Article | December 16, 2021
Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction.
Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing.
So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles.
The Origins of Lean Manufacturing
The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution.
They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste.
Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide.
When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business?
Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business.
Waste reduction of 80% plus
Reduced production expenses by 50%
Decreased inventories by 80-90%
Producing quality items is 90% less expensive.
Workforce productivity improved by 50%
If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles.
Five lean Manufacturing Principles
Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing.
For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence.
Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.”
– Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc.
For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets.
Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps.
The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled.
The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP).
On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system.
An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP.
While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles.
How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles
Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole.
Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles.
What is Five S's of lean manufacturing?
The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment.
What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing?
Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’.
Why are lean principles beneficial for any business?
Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.
Article | November 1, 2021
Manufacturing processes will undergo significant transformation in 2022 as a result of advanced manufacturing technology. The changing manufacturing industry is full of digitization to improve processes, products, productivity, and business revenue.
Manufacturers must realize the advantages of advanced manufacturing and learn to enhance their production processes to increase their manufacturing plant's productivity. Once you understand the heart of your business and where to integrate technology, you're halfway to success.
The manufacturing industry's top professionals have also recognized the technology shift and are supporting upskilling in the manufacturing business. Mr. Matt Mong has said in his interview with Media7,
“Once you start to look at yourself in the right way and realize that projects are at the core of your business, it is easy to see how you should use technology to support your business.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca
Importance of Advanced Manufacturing
Adopting innovative manufacturing technologies has several advantages that grow its acceptance and relevance among manufacturers across industries. The following are the most significant advantages of advanced manufacturing.
Amplifying the product and process quality
Improvement in productivity
Encourages new ways to innovation
Decreases production time
Considering the factors above that contribute to the production process becoming more efficient, productive, and revenue-generating, advanced manufacturing will continue to dominate the manufacturing business in 2022.
Top Five Technologies That Are Advancing Manufacturing in 2022
To better understand the current trends in manufacturing technology, let us comprehend the technologies that are advancing the manufacturing industry. Additionally, discover how these technologies help manufacturers to advance their manufacturing processes.
Cloud computing in manufacturing is used for marketing, product development, inventory management, and productivity management. It stores software and commercial data via internet connections. Cloud computing is becoming a prevalent technology because it enables manufacturers to improve communication and manage the entire production cycle effectively.
According to MarketsandMarkets' study, the global cloud computing market will also increase to 832.1 billion dollars by 2025, growing at a 17.5 percent annual rate in the following years.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Fewer technical issues when compared to traditional software use
Cost savings because no in-house servers are required
Cloud computing enables easy scalability for your developing firm
Cloud computing provides centralized control and access from any device
How did McDonald's use AWS cloud computing services to transform their customer service?
Additive manufacturing enables the fabrication of lighter, more sophisticated designs that would be impossible or prohibitively expensive to fabricate using conventional dies, molds, milling, and machining techniques. Rapid prototyping is another area where additive manufacturing thrives.
As a result, it is gaining a grip in the manufacturing business. According to Statista's market research, the additive manufacturing industry is worth approximately 12.6 billion US dollars in 2020 and is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 17% until 2023.
Benefits of Additive Manufacturing
Reduces material waste
Simplifies manufacturing processes
Additive manufacturing enables on-demand production
Increases supply chain flexibility
The finished product can be made close to the end customer
Robots are used in manufacturing to automate repetitive tasks, resulting in a more efficient assembly line. Humans and robots work together on a variety of things as well during the production of various products. Many jobs are hazardous or necessitate many supplies, which could be harmful to the human workers themselves. So, in such instances, robots play a significant role in executing manufacturing operations.
Robotics' increasing application in production is transforming it into a necessary component of industrial processes in the future. According to Mordorintelligence's study, the robots industry was worth USD 27.73 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach USD 74.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 17.45 percent between 2021 and 2026.
Benefits of Robotics
Increased productivity when compared to traditional manufacturing
Consistent speed and quality during goods production
Increased workplace safety for all employees at the manufacturing plant
Aids in more efficient use of floor space
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things allows devices to interconnect with one another and exchange data. The IoT connects assets to processes, systems, and people in manufacturing. This enables improved process integration, increased efficiency, and the advancement of manufacturing to the next transformation phase, Industry 4.0.
According to Mordorintelligence's market research, the global IoT market is estimated to reach USD 1,386.06 billion in 2026, up from USD 761.4 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 10.53 percent over the forecast period of 2021 to 2026.
Benefits of Internet of Things
It contributes to increased energy efficiency by identifying and optimizing underperforming devices
It monitors all processes and parameters to determine when to replace specific components
It improves product quality by analyzing and correcting issues at any stage of the manufacturing process
It reduces downtime by detecting and alerting production line personnel to problems
It enables more informed decision-making by unlocking
Virtual reality enables plant managers to mimic manufacturing processes and assembly line layouts to discover potentially harmful scenarios. Additionally, virtual reality can immerse an employee in a future workstation and then capture their movement to assess task feasibility and proficiency. As a result, the usage of virtual reality in manufacturing is increasing daily and is widely seen as the industry's future.
According to market research firm markets and markets, the worldwide virtual reality industry is estimated to rise by USD 20.9 billion by 2025, expanding at a 27.9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025.
Benefits of Virtual Reality
Enables a more thorough examination of the product's design
Enables the gathering of feedback on future items before they are launched in the real world
In recent years, advanced manufacturing technology has helped the manufacturing industry become more efficient, precise, and goal-oriented. As a result, manufacturers are eager to upgrade their current manufacturing facilities to state-of-the-art facilities. As a result, manufacturing companies would become more competitive and an integral industry component if they implement cutting-edge technologies.
How do you define advanced manufacturing?
Product and process improvement through inventive use of new technology is called advanced manufacturing.
Which sectors are utilizing cutting-edge technology?
Aerospace, Medical, Electronics, Transportation, Energy, and Consumer Product Production Companies are the top businesses or sectors that use cutting-edge technologies with sophisticated manufacturing.
What is the difference between conventional manufacturing and advanced manufacturing?
Traditional manufacturing adds value to attain the goal. Traditional manufacturing adds value to attain the goal. But, on the other hand, advanced manufacturing covers production methods in specific industries like aerospace, medical, pharmaceutical, etc.
Article | January 12, 2022
Real-time manufacturing analytics enables the manufacturing base to increase its efficiency and overall productivity in a variety of ways. Production data is an effective means of determining the factory's efficiency and identifying areas where it might be more productive.
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”
– Geoffrey Moore, an American Management Consultant and Author
Creating a product-specific data collection may assist you in determining and visualizing what needs to be improved and what is doing well. In this article, we'll look at why manufacturing data collection is vital for your organization and how it may help you improve your operations.
Why is Manufacturing Data Collection so Critical?
Visibility is the key benefit that every manufacturer gets from manufacturing data collection. By collecting real-time data, or what we refer to as "shop floor data," manufacturers better understand how to assess, comprehend, and improve their plant operations. Manufacturers can make informed decisions based on detailed shop floor data. This is why having precise, real-time production data is critical.
“According to Allied Market Research, the worldwide manufacturing analytics market was worth $5,950 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $28,443.7 million by 2026, rising at a 16.5% compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2026.”
For modern manufacturers, the advantages of data collection in manufacturing are numerous. The manufacturing industry benefits from production data and data-driven strategy in the following ways.
Substantial reduction in downtime by identifying and addressing the root causes of downtime.
It increases manufacturing efficiency and productivity by minimizing production bottlenecks.
A more robust maintenance routine that is based on real-time alerts and machine circumstances.
Improvements in demand forecasting, supplier scoring, waste reduction, and warehouse optimization reduce supply chain costs.
Higher-quality goods that are more in line with customers' wishes and demands depending on how they are utilized in the current world.
So, after looking at some of the significant benefits of real-time manufacturing analytics, let’s see what type of data is collected from production data tracking.
What Sorts of Data May Be Collected for Production Tracking?
Downtime: Operators can record or track downtime for jams, cleaning, minor slowdowns, and stoppages, among other causes, with production tracking software. In the latter scenario, downtime accuracy is optimized by removing rounding, human error, and forgotten downtime occurrences. The software also lets you categorize different types of stops.
Changeovers: Changeovers can also be manually recorded. However, changeovers tracked by monitoring software provide valuable data points for analysis, considerably reducing the time required for new configurations.
Maintenance Failures: Similar to downtime classification, the program assists in tracking the types of maintenance breakdowns and service orders and their possible causes. This may result in cost savings and enable businesses to implement predictive or prescriptive maintenance strategies based on reliable real-time data.
Items of Good Quality: This is a fundamental component of production management. Companies can't fulfill requests for delivery on schedule unless they know what's created first quality. Real-time data collection guarantees that these numbers are accurate and orders are filled efficiently.
Scrap: For manufacturers, waste is a significant challenge. However, conventional techniques are prone to overlooking scrap parts or documenting them wrong. The production tracking system can record the number and type of errors, allowing for analysis and improvement. Additionally, it can capture rework, rework time, and associated activities.
WIP Inventory: Accurate inventory management is critical in production, yet a significant quantity of material may become "invisible" once it is distributed to the floor. Collecting data on the movement and state of work in progress is critical for determining overall efficiency.
Production Schedule: Accurate data collection is essential to managing manufacturing orders and assessing operational progress. Customers' requests may not be fulfilled within the specified lead time if out of stock. Shop floor data gathering provides accurate production histories and helps managers fulfill delivery deadlines.
Which Real-time Data Collection Techniques Do Manufacturers Employ?
Manufacturers frequently employ a wide range of data collection techniques due to the abundance of data sources. Manual data collection and automated data collection are two of the most common data collection methods. Here are a few examples from both methods:
IoT: To provide the appropriate information to the right people at the right time with the correct shop floor insight, IoT (Internet of Things) sensor integration is employed.
PLC: The integration of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is used to measure and regulate manufacturing operations.
HMI: It can provide human context to data by integrating line HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems (such as individual shop terminals like touch screens located on factory floor equipment).
SCADA: Overarching management of activities with SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems.
CNC and Other Machines: Integrating CNC and other machines (both new and older types) to keep tabs on production efficiency and machine well-being is a must these days.
One of the most challenging aspects of shop floor management is determining what to measure and what to overlook. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently conducted a study on assisting manufacturing operations in determining which data to collect from the shop floor.Additionally, you may utilize the manufacturing data set described above to obtain information from your manufacturing facility and use it strategically to improve operations, productivity, efficiency, and total business revenue in the long term.
What is manufacturing analytics?
Manufacturing analytics uses operations and event data and technology in the manufacturing business to assure quality, improve performance and yield, lower costs, and optimize supply chains.
How is data collected in manufacturing?
Data collection from a manufacturing process can be done through manual methods, paperwork, or a production/process management software system.
Article | October 20, 2021
Machine vision is becoming increasingly prevalent in manufacturing daily across industries. The machine vision manufacturing practice provides image-based automated inspection and analysis for various applications, including automatic inspection, process control, and robot guiding, often found in the manufacturing business.
This breakthrough in manufacturing technology enables producers to be more innovative and productive to meet customer expectations and deliver the best products on the market.
A renowned industry leader Mr. Matt Mongonce conveyed in an interview with Media7,
As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity
-Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
Why is Machine Vision so Critical?
The machine vision manufacturing process is entirely automated, with no human intervention on the shop floor. Thus, in a manufacturing process, machine vision adds significant safety and operational benefits. Additionally, it eliminates human contamination in production operations where cleanliness is critical.
For instance, the healthcare business cannot afford human contamination in some circumstances to ensure the safety of medicines. Second, the chemical business is prohibited from allowing individuals to come into touch with chemicals for the sake of worker safety. Thus, machine vision is vital in these instances, so it is critical to integrate machine vision systems into your production process.
Machine Vision Application Examples
To better understand how businesses are utilizing machine vision in production, we will look at five cases.
Even a few seconds of production line downtime might result in a significant financial loss in the manufacturing industry. Machine vision systems are used in industrial processes to assist manufacturers in predicting flaws or problems in the production line before the system failure. This machine vision capability enables manufacturing processes to avoid breakdowns or failures in the middle of the manufacturing process.
How is FANUC America Corporation Avoiding the Production Line Downtime with ROBOGUIDE and ZDT?
FANUC is a United States-based firm that is a market leader in robotics and ROBOMACHINE technology, with over 25 million units deployed worldwide. In addition, the company's professionals have created two products that are pretty popular in the manufacturing industry: ROBOGUIDE and ZDT (Zero Down Time).
These two standout products assist manufacturers in developing, monitoring, and managing production line automation. As a result, producers can enhance production, improve quality, and maximize profitability while remaining competitive.
Inspection of Packages
To ensure the greatest possible quality of products for their target consumer groups, manufacturers must have a method in place that enables them to inspect each corner of their product. Machine vision improves the manufacturing process and inspects each product in detail using an automated procedure.
This technology has been used in many industries, including healthcare, automation, and electronics. Manufacturers can detect faults, cracks, or any other defect in the product that is not visible to the naked eye using machine vision systems. The machine vision system detects these faults in the products and transmits the information to the computer, notifying the appropriate person during the manufacturing process.
Assembly of Products and Components
The application of machine vision to industrial processes involves component assembly to create a complete product from a collection of small components. Automation, electronics manufacturing, healthcare (medicine and medical equipment manufacturing), and others are the industries that utilize the machine vision system in their manufacturing process. Additionally, the machine vision system aids worker safety during the manufacturing process by enhancing existing safety procedures.
Manufacturers are constantly endeavoring to release products that are devoid of flaws or difficulties. However, manually verifying each product is no longer practicable for anybody involved in the manufacturing process, as production counts have risen dramatically in every manufacturing organization. This is where machine vision systems come into play, performing accurate quality inspections and assisting producers in delivering defect-free items to their target clients.
Earlier in the PCB penalization process, where numerous identical PCBs were made on a single panel, barcodes were used to separate or identify the PCBs manually by humans. This was a time-consuming and error-prone process for the electronics manufacturing industry. This task is subsequently taken over by a machine vision system, in which each circuit is segregated and uniquely identified using a robotics machine or a machine vision system. The high-tech machine vision system "Panel Scan" is one example of a machine vision system that simplifies the PCB tracing procedure.
The use of machine vision in the manufacturing business enables firms to develop more accurate and complete manufacturing processes capable of producing flawless products. Incorporating machine vision into manufacturing becomes a component of advanced manufacturing, which is projected to be the future of manufacturing in 2022. Maintain current production trends and increase your business revenue by offering the highest-quality items using a machine vision system.
What is the difference between computer vision and machine vision?
Traditionally, computer vision has been used to automate image processing, but machine vision is applied to real-world interfaces such as a factory line.
Where does machine vision come into play?
Machine vision is critical in the quality control of any product or manufacturing process. It detects flaws, cracks, or any blemishes in a physical product. Additionally, it can verify the precision and accuracy of any component or part throughout product assembly.
What are the fundamental components of a machine vision system?
A machine vision system's primary components are lighting, a lens, an image sensor, vision processing, and communications.
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