The Skinny on Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing—the on-going effort to remove waste from a manufacturing process—has become not only a practice in the metalworking industry, but a culture as well.

Article From: 3/19/2010 Production Machining, ,

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Lori Beckman

Lean manufacturing—the on-going effort to remove waste from a manufacturing process—has become not only a practice in the metalworking industry, but a culture as well. Waste is anything that does not add value that a customer is willing to pay for. According to Lean Manufacturing Shapes a Cell. “The essence of lean manufacturing is creating a production system that produces exactly what the customer needs, exactly when it is needed, in the exact quantity needed.”

So, is your shop lean enough? Just because you answered “yes” once to the lean question doesn’t mean you should stop asking yourself this question. It’s important for management of every shop to periodically ask themselves whether or not their shops are lean enough for their customers. The article What Lean Looks Like lists characteristics of a shop that is lean. Shops can compare this list with their own characteristics to find out how to improve.

For more information about the definition of lean, examples of successful lean processes and how to become leaner, the Lean Manufacturing Zone on ProductionMachining.com offers a plethora of articles, case histories, columns and videos referring to lean manufacturing.
 

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