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Lean Manufacturing 101: A Guide to Less Waste and Better Output


More and more companies are shifting towards better practices. The biggest difference between companies then and now is that there are more brands that are advocates of sustainability and healthy growth. A lot of manufacturing systems are joining a new trend in the green movement and this allows them to minimize waste without having to sacrifice output and productivity. This new method is called lean manufacturing.

In hindsight, lean manufacturing is a practice wherein plants work relentlessly to lessen or eliminate waste that their manufacturing process produces. Certain industries produce an excessive amount of waste which holds no bearing to the companies at all. The good thing is that there are lean manufacturing principles that help plants eliminate these unwanted byproducts. These are a few other lean plant benefits to consider as well:

  • Lower production costs - once plants find cheaper and more efficient alternative methods to their current practices, they will most likely spend less on production costs.
  • Lower cost of quality - this basically means that plants will have to spend less on creating a high-quality product as they are able to weed out the bad from the good immediately.
  • Higher labor productivity - without waste to worry about, workers have more time focusing on what’s important. This helps plants produce more with less.
  • Lower standing inventory - a lot of manufacturing plants have full storage. By introducing lean manufacturing principles within the workspace, standing inventories are a thing of the past.

Lean manufacturing isn’t simply throwing away what is considered as waste to make room for more productive items. In hindsight, it is about creating a systematic approach to the production system in which workers avoid over-producing goods. Here is a better look at some of the principles that lean plants implement.

Waste Elimination

This is the very foundation of lean manufacturing. Waste elimination is simply doing away with any unnecessary products created during the manufacturing process. This also means avoiding the production of any products that are unusable. Basically, the more waste a company avoids, the better its performance becomes.

Humane Working Conditions

The core of every company is its workers. For lean manufacturing to work, the workers need to be at their best at all times. As such, having humane working conditions will go a long way. Giving the workforce proper incentives and just working hours will allow them to work more productively, thus creating less waste within the premises of the plant.

Streamlined Workflow

It is also essential for lean manufacturing plants to have a single workflow ahead of them. By creating such practices, they are able to lessen the amount of waste they produce. As an added bonus, a streamlined workflow will also increase the productivity of the workers within the plant. It is not creating a streamlined single workflow initially but once companies have the gist of what works better with them, it will be easier to do. They can also improve this workflow by adding or removing certain processes.

Implementation Of Automation

For companies to work better, they must also have better equipment as well. Most of the top lean plants use automation software that helps them sort out defective materials at a faster and more efficient rate. This makes them capable of removing waste as fast as possible. It also creates more consistency and quality within the items produced.

These are just some of the vital principles that all lean plants do. Lean manufacturing is an easy but arduous process. However, if companies make the time and investment for it, the results are phenomenal.



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