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Lean Manufacturing and value stream mapping

Lean manufacturing is about reducing waste spendings in an operation, such as long lead times,
defects and material waste. This principle was first used in Toyota around 1988 and sometime also referred to as Toyotism.

There is no set of standard procedures about Lean Manufacturing but instead, it's about designing the optimum process with the use of set of standard practices to increase production or output.

Why it is relevant now?

Competition in the manufacturing sector is intense and it is increasing with each passing day. Companies are shifting their manufacturing base from developed countries to developing countries to become cost-effective. To survive in this stiff competition lean manufacturing can play a vital role.

Today we will discuss major projects "Value Stream Mapping for Lean Manufacturing" submitted for fulfillment of their major degrees by Wolfgang Apel, Jia Yong Li and Vanessa Walton at WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE (WPI).

In this report, we will see how CIS(Central Industrial Supply), a manufacturing company that produces electro-mechanical components had reduced their production time to almost 50 %.

How it was achieved?
To achieve their target, first, they used Value Stream Mapping which is a technique used to analyze and design the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer. This map can be drawn using paper and pencil; however, more advanced maps are created
using Microsoft Visio as well as Microsoft Excel. Following is a basic drawing example showing how it is done:

Lean Manufacturing and value stream mapping
In the second step, this team uses arena simulation software to simulate possible future states, in the third step they studied companies' background and working procedure and in the fourth step they gave their recommendations which you can read in their report itself.

How Can you use it?
In whatever field you are on whichever post, you need to create a process to optimize the output of your work.

For example, I am a web developer, as a Lean project, I can divide the web development work into steps or processes. Now, I will see which process is taking what amount of time and whether I can optimize that process and get more output from it in a faster time.

Can A single person company implement Lean Processes?
It doesn't matter what size your company is, the only thing matter is that you need to start experimenting with new ideas to get the best results for your case.

Other Projects:

Development of a lean operations system in start-up 

Students will be expected to interface with plant management and manufacturing engineers to improve plant layout, production scheduling, process flow, work cell design, and inventory control systems. Since this project involves a start-up operation, student recommendations are expected to contribute to future design and layout of new assembly lines and inventory control systems at the facility.

I hope this article helped you in understanding Lean manufacturing implementation.

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