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Lean Manufacturing Consultants In Pune India

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is the latest buzzword in manufacturing circles. It is not especially new. It derives from the Toyota Production System or Just In Time Production, Henry Ford and other predecessors.
In 1990 James Womack wrote a book called "The Machine That Changed The World". Womack's book was a straightforward account of the history of automobile manufacturing combined with a study of Japanese, American, and European automotive assembly plants. What was new was a phrase-- "Lean Manufacturing."
Lean Manufacturing caught the imagination of manufacturing people in many countries. Lean implementations are now commonplace. The knowledge and experience base is expanding rapidly. The essential elements of Lean Manufacturing are described at "Principles of Lean Manufacturing." They do not substantially differ from the techniques developed by Ohno, Shingo and the people at Toyota. The application in any specific factory does change.
Lean Manufacturing
 Just as many firms copied Ford techniques in slavish and unthinking ways, many firms copy Toyota's techniques in slavish and unthinking ways and with poor results. Our series of articles on implementation includes a "Mental Model" to assist the thinking process and guidance on strategy and planning.
There is no cookbook for manufacturing. Each firm has its own unique set of products, processes, people, and history. While certain principles may be immutable, their application is not. Manufacturing Strategy will always be a difficult, uncertain, and individual process. Strategy ("The General's Art") is still, largely, an art. But, that should not prevent us from bringing the available science to bear on the problem.
At the end of World War II, Sakichi Toyoda, founder of Toyoda Spinning and Weaving company, dreamed of providing cars for the general public, much like Henry Ford’s dream thirty years earlier. He chartered Taiichi Ohno to put in place an efficient production system to produce high quality automobiles. Over the next three decades, Ohno developed the Toyota Production System, now known world-wide as Lean Manufacturing [1]. The foundation Ohno’s system was the absolute elimination of waste.
Ohno studied US manufacturing techniques, and learned a lot from Henry Ford’s pioneer work in assembly line flow. However, the assembly line produced large lots of identical cars. Ohno didn’t have the customer base to imitate the US practice of manufacturing in ‘economic’ (ie. large) lot sizes. He was captivated by US supermarkets, however, where a small quantity of every product was placed on shelves, and as shoppers removed products, the shelves were rapidly replenished. He decided to place inventory ‘supermarkets’ throughout his plant, and found that this technique dramatically lowered the ‘waste’ of in-process inventory. He named these inventory supermarkets ‘kanban’.
Because Ohno was converting a spinning and weaving company to an automobile manufacturer, he already knew how to avoid making bad product. Founder Toyoda Sakichi had invented an automatic shut-off mechanism that stopped a weaving machine the minute a flaw such as a broken thread was detected. Ohno moved this concept to car manufacturing, where he insisted that each part be examined immediately after it was processed, and the line stopped immediately if a defect was found.
To maximize product flow, standard work sheets were created, but these were not developed at a desk by engineers. They were developed on the shop floor by the workers who know the process. Standard cycle times and kanban shelf space for each item was determined and workflow was leveled. Production workers were like a relay team, handing off the baton (product) to the next person. The handoff required 100% quality and tight timing. If things got delayed, teammates were expected to help each other set up a machine or recover from a malfunction.
Ohno’s aggressive elimination of waste led him to the twin values of rapid product flow and built-in quality. Over time, Ohno discovered that these two values led to the highest quality, lowest cost, shortest lead time products possible.
The basic practices of Lean Manufacturing in the 1980’s might be summed up in these ten simple rules:
1. Eliminate Waste
2. Minimize Inventory
3. Maximize Flow
4. Pull From Demand
5. Empower Workers
6. Meet Customer Requirements
7. Do it Right the First Time
8. Abolish Local Optimization
9. Partner With Suppliers
10. Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement
These Lean Manufacturing rules have been tested and proven over the last two decades. They have been adapted to logistics, customer service, health care, finance, and even construction. The application of the rules may change slightly from one industry to the next, but the underlying principles have stood the test of time in many sectors of the economy.
Summary of W. Edwards Demming’s 14 points
1. Create consistency of purpose.
2. Adopt a win-win philosophy.
3. Don’t depend on mass inspection; build quality in.
4. Don’t award business based on price; minimize total cost; build long-term relationships of loyalty and trust with a single suppliers.
5. Constantly improve the system of production, service, planning, etc.
6. Train for skills.
7. Provide leadership: help people do a better job.
8. Drive out fear and build trust so everyone can do a better job.
9. Break down barriers between departments; abolish competition and build a win-win system of cooperation.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and zero defect targets; the cause of the bulk of problems lie in the system, and are beyond the power of workers to correct.
11. Eliminate quotas, numerical goals and Management by Objectives; substitute leadership.
12. Remove barriers that rob people of joy in their work; abolish the annual rating or merit system.
13. Educate and improve individuals.
14. Involve the entire organization.