Top 5 Lean Tools
The TXM Lean Solutions team visit many different manufacturing companies, from the food and pharmaceutical industries to machining and sheet-metal engineering companies, with a huge variety of different industries that fit somewhere in-between. Regardless of what industry you are in, the top 5 Lean fundamentals remain the same.
Value Stream Mapping
Simply put, the “Value Stream” is the series of processes through your company that add value to a product for which a customer will then pay for. In many manufacturing environments the manufacturing value stream is listed in the work order or traveller – those steps that need to be done in the right order to make the product. For process manufacturing environments, it’s the process line that creates the products value.
A key part of implementing Lean Manufacturing into a Production area is understanding Flow; how parts move along the processes, between each workstation and what this looks like across the week and month. The future state value stream map has provided a vision for what the Production flow will look like, defining which parts of the overall production process can flow easily, which parts needs direction and which sections need the highest level of control.
Visual management is a huge part of Lean Manufacturing. It is one of the simplest tools and often overlooked, due to it’s simplicity. As the name implies Visual Management is the ability to manage everything in your factory (and support areas) visually.
There are many metrics that are used to measure performance across a business. Without a doubt, they are a key mechanism for analysing the effectiveness of any business operation. However, what is measured may vary from one business to another and these vary when viewed from the perspective of a Lean metric. Lean metrics allow businesses to measure, evaluate and react to changes in performance base on the needs of the customer. One of the first attempts to create Lean metrics was the balanced scorecard concept towards business performance measures.
5S is a systematic approach to good housekeeping. While there are many interpretations of the original Toyota definitions (there is even more than one Japanese version) the principles behind the stages are still the same. The first three “S”‘s are the “doing” part of the process and the last two “S”s are about “sustaining” our housekeeping efforts.
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