A management philosophy aimed at achieving maximum customer value with as little waste as possible. This is the basic premise of Lean Manufacturing.
If you are a manufacturing company and have not yet thought about Lean, it is advisable to give it some thought. It is a proven and effective means to improve your business processes. No idea how to start? We would like to immerse you in Lean and other improvement methods. So that you can get started right away.
The Lean principle has its origins in the automotive industry (Toyota). That is why Lean is mainly situated within production environments. The essence of the philosophy is about eliminating waste in every form. So that employees only have to worry about activities that effectively add value for the customer.
There’s no getting around it. Customers are becoming more and more demanding. They have high expectations, demand lots of product variety and want shorter delivery times. So you see, staying competitive in this ever-changing market is a real challenge.
Lean Management offers a solution for this. And the implementation of Lean is best done by taking many small steps rather than a number of large ones.
Muda, mura en muri
Three Japanese terms in a row. Each of them have their own meaning and form the three pillars within Lean. Taiichi Ohno kept it to seven wastes. Later an eighth wastage was added: wastage of talent. Nowadays it happens more often that knowledge of employees is not optimally used, which is a shame! We explain them briefly for you.
Muda or the seven forms of “waste”. Wastes that employees in a lean organization are working to eliminate on a daily basis.
Transport: Moving products with no added value.
Inventory: Holding stocks/ making buffers
Motion: Unnecessary human movement
Waiting: Waiting for things/people
Overprocessing: Doing more than is necessary
Overproduction: Making more than necessary
Skills: Not utilizing knowledge
The above forms can be divided into wastes that one cannot eliminate immediately, and wastes that one can eliminate quickly through Kaizen.
Putting out fires here and there: hugely stressful and just not pleasant! That’s what Mura is all about. Mura is Japanese for skewed work distribution. This means that there is a disproportionate distribution of the workload. We then see that in certain processes things are going reasonably smoothly while in other processes employees are running around.
Muri means strenuous work. Overload on people and machines, causing accumulation of work. We often see that work gets bogged down and employees can no longer see the forest for the trees.
How Lean and Six Sigma work within your organization? There are several proven techniques that will take your factory floor to the next level along with your employees.
With Azumuta we are going to increase the speed and flexibility of your production lines by focusing entirely on the employees. We equip operators and team leaders with the knowledge and skills they need. So that your people can immediately work according to the culture of continuous improvement.
Overview of Lean techniques
We dish up a few Lean tools on your plate with which you can get started right away. With Azumuta you can increase the speed and flexibility of your production lines by applying Kanban, Kaizen and 5S. Tools that our customers use daily to improve their processes.
Kanban can be applied in many different ways. But the starting point always remains the same: producing efficiently. Kanban is all about the power of visual information using cards on a (digital) board that paint a clear picture of the work. This overview makes it easier to communicate with each other about the status and progress of the work. We distinguish 4 principles:
- Visualizing the work
- Limit ‘work in progress’
- Analyzing the flow
- Adapting and improving
Kaizen and PDCA
Kaizen was originally designed to create a continuous improvement culture. How do you go about eliminating those disruptions and wastes? By first and foremost starting to define wastages using Muda, Mura and Muri and then working on them.
Continuous improvement with the improvement board
In Azumuta we use digital improvement boards. On the one hand you get an overview of the improvement actions and their status. On the other hand, production employees can report improvement ideas or problems in an accessible way.
You get an overview of all issues through the PDCA principle or a self-selected workflow. Because that is the nice thing about our improvement boards: you can go in any direction with them.
The PDCA principle has more than proven its usefulness and importance. However, it appears that the finer points of PDCA are little known and the approach is still difficult in many companies.
PDCA is a creative tool for quality management and problem solving in organizations. The circle describes four activities that apply to all improvements in organizations. The abbreviation stands for the main steps in the circle: Plan, Do, Check, Act. It is an essential part of the lean manufacturing philosophy and a prerequisite for continuous improvement of people and processes in your organization.
Within the 5S principle, processes are all about ‘cleaning’ or ‘tidying up’. This is how you ensure tidiness and orderliness on the factory floor. The framework of five S’s gives you a number of basic principles to get that done. They stand for:
- To separate or sort (Seiri)
- To arrange (Seiton)
- Cleaning (Seiso)
- Standardize (Seiketsu)
- Systematically improve (Shitsuke)
Azumuta makes Lean easy
Got inspiration or looking for more info? We like to help you further! With our lean manufacturing tools you will easily improve, simplify and align your business processes.
We apply techniques and methods such as improvement boards, 5S and Kaizen. Waste and improvements become visible, not only in the entire production but also in quality control and knowledge base.