When it comes to running a successful manufacturing operation, it is important for owners and managers to constantly be striving to improve operations, lower costs, and increase overall efficiency and productivity levels. While there are a variety of ways to achieve these goals, there is one philosophy which often results in a powerful, positive, and almost immediate impact. This philosophy is lean manufacturing.
So, what exactly does the term “lean manufacturing” mean, and why is such an efficient way of running manufacturing operations? This post will define lean manufacturing, the value of its implementation, and how you can reap the benefits of this manufacturing strategy.
Defining Lean Manufacturing
At its simplest level, lean manufacturing refers to strategically removing as much waste from within a manufacturing system as possible. In this definition, the term “waste” refers to both excess material consumption and inefficient use of labor (overburden), as well as any other unnecessary production processes or activities.
Any activity that doesn’t contribute to a better quality product for the customer is defined as waste, and should therefore be eliminated or reduced. When defective products are built, this results in added waste. If operations are halted due to faulty machinery or lack of a sufficient labor force, the result is waste. If shipping efforts aren’t performed strategically in order to minimize transportation time and costs, then additional waste is being created.
Benefits of Lean Manufacturing
Manufacturing companies of all types and sizes can benefit significantly of implementing lean manufacturing practices. The ultimate goal of implementing lean manufacturing strategies is to produce better quality products, in a timely manner, at the lowest possible cost for your customers.
Some of the benefits of employing a lean manufacturing philosophy include:
- Reduce wasted time
- Reduce wasted material costs
- Reduce wasted labor costs
- Reduce wasted transportation costs
- Reduce wasted production costs (due to defects and overproduction)
- Lower costs to your customers
- Improve operational efficiency
- Increase product value to your customers
- Increase product quality
- Increase company revenue
Implementing a Lean Manufacturing Strategy
Axenics focuses on the following strategies to provide lean manufacturing services to our customers:
1. Eliminating/Reducing Waste
Axenics strives to consistently reduce and/or eliminate all sources of waste within our manufacturing processes. We do this by putting efficient procedures in place to avoid unnecessary labor, reduce raw material waste, decrease the production of defective products, and more. We are constantly looking for areas where waste can be reduced or removed, and then work to develop solutions to improve these areas.
2. Increasing Employee Productivity
Axenics understands the importance of inspiring productivity among our workforce. We respect the professional expertise of each of our employees, and trust in their abilities. We value our employees, and take care to show our appreciation for a job well done.By empowering our employees and praising them for their hard work, they deliver higher productivity levels on a consistent basis. The result is ultimately improved operational efficiency, which benefits the company, our employees, and our customers.
3. Focusing on Quality
At Axenics, we are focused on delivering the highest quality product throughout every aspect of the manufacturing process. From the product design, to production, to packaging, shipping, and customer service, quality is made a priority each step of the way. We choose to invest in the best equipment and the best employees, which results in developing the highest quality of products and services for our customers, and yours.
4. Strategic Production Management
By utilizing Just In Time (JIT) production methods and a Kanban system, Axenics ensures that only materials required are purchased, and that parts are only produced and shipped upon immediate demand. This eliminates unnecessary waste created due to needless labor and excess materials used to produce products which cannot be sold. The resulting cost savings can be used to improve operations, as well as being passed on to our customers.