4D Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing or Lean production represents a management and organization methodology, whose main goals are to increase the productivity, in the same time with minimizing the waste of any kind. In short, the purpose is to improve the quality and eliminate the losses, together with reducing the time and costs involved, obtaining in the end both the satisfaction of the producers/service providers and the clients, as well as of the employees.

The Lean principles consider that the activities involved in the processes of a business are divided into three:

  • those processes which add value to the final product, and for which the client understands and is willing to pay for (for example the customizations applied to a standard product, the request for assembly or mount some equipment, etc.)
  • those processes which are required for the products, but which do not add value to the product in that particular moment, and for which the client is not willing to pay for. Here we can consider the audits, internal controls and verifications, managerial approvals, technical support, quality insurance, methods to reduce the risk of any kind, etc.
  • those processes which are not necessary for the product, they do not add value, the client is not willing to pay for them, but still, they are absolutely necessary for the day-to-day running and good functioning of the business. Here we have the inventory/ material check ups, defects, reprocessing, etc.

This way, the actions which do not add value are identified and minimized or eliminated, but without affecting the value of the final product.

Lean management uses several important tools:

  • automatization
  • constant improvement and development of the activities of any kind, like it is the continuous supply with materials according to the confirmed orders (this also means to maintain a good relationship with suppliers), but also quick deliveries to the clients for their orders, so there will not be large stocks of materials, or orders stored for extended periods of time
  • accurate planning, coherence, routine for the activities which allow it, very well set rules
  • flexibility
  • work space organization methodologies, among which is the implementation of products leveling, visual control and production flow control
  • elimination of losses caused by: frequent inventories, useless/unnecessary transports, actions/movements/gestures of the operators, machines and equipment involved, ‘dead’ waiting time, excess production, defects requesting corrections, extra processing or adding details/options which are either useless or were not requested
  • use to the maximum the human ingenuity, cleverness, talent, abilities, and the machine and equipment technical performances

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