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Manage your stocks and flows with Lean Manufacturing

A LEAN approach is a systematic approach to identifying and eradicating waste through continuous progress, drawing flows by customer demand and constantly seeking perfection. A Lean process is thus a process rid of all unnecessary operations, excess stocks that make it obese, less efficient.

This method, called Lean Manufacturing, is only effective if all staff participate in the action.

Confronting trained people with all types of problems and implementing concrete solutions on the ground allows effective, reproducible and sustainable teaching.


Definition of LEAN Manufacturing

LEAN is a business strategy that delivers products and services that meet customer expectations, when the customer wants them, in the number required, at the right price, using the minimum of materials, equipment, space, work and time.

The most critical situations and their consequences can be experienced: interruption of a line due to lack of supply of a part, stock shortage.... No customer, if he knew, would agree to pay the extra cost of the products and/or services he purchases to compensate for the inefficiency of his supplier. It is not the supplier who will reveal his own inefficiency, but the competitors, by proposing better products, at more interesting costs and delays.

LEAN therefore means less waste, shorter cycle times, fewer suppliers, less bureaucracy, but LEAN also means more competent employees, more delegation, a more agile and efficient organisation, more productivity, more satisfied customers and more long-term success.

LEAN is the result of Lead Time and Tack Time

Initially developed by Toyota, LEAN, literally "thin", "thin", links performance (productivity, quality) to the flexibility of a company, which must be able to constantly reconfigure all its processes (industrial responsiveness). LEAN advocates seek performance through continuous improvement and elimination of waste, MUDA in Japanese.

In order to obtain this performance, LEAN is based on two main parameters.

First of all the lead time, corresponding to the time needed to carry out all the operations from the acceptance of the order until its dispatch.

Finally, Takt Time, representing the reflection of ideal consumption by customers. Takt Time is the rate at which we want a unit to leave the company's manufacturing process.

The place of LEAN Manufacturing and its objectives

LEAN Thinking, continuous improvement of activities

Since the 1950s, Toyota's Production System (TPS) has constantly evolved and the principles of this method were published in a book written by J.P WOMACK and D.T JONES in 1997 under the title "LEAN THINKING" (Philosophy or way of thinking).

LEAN Thinking, or the adoption of this way of thinking, makes it possible to leave the purely curative framework of the hunt for waste and the improvement of performance and to apply its principles preventively, during the development of products, processes, activities...

Flooded with problems of all kinds (relocations, saturated markets, increase in materials, technological innovations, etc.), most managers are looking for solutions (turnkey), kits to meet their most pressing problems. However one of the most burning is the operational competitiveness of French companies, as highlighted in a recent report by Mc KINSEY. In times of crisis, to continue to perform well, the company must adapt its activity quickly to a tense environment without systematically resorting to investment.

Today, LEAN Manufacturing is an organizational model that improves the company's flexibility and responsiveness so that it can be more competitive with more respondents to customers who pay close attention to these two aspects.

The 5 principles of LEAN THINKING

  • Specify what makes or creates customer value
  • Identify the value flow
  • Favour the flow of the flow
  • Pull the flows
  • Aim for perfection
  • Objective of the LEAN Manufacturing method on quality

    The increase in the quality level of the work process translates into a reduction in the number of errors, retouching and rejects. This reduces the use of the company's resources and therefore the total cost of operations.

  • Objective of the LEAN Manufacturing method on cost

    At the entrance of a production plant, we find the human resources, the installations, the raw materials and at the exit, we find the finished products. Productivity increases when identical input resources generate more finished products at output, or when the volume of identical finished products decreases input factors.

  • Objective of the LEAN Manufacturing method on lead times

    Reduce execution time: time is defined as the time interval between the receipt of raw materials and the receipt by the company of payment for the products sold. Reducing this interval means more products manufactured at the same time, better resource rotation and greater responsiveness and flexibility to meet customer needs.

The strength of the continuous improvement approach

The LEAN approach is broader than a simple production method, and forms a coherent system of complex concepts, articulated to an original practice and to specific means of formalisation and appropriation. LEAN proponents apply themselves to teaching it, applying it and spreading its rules within the industrial community. Each element has its place and function within a structured organization.

Actions cannot be carried out without having proven working tools and a structured organisation. The best illustration of the SOLIDITY of such an approach consists in considering the company under the aspect of a monument capable of resisting the assaults of time.

Stability is the foundation of the monument. LEAN Manufacturing can only grow if this solid foundation is built first. Applied to the organization, we talk about team stability, standardization of methods, strategy followed over time..

The slab on which everything else is built, consists of 2 elements the Kaizen or continuous improvement and the reduction of MUDA or waste both set the system in motion. The 2 columns of the JAT and JIDOKA monument rest on 2 bases, the HEIJUNKA and the TRAVAIL STANDARD, a system designed to absorb as much as possible the jolts of demand.

JIT column tools are continuous flow production, pull flow, TAKT TIME and rapid tool change (SMED), JIDOKA column tools are man-machine separation (one operator manages several machines) and autonomation : stand-alone machines detecting their own errors, poka-yoke methods, problem analysis (5 why). The roof, or objective of the LEAN Manufacturing method, is summarized by QCD, quality improvement, optimization of production costs, adaptation of lead times to the real needs of the customer.

A house cannot be consolidated if only one pillar is built. This is also true for LEAN.

The Kaizen method, the Lean method of small steps

Kaizen, of Japanese origin and signifying continuous improvement, is a tool specific to Lean Manufacturing. Just like many methods and tools like the 5S method, the Kanban method, or the Hoshin method, the Kaizen system was created by Toyota. Kaizen, the continuous improvement method, aims to optimize production, reduce waste, making small steps, small changes every day. This process involves all staff, and avoids investing money in order to have improvement results. Moreover, these results are easy to monitor and exploit, thanks to industrial performance indicators.

Muda: the 7 wastes of Lean Manufacturing

In companies, waste is omnipresent. So we find them under 3 families. MURI, losses due to excess, unreasonable activities. Then comes the MURA, identified through the variabilities, the rhythm breaks. Then finally the MUDA, the best known and most easily discernible losses. There are 7 MUDA: waste of overproduction, waiting, transport, excessive processes, stock, movement and finally non-quality. Introduced in the TPS, Toyota's Production System, waste must be eliminated as quickly as possible because it generates unnecessary costs for businesses.

Just In Time Supply Management

Just in Time (JIT) is a production and supply management method. It is one of the pillars of Lean Manufacturing with Jidoka. The just-in-time method is simple, at each stage of the process, as soon as an external or internal customer consumes products, the exact quantity corresponding to this consumption must be put into production in order to return the stocks and maintain them at their chosen level. This also does not involve the ordering of raw materials, the use of the Kanban methodparticularly effective in continuous or campaign series production and with great diversity. The objective of the just-in-time method is to dimension stocks and work-in-progress as accurately as possible, based on actual and forecast customer consumption, and to control them.

Jidoka, the cost pillar of Lean Manufacturing

The main role of the Jidoka is to detect anomalies allowing the production line to stop. It therefore aims to prevent unintended problems in order to solve them as soon as possible. That is why it is one of the pillars of Lean Production with just-in-time. Jidoka is based on several Lean methods to eliminate quality problems, such as the 5S method, TPM, 6 Sigma, QRQC, poka-yoke or Andon system.

All these techniques and approaches have the same goal, that of improving the performance and quality of production and work stations.

Reduce delivery times with Heijunka

Heijunka is a Lean Manufacturing method to level, smooth production. This elimination of variations contributes to the GST and improves delivery times. In particular by establishing a production schedule with a monthly or daily mesh depending on the case. The Heinjunka thus creates a rhythm to maintain, a plan to follow. In order to respect this rhythm and to control the quantity and volume of products manufactured or to avoid disruptions in the production chain, the Kanban method, the Heinjunka Box and the SMED method can be applied.

Standard work, a quality tool in Lean Manufacturing

The standard work of Lean management is taken over in Lean Manufacturing. This practice is a guide, an aid at the production level. The goal is to define a sequence of operations, specific tasks to be performed in a given order. It is a tool available to all teams to perform a task without MUDA and in a given time. It is thanks to this standardisation of work that teams can become autonomous but also follow a PDCA cycle, a Deming wheel to manage quality and solve problems. Thus it allows to respect certain performances such as the Quality, the Costs and the Delays. This practice makes it possible to level the production process, and thus to help Heijunka in terms of operator performance.

Takt Time, a production time reduction calculation

Takt Time is a unit of time, a rhythm to follow in order to follow and realize the needs of customers. Takt Time is important because it corresponds to the manufacturing time according to customer demand. The calculation is therefore:

Takt Time = Working time / Customer request.

Takt Time relies on Just-in-Time, JIT, i.e. to produce at the right time so as not to have stocks, surpluses or inventory and to achieve a certain level of product quality. So Takt Time is an improvement in production, it is linked to the Hoshin method, in order to get better performance. Heinjunka can also help this calculation method to give a rhythm between production, quality and customer demand.

The essential tools to implement a LEAN Manufacturing approach

Discover SESA SYSTEMS creations for the production improvement process thanks to LEAN.

Training through play is the pleasure of learning by playing together. It is also to contribute to the new development of each one by making it possible to obtain rich, new and fruitful learning situations.

The participants will discover through their personal experiences, the need to implement these new evidences thus highlighted and to facilitate their transposition in their everyday life.

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