Time and money play an important role in every company. In addition to the sensible and economical use of operating materials, but also human resources, production output must be increased. At the same time, it is possible to reduce the associated costs. For this, however, lean production is required.
What does lean production mean?
The term lean production comes from English and means something like “lean production”. The term Lean Production, also known as Lean Manufacturing, describes the use of production factors, such as personnel, materials, organization and operating resources, in which attention is paid to economy and time efficiency. A major focus is on process optimization in order to increase or optimize the flexibility of a company in addition to quality. In order to be able to use lean production successfully, a clean and clearly defined lean organization is required.
What are typical features of lean production?
According to gradinmath, the lean production method has some very typical characteristics. These are:
- Just-in-time production, also called one piece flow
- Quality management to avoid mistakes
- Lean operation with low inventory levels
- Personnel policy that focuses on employee engagement
Where did the concept of lean production come from?
The origin of lean management can be found in the early 1950s. At that time, the first technicians in the automotive industry were trying to find new production systems. The focus was on methods that should be leaner and more efficient. Even then it was recognized that for a successful market presence it is important to coordinate certain processes so that they become more constructive and economical. Above all, the Toyota company is considered to be the pioneer in lean production. This company’s production system became the model and benchmark for many other companies. Toyota attached particular importance to not only describing processes of a technical nature. Rather, the aim there was
What makes lean production useful?
Lean production makes sense for a company in many ways. With lean production it is possible to achieve shorter lead times. In addition, productivity is greatly increased and the products are manufactured in an impeccable quality. On the other hand, it is achieved that waste is reduced to a minimum and production speed is increased. In the end, all of these factors bring significant cost savings.
Relationship between lean production and lean management
In order to assert itself successfully in the market, lean production and lean management are essential challenges that a company must face. Lean production and lean structures represent a sporting goal with regard to the implementation of process orientation and simultaneous customer orientation. Only those who face this challenge will ensure their survival in a market that is characterized by unstable conditions.
Important basic terms on the subject of lean production
There are some important basic terms for lean production that you definitely need to know:
|Lean management||Lean management can be translated as lean management. This is understood to be an approach that continuously optimizes processes. Lean management encompasses the entire value chain and its efficient design.|
|Value chain||With the value chain, all stages within a production are represented as an ordered series of all activities. These activities range from development to product support.|
|One piece flow||The term one piec flow is also known as “employee-related workflow”. The One Piec Flow is a logistical flow production. However, there is the specialty here that employees accompany the workpiece through all processes of the machining, sometimes even up to the final completion. All employees are deployed in groups, possibly also on a rotating basis. For this reason, teamwork is one of the essential characteristics of lean production.|
Lean management is mainly shaped by Japanese terms, due to Toyota’s pioneering role. Therefore, there are also other important terms:
|Kaizen||The term Kaizen stands for the replacement of the good with the better. In relation to a company, this means that there is a need for constant improvement of processes in all areas of a company. Kaizen doesn’t just refer to production.|
|Kanban||This Japanese word means something like shield or card. In the area of lean production, Kanban is used as a method to create production control based on the pull principle. The goal of Kanban is to have the lowest inventory levels while maintaining a high level of inventory security.|
|Poka Yoke||This term means protection against errors. Poka Yoke is to be understood as a tool that is used to ensure quality not only in production, but also in administration. Technical measures are intended to ensure that an error cannot occur. Poka Yoke is based on the knowledge that there is no employee who is able to avoid mistakes that are unintentional.|
|Muda||Muda is the term for the eight types of waste. Kaizen aims to avoid waste (muda), irregularities (mura) and overload (muri). The focus here is clearly on muda.|