Lean Manufacturing Building Blocks

An essential component of successfully transitioning to the lean manufacturing model is getting everyone at a plant to embrace the particular philosophies and skills that are part and parcel of the popular approach.

Technology can be a useful aid in enabling process improvement and problem solving. Here are three building blocks that can help you introduce the lean philosophy to everyone on your plant floor.

End User Value

Providing some value to the end user is essential as lean manufacturing systems should be thought of as tools rather than tasks. Factories of the past often kept records using pen and paper, which is not the most reliable way of going about the process. Lean end users who realize that their managers and fellow operators will be seeing their documentation are more likely to include thorough details.

Complete Transparency

Lean systems must also provide complete transparency and high visibility. When everyone is able to see what each other is doing at any time of the day, they can make better decisions in the future. This will not only eliminate the problem of workers having no idea what happened during the previous shift, but it will also allow workers to see what their coworkers are working on and where problems have arisen. In addition, problems can be pinpointed by using equipment and operator histories.

Giving Instant Feedback

Employees need to be able to see the immediate impact of their work if a lean system is going to be a success. Real-time analytics are a great way of getting there. When plant floor operators are able to see just how their work is affecting the facility’s overall condition, they can improve their efficiency and their engagement with the company. There should also be an easy way for operators to make some suggestions about improvements or changes.

Helping employees feel like they are winning is a strong motivator, and lean manufacturing systems can accomplish this and bring about incredible production benefits.

This blog post was based off of an article from Plant Services. View the original here.

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