Lean manufacturing is the systematic elimination of waste from all aspects of an organization’s operations. In this case waste material is seen as anything that does not add value to the products being manufactured. Lean manufacturing is therefore explained as the production of goods while using less waste, less human effort and less inventory. Lean improvement techniques have accomplished a traditional of mass production of products in massive.
Lean productions can detect through the entire production system because the entire products are set of mutual coupled techniques. Lean focuses on using less human and machinery effort, less manufacturing space and les time to produce and develop new products while producing less waste material. Lean productions are usually perceived at a very practical level and theoretical, but the relevant of practitioners view point is to implement new products in a new environment, since the practices can only be applied to construction. The main aim of lean production is to improve the quality of products and production time and also cost reduction.
Lean techniques are set of tools used in the identification and elimination of waste while improving the quality of products and reducing production time and cost incurred. For lean techniques to be effective the industries must define the value of products to meet the customer’s views. They must ensure that the products meet the customer’s needs at specified time and price. Identifying the value in lean manufacturing requires that, one must understand that all the activities required producing certain products and processing them according to the customers view.
This way the industry is able to eliminate all non-value added activities from their production process. A continuous improvement process should be practiced by industries so as to achieve this goal. Lean production techniques are driven by five concepts which include cost, quality of products, delivery, safety and morale. One of the common techniques used is the quick and easy Kaizen. Quick and easy Kaizen is a technique which helps in reducing and eliminating waste while promoting person and profession growth of the employees and the companies. At the same time it provides guidance to the employees. (Dennis, 2002).
5s usually can be translated into sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain. Sort refers to remove unnecessary tools and items from the workplace and identifying the most needed tools to perform the tasks. Set in order, ensures that tools and materials are arranged in a manner which is easier for the employees to access. Finally sustain ensures that 5s method is assimilated in the organization culture. To ensure this is adhered to by all employees, their performance is measured and they are informed of their progress routinely. The main benefit of this method is that it keeps the workplace orderly and clean.
As a result, efficiency is improved by reducing time take to search for tools by reducing inventory and cycle of production time. Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a lean technique which focuses on incorporating all functions and categories of an organization so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their production process. Its main aim is to reduce accidents and mistake made during operation and production. It is a technique which aims at preventing maintenance breakdowns, eliminating product defects and designing tools and materials which require less maintenance.
Cellular manufacturing also referred to as one-piece flow system, supports a smooth flow of materials, where equipments are arranged in an aligned procedure so as to reduce transport delays. By using this technique, the production capacity of an industry can be increased by adding more production units. Another common technique used is the canon production system which eliminating 9 waste. The objectives of this technique are to manufacture high quality products at reduced cost and deliver them fast to the customers. Lean techniques help in stigma so as to maintenance tools, materials and personnel in a proper manner so as to minimize waste and to increase speed.
The lean six stigma techniques are also provided for improvement of the information technology, and human resource department of the company. In this method, company practices such as having and framing new employees can be minimize when speeding is increased and non value adding activities are removed and also when waste is eliminated. (Field, 2001). The lean six methods assist in keeping the focus of the industry on the two goals. Through this commercialization process of the company is made efficient by delivering within the shortest time new capable products and services to the market.
The concept that lean has on economic aspirations of developing and developed countries
Lean manufacturing involves three basic elements which include waste elimination, continuous one piece workflow and customers pull. Developing countries should focus on integrating these elements in the areas of cost, quality delivery so as to form the lean production system. Once the developing countries adopt the lean production system they are able to reduce waste materials by almost 80%.when waste is reduced the production cost is also reduced consequently. Removal of non value added activities ensure that manufacturing cycle time is decreased and labour is also decreased while increasing the output. By doing this industrial and developing countries are assured of high quality product, high customers’ satisfaction and as a result they reap high profit. Lean techniques provide a higher system flexible which ensures that industries can react to changes required for improvement.
Developing countries have discovered lean manufacturing techniques are effective in reducing costs and waste by increasing their workforce, so as to have a one piece flow system. These countries must reduce costs at all levels by challenging all their activities to establish whether the activities add value to the customers. This way, they can eliminate business processes which do not add value to the customer or benefit the industry. By identifying activities which provide more value to the customer, companies will be able to reduce costs, reduce the time required to achieve a product and also improve the quality of their products. Use of lean manufacturing in developing countries ensures flexibility and one- piece flow production which leads to production of goods which are best suited for the customers needs by meeting the delivery time at a reduced cost.
This enables the countries to expand their internal market by reducing costs. Lean implementation’s main goal is to get the right things at the appropriate place, at the required time in the correct quantity so as to attain good products while reducing wastes. Lean techniques are implemented to make work easier to understand and to perform. They should focus their attention more by determining why a certain operation must be used. Preventing production defects is more profitable than fixing it. Therefore, removing all non-value added activities is more beneficial to the company, and in the long run, improves the economy of these countries. Finally by achieving this, these industries get to enjoy improved cash flow through increased customers demand.
Lean manufacturing therefore has contributed a great deal in improving the economy of developing developed countries. Lean techniques can be applied not only the manufacturing industries but also in the service industries and environment. Developing countries should use lean techniques in all production system, whether manufacturing service or products, to analyze system, reduce waste and focus on the customers concerns. Applying these techniques in all type of industries will lead to production of high quality productions and hence more profit. (Taghizadegan, 2006).
Physical and socio economic impacts of lean on resources and pollution
Lean manufacturing is a concept which focuses on creating a continuous improvement process which engages employees in reducing waste, reducing time and reducing the cost necessary. While the main focus of lean manufacturing is to eliminate non- value added activities and reduce waste, it also leads to improvement of environment performance. Industries are directing their attention to lean manufacturing so as to reduce cost and production requirement resource, to improve their product quality and enhance customer satisfaction and responsiveness so as to boost the company’s profits. The main goal of lean technique is to eliminate waste in every aspect of production including factory management, product designs and supplier system. Incorporation of less human effort and less time to develop the products has led to achieve this goal. (Hobbs, 2003).
Industries engage in lean techniques which focus more on production efficiency and improving production of resources. Doing this result to, using less material, using less energy, and in effect, producing less waste. This culture in turn benefits the environment, in the sense that industries train their employees to focus on environmental friendly practices so as to reduce waste production and prevent pollution. Lean methods have established continual improvement based waste elimination techniques which lead to improvement in environmental performance.
Research studies have shown that lean techniques focus on environmental management tools which include, life –cycle and tools implemented to reduce the environmental risks and pollution. Decreasing the material used during production especially water, chemicals, energy and other inputs, reduces chance of producing more waste during manufacturing and thus less waste is channeled into the environment. The continual improvement techniques used by industries enables them to identify and remove waste materials during the production process. (Conner, 2001).
Lean techniques are implemented to make work easier to understand and to perform. The concept of lean production that the products produced must meet the customer needs at the specific time by understand the activities required and optimizing them to complete the process from the customers view. The aim of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste material in all aspects of production which includes factory management, customer relations and design in this concept, waste material is considered as anything that the customer is unwilling to pay for.
Lean techniques are concepts designed to reduce waste products and achieve an efficient production system. Lean manufacturing focuses on using less human and machinery effort, less manufacturing space and less time to produce and develop new products while producing less waste material. The concept of lean manufacturing focuses on three major aspects which include improvement of quality of products and production time and also cost reduction. Other aspects of lean manufacturing have been established which emphasize on improving the smoothness of work and in effect leading to waste reduction.
Lean implementation’s main goal is to get the right things at the appropriate place, at the required time in the correct quantity so as to attain good products while reducing wastes. For lean techniques to be effective the industries must define the value of products to meet the customer’s views. They must ensure that the products meet the customer’s needs at specified time and price. Identifying the value in lean manufacturing requires that, one must understand that all the activities required producing certain products and processing them according to the customers view. This way the industry is able to eliminate all non-value added activities from their production process. A continuous improvement process should be practiced by industries so as to achieve this goal. Lean production techniques are driven by five concepts which include cost, quality of products, delivery, safety and morale.
Conner, G. (2001). Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop. SME.
Dennis, P. (2002). Lean Production Simplified. Productivity Press.
Field, W. M. (2001). Lean Manufacturing. CRC Press.
Hobbs, D. P. (2003). Lean Manufacturing Implementation. J. Ross Publishing.
Taghizadegan, S. (2006). Essentials of Lean Six Sigma. Academic Press.