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 | December 30, 2021
Risk management in manufacturing has always been a top priority for manufacturers to avoid any unfortunate incidents. As a result, it is possible to create a more secure work environment for employees by conducting risk assessments and implementing remedies.
“If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.”
– Gary Cohn, an American Business Leader.
As of 2019, the worldwide risk management market was valued at $7.39 billion, and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.7% from 2020 to 2027, according to allied market research.
Why is Risk Assessment Critical in Manufacturing?
The manufacturing industry must have a credible risk assessment and management plan to defend itself from any breaches. Risk assessment helps firms understand the dangers they face and their implications if their systems are compromised. Hence, risk assessment is very critical in the manufacturing industry.
Five Risk Assessment Principles
Identify hazards/risks - Employers must examine their workers' health and safety risks. Therefore, an organization must regularly inspect its employee’s physical, mental, chemical, and biological threats.
Identify who may be hurt and in what way – Identifying the personnel both full-time and part-time at-risk. Employers must also examine threats to agency and contract personnel, visitors, clients, and other visitors.
Assess the risks and act accordingly - Employers must assess the likelihood of each danger causing injury. This will evaluate and lower the chance at the working space. Even with all safeguards, there is always some danger. Therefore, employers must assess if danger is still high, medium, or low risk.
Get the Risks Documented - Employers with five or more employees must record the critical findings of the risk assessment in writing. In addition, register any risks identified in the risk assessment and actions to minimize or eliminate risk.
This document confirms the evaluation and is used to examine working practices afterward. The risk assessment is a draft. It should be readable. It shouldn't be hidden away. The risk assessment must account for changes in working techniques, new machinery, or higher work objectives.
5 Manufacturing Risks to Consider in 2022
Accidents at Work
Even if official safety policies and programs are designed, followed, and enhanced, manufacturers may endure workplace accidents and injuries. Risk assessment for workplace accidents assists in mitigating the negative impact on both employees and the organization.
Manufacturers have distinct issues regarding fuel handling and hazardous waste disposal in facilities. Sudden leaks or spills may be extremely costly to clean up and result in fines from state and federal agencies. Risk assessments for such plant accidents assist businesses in mitigating financial losses.
Essential machinery throughout the production process might fail at any time, incurring significant repair or replacement costs. Therefore, it's critical to recognize that business property insurance may not cover mechanical issues.
Risk assessment and prepayment solutions protect against equipment failures without interfering with typical company operations.
Supply Chain Disruption
Dependence on your supply chain may result in unintended consequences that are beyond your control. For example, if you experience downtime on the manufacturing line due to a supplier's failure to supply materials or parts, you risk losing revenue and profitability. If a disturbance to your supply chain poses a hazard, risk management can assist you in managing it more effectively by quickly identifying the risk and providing a suitable response.
Operation Temporarily Suspended
Depending on the severity of the weather event, a factory might be severely damaged or perhaps utterly wrecked. While major repairs or rebuilding are being undertaken, recouping lost income might be vital to the business's future profitability.
Risk assessment in this area enables your organization to budget for overhead expenditures such as rent, payroll, and tax responsibilities during the period of suspension of operations.
Risk management is critical in manufacturing because it enables manufacturers to comprehend and anticipate scenarios and create a well-planned response that avoids unnecessary overhead costs or delays in delivering the production cycle's final result. Manufacturing risks are undoubtedly not limited to the risks listed above and may vary according to the nature of the business and regional environmental conditions. Therefore, create a well-defined strategy to overcome threats in your business and be productive at all times.
How are manufacturing business risks classified?
In most cases, the business risk may be categorized into four types: strategic risk, regulatory compliance risks, operational compliance risks, and reputational risks.
Why should a manufacturer conduct a risk assessment?
Every manufacturing employment has risks for injury or illness. But risk evaluations can significantly minimize workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition, they assist companies in discovering strategies to reduce health and safety risks and enhance knowledge about dangers.
Article | November 20, 2021
Additive manufacturing in America plays a significant part in reviving the manufacturing industry and establishing the country as a leader in applying additive manufacturing technology. The United States was formerly the industrial leader, but it fell out of favor between 2000 and 2010 for many reasons, including recession and structural and financial instability.
In this challenging time, technology interventions such as additive manufacturing in the manufacturing business have allowed the industry to survive. As per the recent report by A.T. Kearney, the USA, the industry leader in manufacturing, has worked hard to reclaim its top position in manufacturing and has also been named the leader in additive manufacturing.
Let's look at which fields of America are utilizing the benefits of additive manufacturing technology to reclaim its position as the industry leader.
Additive Manufacturing in America
The manufacturing industry is gravitating toward additive manufacturing, sometimes known as 3D printing. The numerous advantages of additive manufacturing, such as the reduction of material waste, the reduction of prototyping time, the reduction of prototyping costs, the creation of lightweight objects, and the ease with which it can be implemented and recreated, are making it more popular around the world, including in the United States.
In the United States, the additive manufacturing and material industry is expected to be worth $4.1 billion by 2020. China is the world's second-largest economy and is expected to reach a projected market size of US$14.5 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 27.2 percent from 2020 to 2027.
How does America Leverage the Additive Manufacturing?
US Airforce has launched research into 3D printing
The US Air Force has begun researching 3D printing replacement parts for old planes utilizing a 3D printing platform.
The project initiative credit goes to 3D Systems, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Northrop Grumman. America Makes will observe the project in its third stage and be led by the University of Dayton Research. The Air Force Laboratory financed the Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment (MAMLS) program.
The US Air Force will investigate how the 3D printing technology may reproduce components for outdated aircraft. Using additive manufacturing, the replacement parts may be created faster and in smaller batches, with no minimum order quantity. In addition, applying additive manufacturing will reduce the aircraft ground time and eliminate the need for parts warehousing.
American Manufacturing Companies and Additive Manufacturing
3D Systems, Inc.
3D Systems is an additive manufacturing company. Their work goes beyond prototyping. The company's experts use their deep domain expertise in aerospace and healthcare industries to produce competitive additive manufacturing solutions. This global leader in additive manufacturing helps you define business needs, verify manufacturing flow, and scale manufacturing flow.
GE has seen the benefits of additive manufacturing and its options for product design, such as the potential to build lighter, more vital components and systems. As a result, they created goods that are better performing, more sophisticated in design, and easier to produce.
Ford's advanced manufacturing center in Michigan is all about additive manufacturing. The company employs 3D printing extensively in product development and is looking to integrate it into manufacturing lines. As a result, additive manufacturing is now a critical aspect of the Ford product development cycle, enabling prototype parts and product engineering exercises.
The American manufacturing industry has experienced a renaissance as a result of the advent of additive manufacturing. Additionally, it has built its national accelerator and leading collaborative partner in additive manufacturing, "America Makes," which is the largest manufacturing industryglobally in terms of revenue and operates in a variety of areas. However, it is mainly focused on 3D printing or additive manufacturing, which is undoubtedly reviving the country's manufacturing sector.
What are the significant challenges in additive manufacturing?
Limitations in terms of size, consistency of quality, scalability, a limited variety of materials and high material costs, and limited multi-material capabilities are only a few of the prevalent issues associated with additive manufacturing technology.
Which company is leading in additive manufacturing technology in the USA?
3D Systems Corp. is the leading company in additive manufacturing technology with a revenue of $566.6 million.
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"text": "Limitations in terms of size, consistency of quality, scalability, a limited variety of materials and high material costs, and limited multi-material capabilities are only a few of the prevalent issues associated with additive manufacturing technology."
"name": "Which company is leading in additive manufacturing technology in the USA?",
"text": "3D Systems Corp. is the leading company in additive manufacturing technology with a revenue of $566.6 million."
Article | October 13, 2021
The electronics manufacturing business is adopting new technologies to create smart electronics manufacturing products for its consumer base. Next-generation technologies are shaping the future of the manufacturing industry by enabling it to create technologically advanced and user-friendly products. Matt Mong, one of the manufacturing industry's leading professionals, stated in an interview with Media7,
“Be Different. Don’t position your product in an existing category. Instead, create your category and make the competition irrelevant and obsolete.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
The year 2022 will be a year of advancement and development for the electronics manufacturing industry.
So, manufacturers are eager to embrace new technologies and produce more innovative, more user-friendly goods that become part of consumers' daily lives and meet their needs. To make the manufacturing process manageable and deliver advanced products, we will look at the top five trends flourishing in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Top Five Electronics Manufacturing Industry Trends
Future manufacturing technologies are transforming the electronics manufacturing industry's processes and products. Let's look at the top electronics manufacturing industry trends for 2022, which will propel the sector to new heights of technological advancement.
Utilizing the Benefits of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is being used in both the manufacturing process and the products themselves. It enables electronic manufacturing products and processes to become more intelligent and performance-driven to fulfill business and customer needs.
In electronics manufacturing, the Internet of Things (IoT) enables businesses to solve common production challenges such as product quality issues, changing demands, and a complex global supply chain. As a result, it increases productivity and efficiency while reducing human effort.
Industrial units may gather and analyze real-time data and processes using IoT-based sensor systems. Additionally, it assists organizations in managing data and transforms traditional manufacturing into an intelligent manufacturing unit.
Using an ERP System to Maintain the Company's Competitive Edge
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a centralized management system for all operational and business activities. The software automates all manufacturing processes and enables the electronics manufacturing sector to achieve higher precision throughout the manufacturing process and product delivery.
ERP has the potential to boost productivity, improve efficiency, decrease expenses, and increase profitability. ERP enables electronics manufacturers to forecast, plan, modify, and respond to changing market demands. By using an ERP system in your manufacturing unit, you may expand your business and increase revenue.
Making Use of Big Data
The electronics manufacturing industry benefits from the use of big data to make critical business decisions. It aids in the integration of previously isolated systems to provide a comprehensive view of industrial processes. It also automates data gathering and processing, allowing for more excellent knowledge of each system individually and collectively.
Big data also assists manufacturers in discovering new information and identifying trends, allowing them to optimize operations, improve supply chain efficiency, and find variables that impact manufacturing quality, volume, or consistency. In addition, big data assists the electronics manufacturing industry in keeping up with the rapidly changing digital world.
Using AR and VR to Create Consumer-friendly Goods
AR and VR are future manufacturing technologies that are changing electronics manufacturing products and driving growth. Robotics is a crucial usage of virtual reality in electronics production. Manufacturers may use powerful virtual reality software to design goods. This implementation of virtual reality software reduces production errors and saves time and money.
AR in electronics manufacturing allows product developers to generate interactive 3D views of new products before production. AR and VR are part of Industry 4.0, the digital revolution of conventional electronics production units.
Adoption of 3D Printing on a Wide Scale
One of the essential advantages of today's electronics 3D printing is that companies can quickly prototype PCBs and other electrical devices in-house. In addition, 3D printing has simplified the electronics manufacturing process, and it is currently being utilized to manufacture multilayer printed circuit boards. It uses material jetting technology to spray conductive and insulating inks onto the printing surface.
Let's look at an example of an analogy that worked for Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., managed by Mr. Huang Runyuan, Jinzhenyuan's General Manager, and based on the concept of Industry 4.0. (Reference: Forbes)
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. Takes a Significant Step Forward with Industry 4.0
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., formed in 2012, sells its products globally. In addition, it manufactures cellphones, computers, cars, and a variety of other consumer electronics. Due to changing market needs, the firm planned to upgrade its production facility to industry 4.0 by the end of 2017 to participate in smart manufacturing.
The company increased production efficiency, shortened production cycles, and cut costs due to the digital revolution. Today, Jinzhenyuan is regarded as a model of digital transformation in the community in which it works. Let’s observe the statistics for Jinzhenyuan following the deployment of Industry 4.0.
32% improvement in total production efficiency
33% cost reduction
41% decrease in R&D to production cycles
51% reduction in substandard parts rate – from 3,000 to 1,500 per million
The electronics manufacturing sector is on the verge of a digital revolution that will improve the production process efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Many of the world's biggest firms, like Apple, Microsoft, Hitachi, and Saline lectronics, are developing future agile factories to keep up with the world's digital transformation. Future manufacturing technology will help your manufacturing company make the manufacturing process more efficient and boost the business revenue.
What are the future electronics technologies?
Smart grid solutions, wearable technology devices, prefabricated goods, the Internet of Things, and robots are some of the future electronics innovations that will propel the business forward.
Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?
Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks.
Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?
Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process.
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"name": "Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?",
"text": "Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks."
"name": "Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?",
"text": "Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process."