Lean Manufacturing

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Introduction to Lean manufacturing:
Principles of lean thinking have been broadly accepted by many manufacturing operations and have been applied successfully across many. Different authors define it distinctively. Lean manufacturing is most frequently associated with the elimination of seven important wastes to ameliorate the effects of variability in supply, processing time or demand defined it as a philosophy of manufacturing that focuses on delivering the highest quality product on time and at the lowest cost. Worley (2004) defined it as the systematic removal of waste by all members of the organization from all areas of the value stream. Briefly, it is called lean as it uses less, or the minimum of everything required to produce a
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Lean manufacturing requires machines which are reliable and efficient. Inventories can be reduced when machine downtime is minimized.
Work processes across the value stream should also be emphasized in lean manufacturing. Processes should be performed with a minimum of non value added activities in order to reduce waiting time, queuing time, moving time, and other delays Besides this, standardization of work processes is needed to facilitate efficient, safe work methods and eliminate wastes, while maintaining quality.Itensures a consistent performance and creates a foundation for continuous improvement.

Nowadays, a product with high quality is a prerequisite for any manufacturer. Quality is a major focus in lean manufacturing because poor quality management would result in many wastes such as scraps and rejects. Appropriate quality management helps to control a manufacturing process, and this reduces “safety” buffers and exposes quality issues. Reduction of “safety” buffers will eventually lead to reduction of inventories.

Employees who are motivated and empowered are essential since people are the key element in lean manufacturing. Japanese regard people as assets because they are the ones who are going to solve problems and improve processes in production.

Another key area of lean manufacturing is layout which determines the arrangement of facilities in a factory.
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