustainably, consistently delivers value. The sustainability part of this relies on effectively managing capacity – making sure that the workload is balanced and manageable throughout the value stream. Implementing a demand-based, or (pull) manufacturing system is key to effectively managing capacity.
Want to know more? Tonex offers Lean Manufacturing Training, a 2-day course that covers the concepts and techniques of Lean and Lean Management and how you can apply those in your own business.
Tonex also offers two other courses in Lean Manufacturing. These courses are:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.