Increasing the efficiency in manufacturing is crucial in today’s business environment.
Lean manufacturing is a concept all companies take seriously in today’s marketplace. In order to be competitive, companies must become optimized in every sense and stay on the cutting edge of their specific industry. Lean manufacturing dates back to Venice in the 1450s, but Henry Ford is credited with being the first person to integrate an entire production process. The assembly line as we know it was his brainchild. He combined interchangeable parts with repetitive work in conjunction with a moving conveyance to revolutionize the manufacturing process; he called this flow production. In the 1940s, just after WWII, Kiichiro Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno and others at Toyota revisited Ford’s original thinking, and invented the Toyota Production System.
1. List all steps in the process from beginning to end.
2. Calculate the time required to complete each step of the process and add them to yield the total cycle time.
3. Identify the steps that do not add value to the process. These may include such operations as setup, test, inspection and rework.
4. Separate the value-added steps from the non-value-added steps.
5. Add the time of all the non-value processes to get the non-value added cycle time.
6. Add the time of each value-added step to get the value-added cycle time.
7. Calculate the percentage of the total cycle time as a function of the value-added operations. For example, if the total process time is 14400 seconds and the value-added process time is 1800 seconds, the percentage of the total cycle time of the value-added operations would be (1800/14400) * 100, or 12.5 percent.