Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)
Kaizen is a strategy where employees work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements in the manufacturing process.
This strategy is effective because it focuses the collective talents and resources of your company on creating a culture continually on the lookout for ways to eliminate waste from manufacturing processes.
5S (The 5S System)
The 5S approach emphasizes the organization of your work area. This strategy involves SORTING – eliminating that which is not needed. Once that’s done, the remaining items are SET IN ORDER. Then, you create a work area that SHINES. After that, you STANDARDIZE writing standards for each of the above elements of the process. Finally, you SUSTAIN the strategy by regularly applying the standards.
Six Big Losses
Productivity inefficiency in virtually any manufacturing category can usually be traced back to 6 universally occurring loss categories.
The Six Big Losses include:
- Setup and Adjustments
- Small Stops
- Reduced Speed
- Startup Rejects
- Production Rejects.
The Six Big Losses approach gives you a guideline for attacking the most common causes of waste in manufacturing processes.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
OEE provides a framework for measuring productivity loss for a given manufacturing process. Three categories of loss are tracked: down time, slow cycles and rejects.
This lean technique establishes a baseline and gives you a means to track progress in eliminating waste from a manufacturing process. Achieving 85% OEE is a reasonable target to shoot for in the beginning. Once that’s achieved, you can focus on additional ways to elevate your results.
Machine monitoring dovetails nicely with OEE. Machine monitoring software automatically collects data from machines and uses this data to provide real-time visualizations and notifications, as well as historical analytics to help operators and management make faster and more informed decisions.
In addition to providing you with at-a-glance performance on a machine-by-machine basis, machine monitoring gives you a window onto your entire manufacturing process.
If you are utilizing secure, cloud-based manufacturing software, it also puts information at your fingertips anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Machine downtime, quality issues, and poor performance can be categorized automatically or by the operator.
The key to creating a truly lean manufacturing process is being open-minded. You may find through experimentation that a combination of lean techniques deliver the optimal result.