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Eliminating Waste On the Shop Floor

Digitally Supporting Lean Principles

· Lean Manufacturing,Labor Compliance,Shop Floor Control,Efficiency,Quality Control

After rereading my past posts, most of my ideas have come from conversations with company principals and owners. It is the conversations that I have with them that tell me what’s on their minds, what their concerns are.

Lean Principles have come up several times in my discussions. We all know that the Principles of Lean were first introduced in the book by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Ross and Daniel Roos, “The Machine That Changed the World (1991)”.

What’s the goal of Lean? There are 5 principles, but the main thrust is to eliminate waste. Using Real-Time Shop Floor Control to support lean, you will notice huge improvements in efficiency, productivity, reduction of raw materials while using less resources, the result being that you’ll be more competitive.

Even though the book was first published in 1991 we know that the Five Lean Principles are still applicable today:

  1. Identify Value – What the customer is willing to pay
  2. Value Stream – Map and Identifying the value stream
  3. Flow – Creating flow
  4. Pull / Establish flow
  5. Seek Perfection  

There have been deviations, “Agile vs Lean” and “Six Sigma vs Lean Six Sigma”. Whatever you embrace, just embrace something that encourages change and improvement in your processes. However, what I would add is to measure it, document it, and report on it, digitally.

Identify Value

You will need to define what the customer is willing to pay for using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Adding Real-Time Shop Floor, you will quickly be able to calculate an accurate labor cost. If you use our integrated Raw Materials Inventory Control solution you will have a precise BOM cost too!

The Value Stream Supported by Real-Time Shop Floor Control

After you have mapped out the value stream, applying Byte’s Real-Time Shop Floor Control you’ll swiftly be able to identify and report “On-Standard” vs “Off-Standard” activities. The digital data is captured, allowing you to work to eliminate those off-standard activities that are “non-valued added & unnecessary” and reducing the “non-value but necessary” activities.

Flow - Byte’s “Lean” One, Two Punch!

There are strategies on how to create better flow and eliminate silo thinking. For example, implementing cross-functional and multi-skilled training with pacing, which is digitally captured in Byte’s Real-Time system and can be reported back to you. I.e. 1) Who are my most efficient operators on which operations, 2) which operators have been trained on what, and more.

Establishing Pull, Understanding Capacity

With inventory being one of the biggest wastes, adding a Real-Time Shop Floor control system you can accurately plan your WIP by understanding your plant capacity and efficiency. Eliminate stockpiled raw materials and become more aware of your flow and pull.

Creating and Establishing Flow, Then Seeking Perfection.

This is what Real-Time Shop Floor Control can do very well, help support you accomplish your lean manufacturing practices and goals. Lean experts and practitioners often say that a process is not truly lean until it has been through the value-stream mapping at least half a dozen times.

Because Lean isn’t stagnant and always seeking perfection and you’ve coupled it with Real- Time Shop Floor Control you’ll always be aware of all the activity on the Shop Floor viewing your KPI’s on your dashboard on your connected device no matter where you are.

You now have a great framework for creating an efficient and effective organization. Practicing all 5 principles you’ll be able to decrease the cost of doing business and increase profitability supported by Byte’s Real-Time Shop Floor Control.

Let’s start a project together today!

Call or email us now for a conversation on how you and your company can improve customer satisfaction, improve plant performance, productivity, and profitability.

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