Article | December 13, 2021
Lean manufacturing is a growing trend that aims to reduce waste while increasing productivity in manufacturing systems. But, unfortunately, waste doesn't add value to the product, and buyers don't want to pay for it.
This unusual method pushed Toyota Motor Corporation's industry to become a leading Toyota Production System (TPS). As a result, they are now efficiently producing some of the world's top cars with the least waste and the quickest turnaround.
The majority of manufacturers are now using lean management. According to the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing report, 69.7% of manufacturing businesses use Lean Manufacturing Practices.
Lean tools are the ones that help you in implementing lean practice in your organization. These lean tools assist in managing people and change while solving problems and monitoring performance. Lean Manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce waste, improve flow, improve quality control, and maximize manufacturing resources.
What Are the Five Best Lean Manufacturing Tools and How Do They Work?
There are roughly 50 Lean Manufacturing tools available in the market. This post will describe 5 of them and their value to your business and its developments.
The 5S system promotes efficiency by organizing and cleaning the workplace. To help increase workplace productivity, the system has five basic guidelines (five S's). The five Ss are Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.
5S improves workplace efficiency and effectiveness by:
Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area
Set: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual
Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps identify and resolve minor concerns
Standardize: Documenting changes to make other work areas' applications more accessible
Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement
5S is a lean tool used in manufacturing, software, and healthcare. Kaizen and Kanban can be utilized to produce the most efficient workplace possible.
Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing
Just-in-time manufacturing allows manufacturers to produce products only after a customer requests them. This reduces the risk of overstocking or damaging components or products during storage.
Consider JIT if your company can operate on-demand and limit the risk of only carrying inventory as needed. JIT can help manage inventory, but it can also hinder meeting customer demand if the supply chain breaks.
With Kaizen, you may enhance seven separate areas at once: business culture, leadership, procedures, quality, and safety. Kaizen is a Japanese word, means "improvement for the better" or "constant improvement."
“Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology; consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.”
– Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft
The idea behind Kaizen is that everyone in the organization can contribute suggestions for process improvement. Accepting everyone's viewpoints may not result in significant organizational changes, but minor improvements here and there will add up over time to substantial reductions in wasted resources.
Kanban is a visual production method that delivers parts to the production line as needed. This lean tool works by ensuring workers get what they need when they need it.
Previously, employees used Kanban cards to request new components, and new parts were not provided until the card asked them to. In recent years, sophisticated software has replaced Kanban cards to signal demand electronically. Using scanned barcodes to signify when new components are needed, the system may automatically request new parts.
Kanban allows businesses to manage inventory better, decrease unnecessary stock, and focus on the products that must be stored. To reduce waste and improve efficiency, facilities can react to current needs rather than predict the future.
Kanban encourages teams and individuals to improve Kanban solutions and overall production processes like Kaizen. Kanban as a lean tool can be used with Kaizen and 5S.
PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)
Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a scientific strategy for managing change. Dr. W. Edwards Deming invented it in the 1950s; hence, it is called the ‘Deming Cycle.’
The PDCA cycle has four steps:
Problem or Opportunity: Determine whether a problem or an opportunity exists
Do: Make a small test
Examine: Look over the test results
Act: Take action depending on results
How Nestlé Used the Kaizen Lean Manufacturing Tool
Nestlé is the largest food corporation in the world, yet it is also a company that practices Lean principles, particularly the Kaizen method. Nestlé Waters used a technique known as value stream mapping, which is frequently associated with Kaizen. They designed a new bottling factory from scratch to guarantee that operations were as efficient as possible. Nestlé has been aiming to make ongoing changes to their processes to reduce waste and the amount of time and materials that can be wasted during their operations.
Lean manufacturing techniques enable many businesses to solve their manufacturing difficulties and become more productive and customer-centric. In addition, useful lean manufacturing tools assist companies in obtaining the anticipated outcomes and arranging their operations in many excellent ways to meet buyer expectations. Hence, gather a list of the top lean manufacturing tools and choose the best fit for your organization to maximize your ROI and address the performance issue that is causing your outcomes to lag.
What are the standard tools in lean manufacturing?
Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools.
How to Select the Best Lean Manufacturing Tools for Your Business?
Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques.
What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit?
The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch.
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"text": "Among the more than 50 lean manufacturing tools, Kaizen, 5S, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and PDCA are the most commonly used lean manufacturing tools."
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"text": "Choosing a lean manufacturing tool begins with identifying the issue or lag in your organization that affects overall productivity and work quality. To select the lean device that best meets your company's needs, you must first grasp each one's benefits and implementation techniques."
"name": "What is included in a Lean 5S toolkit?",
"text": "The lean 5S toolbox contains some essential items for achieving the goal. It comes with a notepad or tablet, a camera, a high-quality flashlight, a tape measure, and a stopwatch."
Article | February 21, 2022
Nanomanufacturing is a revolutionary way to make things that enables manufacturers to do more than they thought was possible. Faster, stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more durable are essential attributes for production. On the other hand, nanotechnology in manufacturing also makes things water-resistant, anti-reflective, self-cleaning, ultraviolet or infrared resistant, antibacterial, scratch-resistant, and electrically conductive, among other things.
“Nanotechnology is the idea that we can create devices and machines all the way down to the nanometer scale, which is a billionth of a meter, about half the width of a human DNA molecule.”
– Paul McEuen, an American physicist
With nanoscale materials, the promise of nanotechnology to the production and the number of nanotechnology manufacturers in the industry continues to expand. Nanomanufacturing uses components 10–100 nanometers in size to improve the attributes of high-performance, next-generation goods. Some examples of nanotechnology products in everyday life are sunscreen, clothing, furniture, adhesives, tennis balls, computers, and more.
Nanomanufacturing, or the fabrication of nanoscale materials such as powders or fluids, permits high-precision production via a "bottom-up" or "top-down" approach.
Bottom-up: Building products from molecular components
Top-down: Developing products from the whole piece of component
Application of Nanotechnology in Manufacturing
Nanotechnology is utilized to develop more effective and stable lubricants, making them helpful in a wide variety of industrial applications. At the nanoscale, materials can operate similarly to ball bearings in petroleum-based lubricants, assuring smooth operation, uniform distribution, and minimizing accumulation. In addition, they can make sure that machine parts stay lubricated even if there are significant changes in temperature or pressure.
Nanotechnology is also employed in the automobile industry. Manufacturers of high-end tires are increasingly using polymer nanocomposites to boost their durability and wear resistance. Additionally, nanotechnology can be used to improve consumer automobile goods such as motor oil.
Application of nanotechnology in manufacturing enables the fabrication of microelectronics and electric devices — such as nanoscale transistors made of carbon nanotubes — in electronics. Tiny products like flexible solar panels, electric fabrics, and flexible gas sensors can be printed because they are very thin and can be made to bend.
Additionally, nanomachines or nanites—mechanical or robotic devices that work at the nanoscale—have demonstrated significant potential. Nanomachines are mostly considered futuristic technology and are not commonly employed in production at the moment. This is predicted to change in the near future. Researchers are already seeing how nanoscale, self-assembling devices can be used in a wide range of fields, most notably in medicine, where they could be used in ways traditional machines can't..
Top 3 Leading Nanotechnology Companies
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. offers a diverse product portfolio that serves applications in the electronics, automotive, computer, consumer, and telecommunications industries. TSM created the world's first 7-nanometer chip, which powered Apple's iPhone X. The rise in demand for low-power, high-performance CPUs results from the introduction of AI, 5G, and self-driving automobiles. TSM is now manufacturing chips at a 5-nm node and a 2-nm mode. TSM's main clients are Apple and Advanced Micro Devices.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. is a U.S. based company that develops and sells scientific instruments, reagents, and consumables to laboratories in the life sciences and other fields. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. creates electron microscopes that can efficiently zoom in on a single atom's picture. These microscopes are generally used to aid those who are creating nanotechnology or packaging nanodevices. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. is a well-known company that sells scientific apparatus. It has a market capitalization of more than $185 billion.
DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
DuPont de Nemours and Company provides technology-based materials, solutions, and ingredients, and does substantial research and development in nanotechnology, chemistry, material sciences, and engineering. Dow Chemical and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company merged to establish DuPont de Nemours, Inc. in 2017. DuPont's extensive R&D toolbox comprises, among other things, nanotechnology, chemistry, engineering, and materials science.
The Future of Advanced Objects and Devices with Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is a rapidly emerging field with bright prospects for the future. Many manufacturing fields, including information technology, health, military, transportation, energy, environmental science, telecommunications, and electronics, are in their transformational phase.
Aside from that, experts are looking at new ways that nanotechnology to the production might help humanity build energy sources and devise systems for accessing and using fossil resources more efficiently. The creation of large nanomaterials will result in a fundamentally different approach to the manufacture of materials and gadgets. This approach will influence every part of a person’s life.
Faster computers, advanced pharmaceuticals, controlled drug delivery, biocompatible materials, nerve and tissue repair, crack-proof surface coatings, better skin care and protection, more efficient catalysts, better and smaller sensors, and even more efficient telecommunications are some of the areas where nanomaterials will have a significant impact.
Nanotechnology in manufacturing transforms products and qualities, making them more durable and advanced. The growth of nanotechnology is transforming every sector, along with production.
It can promote health, use natural resources more efficiently, and reduce pollution.New nanomaterials and ideas are being developed to efficiently convert energy from movement, light, temperature fluctuations, glucose, and other sources.
Technology may one day allow objects to gather energy from their environment. Nanotechnology will influence practically everyone's life in the next 20 years.
How does nanomanufacturing work?
Nanomanufacturing is the process of manufacturing nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems at a scaled-up, dependable, and cost-effective scale. Additionally, it encompasses the study, development, and integration of both top-down and increasingly complicated bottom-up and self-assembling systems.
What does nanotechnology do?
Nanotechnology is recognized as having the ability to boost energy efficiency, aid in environmental cleanup, and tackle severe health concerns. It is reported to increase industrial output significantly while saving costs.
How might nanotechnology help us in the future?
In the future, nanotechnology may help us improve the efficiency of electrical lines, solar cells, biofuels, and the safety of nuclear reactors. In addition, nanotechnology can revolutionize health care by enhancing ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses like cancer.
Article | February 25, 2022
Improving manufacturing efficiency and enhancing business revenue is the ultimate goal of every manufacturing business. Effective manufacturing process management may help businesses grow and discover innovative manufacturing processes. Facts and data fill the days of plant managers and engineers. However, it appears that many firms are still unable to devise a strategy for resolving long-standing challenges in their organizations.
“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”
– Steve Jobs
In this article, we will see the five ultimate ways of manufacturing flow management. Additionally, we will also see three industry leaders' examples and understand their processes for production management. So, let’s get started first with tips to improve production efficiency.
Five Ways to Improve Production Efficiency
Recognize and Eliminate Waste
Waste is a cost that should be minimized in the manufacturing business. Additionally, waste is a broad term in this industry since it involves labor hours, energy use, and material consumption, to name a few. However, material waste is typically the most significant worry in the industrial business. When looking for strategies to decrease waste, you must rely on the results drawn during the evaluation of your manufacturing line.
When identifying waste, keep in mind that each operation on your production line generates some trash; finding the procedures that generate the most waste is the most effective strategy to minimize total waste. However, you may reduce trash by recycling or reusing garbage rather than discarding it. If you are unable to eliminate the majority of your garbage, you should consider selling it to a company that can properly dispose of it.
Evaluate the Production Process
In a manufacturing business, the production line is at the heart of how the business operates, and hence, production line efficiency improvement is critical. When reviewing the production line, one must also consider the often overlooked elements, for example, the loading dock bumper and other necessary loading dock equipment. While sourcing and maintaining loading dock bumpers, you can rely on top industry service and equipment suppliers.
This will guarantee that your production line is equipped with everything it needs to operate properly. Another critical statistic to examine is throughput. This metric is used to determine the average number of units produced within a specified period. You must have high-quality equipment to ensure that your production line runs smoothly. Analyzing throughput can help spot difficulties in the production line when throughput is not quite up to pace.
Another aspect of production line efficiency improvement is capacity utilization, which determines your factory's overall output capacity. This enables you to monitor the functioning of your production line at all times.
While discovering any flaws in your manufacturing line, you will unintentionally locate your production's major bottlenecks. Bottlenecks are breaks in your manufacturing line, supply chain, or any other business activity that obstruct the performance of another operation.
For instance, a certain machine may require repair at a plant, necessitating a half-day shutdown.
Any procedure that needs the operation of that particular machine is subsequently rendered inoperable. That machine becomes the bottleneck at that point. There are other types of blockages. Another instance is when an administrator who is required for approval falls ill.
Once you've identified your most frequent bottlenecks, you may work on reducing them and increasing productivity by decreasing bottleneck-related downtime.
Enhance Training Practices
The way your workers work ultimately impacts the productivity of your entire organization. Lack of training equates to inefficiency, and vice versa. To achieve optimal employee performance, each team member must be empowered throughout the production process. This isn't as simple as writing a pamphlet from which someone can be taught. Highly effective workers need to be taught on the job by someone who is watching them.
However, you must first establish uniform standards throughout your organization, starting from the top. This approach will help your employees understand that they will get organized or informal training to upgrade the skills and knowledge necessary to work successfully during the change's implementation. Training may take the form of a series of online microlearning modules or a blended learning method that includes face-to-face training sessions as well as on-the-job coaching and mentoring.
In addition, PWC is of the opinion that workers should ask the following questions to help them be more efficient in the long run:
Is what I’m doing now adding value, or am I just doing it because this is the way I’m supposed to do it?
If I were the customer, would I pay money for the activities that I was engaged in?
Allow your staff to generate suggestions for efficiency improvements on their own. After all, no one knows their operations better than they do.
Calculate and Organize Your Workspace
You can optimize production efficiency if your staff can perform their duties in a well-organized work environment. Hence, it is critical to prioritize measuring and organizing the workplace. It is critical to quantify each aspect of your business first, as this will provide you with a clear picture of what works and what does not. After that, you'll need to make sure that everything in the office is in order so that your employees can work efficiently.
Three Companies That Redefined The Innovative Manufacturing Processes
Henry Ford delivered to the world far more than simple automobiles. His company was the first to integrate a full production line process, paving the way for contemporary mass manufacturing. He devised a moving conveyer belt assembly line, which represented a radical departure from traditional industrial procedures. While his production procedures were restricted by current standards—they only allowed for limited customization—he laid the groundwork for modern manufacturing and a new way of thinking about processes.
The Toyota Production System illustrates a deeply embedded cultural and managerial concept. This concept emphasizes the continuous improvement of work processes and systems. This approach focuses on identifying and resolving issues and ensures that every business action adds value to consumers. Dr. W. Edwards Deming and writers James Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel Jones brought it to the American public’s attention in the 1980s and 1990s (in "The Machine that Changed the World"). It was, and still is, a radically different management style for the great majority of organizations. Most people are familiar with Toyota Production System tenets like "just in time."
Under former CEO Jack Welch, GE promoted the use of Six Sigma in business operations and provided a blueprint for adoption in the corporate setting that practically everyone sought to copy (at least for a while). Welch made Six Sigma training a pre-requisite for every employee who aspires to higher levels of leadership inside the business, and he enforced its implementation at all levels. The "GE Workout" is an extremely concentrated session (typically over many consecutive days) that evaluates business difficulties and suggests solutions. GE created it as a spin on the Six Sigma toolbox.
To accelerate the overall growth of your manufacturing business, you must have innovative manufacturing processes that help improve manufacturing efficiency. You may consider the above mentioned ways to improve production efficiency and get the most out of your production set up. Giving employees new tools is probably the quickest method for managers to change a production process. Moving ahead, finding factory-direct manufacturers that can deal with each company's unique circumstances is also encouraged. Identify and avoid problems so you can then look at current data and waste to develop new and better ways of doing things.
What is manufacturing efficiency?
Manufacturing efficiency aims to make products at the lowest feasible overall cost. It's all about maximizing the use of limited resources while minimizing the waste of time, materials, and energy.
What is a manufacturing process flow system?
The manufacturing process flow system shows the granular activity-level stages that must be completed to manufacture finished items from the moment raw materials are delivered to the manufacturing facility until they are transformed into finished goods.
What are the four manufacturing components?
Below are the four components of manufacturing:
Production equipment as well as tools, fixtures, and other relevant hardware.
A material handling system.
A computer system to coordinate and/or control the preceding components.
Human personnel to run and manage the system.
Article | April 29, 2022
Manufacturing sales occur when a manufacturer sells their finished goods, which are produced from raw materials or components. At the very least, that was an apt definition before industry 4.0, digitization, and consumerization.
Manufacturing sales nowadays must accomplish a great deal more. Smart manufacturing technologies accelerate innovation across all verticals, and manufacturers are making every effort to meet B2C expectations.
In this article, we'll look at five great ways to enhance manufacturing sales, so that manufacturers may get back on track with stalled sales deals.
5 Tips to Boost Your Manufacturing Sales
Develop an ‘inbound' Sales Mindset
Most salespeople have a reputation for being pushy. How frequently have you felt compelled to acquire something that wasn't appealing to you? If you answered yes, you've probably dealt with an outbound salesperson who was pushy, interruptive, and purely focused on selling. This happens when a manufacturer suffers from 'product-focused selling syndrome.'
In this case, the salesman places a stronger emphasis on the products than on the customer. Additionally, you risk showing the wrong product to the customer without knowing anything about the buyer.
If you do so, you are following an outdated method that needs to be replaced.
Here comes the truly unique concept of inbound manufacturing marketing. Inbound marketing outperforms outbound sales methods in terms of lead generation and has the potential to generate more productive leads.
Select a Customer Relationship Management Solution
Spreadsheets are backdated, and the world has gone digital. It would be best you adapt as time changes. It is possible to understand one's business requirements and choose the best CRM system that will help streamline processes and deliver results faster.
Regardless of your business size, the ideal CRM software may help you maintain a competitive edge by helping you to:
Track all customer interactions
Maintain control over sales and marketing activities
Ensure that existing clients have a positive experience
Increase product and service sales
Streamline communication between the sales and marketing departments
Acquire and retain new customers
Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
According to a Forrester study, 43% of CEOs said that misalignment cost them revenue.
To increase sales, your marketing and sales teams must work in unison and collaboratively. Spend time developing interactions between these teams; it will ensure that your marketing team's efforts are actually assisting your sales team in closing business. Additionally, ensure that face-to-face time between teams is facilitated, and consider adding solutions that will assist your workers in working together and communicating more effectively.
The purpose of integrating your marketing and sales teams is to foster complete transparency and a shared knowledge of their respective goals and objectives. One team cannot function effectively without the other, and keeping this in mind would help everyone to grow the business.
Boost Your PR with Social Media
Manufacturers should invest in PR to build brand awareness and communicate stories. Social media can help broaden your PR reach. It's best to post press releases on your company's website and then share them on Twitter and Facebook. This will help your SEO and encourage others to share your material. Make sure your website page has a “share this” option for easy syndication.
Also, many manufacturing companies are not utilizing their company websites to their full potential. Using websites has a competitive advantage as it helps to enhance consumer loyalty and sales.
Make an Online Interactive Product Catalog
Having a PDF download of your product catalog is insufficient in today's digital age. Businesses want a catalog of products that customers can search for, explore, and analyze online.
Products should not be merely posted on a page, but should be integrated into a true product database, allowing for the electronic distribution of particular product listings to prospective buyers via a link or social media. This shortens the sales cycle and provides better support for your sales team as they present products. Demonstrations of products via video would be an extra bonus for any business transaction.
Manufacturing sales are influenced and shaped by market conditions, industry-specific variables, manufacturing type, and distribution mix. Manufacturers may respond to these problems and develop agile and sustainable sales strategies for the future by leveraging digital sales solutions and industry 4.0 technologies.
Manufacturers can retain margins, increase customer happiness, and most crucially, grow revenue through digital manufacturing sales. A customer-centric approach prepares producers for the future of a commercialized B2B market.
What are manufacturing sales?
Manufacturing sales are intended to provide raw materials that can be turned into finished products to meet market demand.
What are direct sales?
Direct sales do not involve any intermediaries. Manufacturers or producers sell directly to B2B customers. It's a good cost-cutting strategy because the producer retains complete control over marketing, sales, and shipping.
What are indirect sales?
Indirect sales allow manufacturers to quickly expand their sales networks, increase brand recognition, outsource sales operations costs, and reach new consumer groups or market sectors.