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The Breeze – October 2019 – Getting Lean

What is Lean Manufacturing?

  • Training update – by Lara Rupac

Lean manufacturing involves never ending efforts to eliminate or reduce waste in design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes. Lean Manufacturing is, all about optimizing processes and eliminating waste. Lean prioritizes simple, small, and continuous improvements.

Over the last three months the Condensor and Evaporator lines have undertaken Lean Manufacturing training, with employees attending three sessions.

In the first session employees learned about Kaizen (Japanese for improvement) and Muda (Japanese for waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value). The seven types of Muda are Transport (i.e. excess movement of product), Inventory (i.e. stocks of goods and raw materials), Motion (i.e. excess movement of machine or people), Waiting, Overproduction, Over-processing and Defects.

In the second session employees learnt about Demand Flow Manufacturing which looks at the how we can reduce times within the production system as well as response times from suppliers and to customers. Employees played a widget game, which highlighted these learnings and the benefit of flexing within the line.

The third session involved learning more about the benefits of Standard Work procedures and the 5S principles (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, Sustain). These are essential components in Lean Manufacturing.

Over the new few months, other lines will also be involved in Lean Manufacturing training. Putting this training into practice will help Actron in better achieving Continuous Improvement (one of Actron’s values) and Operational Excellence (one of Actron’s critical success factors).