With NJMEP’s expertise and guidance, getting Lean is an eye opening experience that opens doors to new opportunities for growth and higher profits never thought possible. At NJMEP, we have key Lean programs to help NJ manufacturers become more efficient, productive and profitable:
The Lean Process
The process of implementing Lean is an eye-opening experience. Lean Manufacturing experts guide you through four stages: assessment, solution design, implementation and continuous improvement. The Lean process provides you with tools and training—skills and knowledge, to grow your business.
Implementing Lean begins with a complete assessment of your plant—Enterprise Diagnostic, to determine where Lean will make an impact. A 2-3 hour meeting explaining where you will benefit from NJMEP’s Lean Manufacturing principles, training, and tools follows the assessment. Key processes within your business are reviewed and opportunities for improvement are identified.
- Manufacturing Lead Time
- Distance Traveled
- Square Footage Utilized
- Standardized Work
- Other, general observations
Stage two generates a blueprint for continuous business process improvement within your manufacturing processes. Here, we create maps providing direction toward a common goal. We train your employees to “think Lean.” A value stream map is developed to outline the material and information flow of your product or process from raw materials, through manufacturing processes, to finished product. Next a future-state map is developed to guide you toward Lean Manufacturing principals that streamline work processes, reducing lead times and operating costs.
Benefits of Value Stream Mapping
- “See the flow” of your value stream and wastes in the flow
- View all products from a system perspective
- Draw both material and information flows of your value stream
- Draw a blueprint for Lean transformation – the Future State Map
- Prioritize activities needed to achieve the Future State
Stage three uses a model line to demonstrate the success of Lean Manufacturing principals when implemented. We focus on the following:
- Accelerate Product & Service Flow – Achieve and Sustain Clean, Safe, and Organized Workplaces
- Increase Flexibility – Reduce Set Up Times and Improve Production Flow
- Slash Lead Times and Increase Productivity by improving product flow
- Improve Your Cash Flow, Throughput and Competitive Position
- Boost Capacity and Improve Quality by Increasing Your Equipment’s Life Expectancy
- Involve Your Workforce in the Pursuit of Eliminating Wastes
A phased roll-out of the program includes additional training, mentoring, facilitation, knowledge transfer, and joint implementation with your company’s team. Methodologies Explored During Phase 3 are 5S, Kanban, Kaizen, and Six Sigma
5S – Find what you need, when you need it
The 5S program is a lean concept that focuses on a series of activities designed to improve workplace organization and standardization. This system makes it faster and easier to find the parts and tools required to perform a task. 5S also helps employees develop a clear understanding how work is to be performed and it instills ownership in the process. From a Lean management perspective, 5S encourages respect for people; On the shop floor it identifies problems quickly. If something is missing, why?
These activities include:
- Sort through all tools and materials and remove unneeded items
- Set in order remaining items and arrange them in a manner that promotes work flow
- Shine or clean everything to make organization easier, and use cleaning as inspection
- Standardize the first 3 S’s by implementing visual displays and controls making jobs easier to perform
- Sustain the gains of the previous “S’s” through self-discipline, training, communication, and total employee involvement
Benefits of NJMEP’s Lean 5S Training:
- Improve quality
- Achieve work standardization
- Decrease changeover time
- Improve safety
- Reduce storage costs
- Reduce cycle time
- Reduce machine down time
- Boost employee morale as well as work environment
The Rewards Of Becoming—And Remaining—Lean
Kanban/Pull Production Systems – Make products only when your customers demand them
Lean Manufacturing is all about meeting and exceeding your customer’s needs. With Kanban, production utilizes a signaling system that triggers the action to pull needed items. Instead of anticipating need via demand forecasting (“push”), Kanban determines the supply, or production in relation to actual customer demand and consumption.
Kanban tells you…
- What parts to manufacture
- When to start manufacturing
- When to stop manufacturing
- How many to manufacture
- Where to deliver them to
Benefits of NJMEP’s Kanban System:
- Reduce overall inventory
- Reduce Work-In-Process
- Reduce order turnaround time
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Improve cash flow
Kaizen Blitz – Make changes to your process…FAST!
Kaizen principles are based on a continuous business process improvement methodology that combines Lean Manufacturing Tools such as the 5S’s of Workplace Organization and Standardization, Work Cells, Pull/Kanban, Set-up Reduction, and Line Balancing. Each tool incorporates team empowerment, brainstorming, and problem solving to rapidly make improvements to a specific product or portions of your processes and remove waste. “Blitz” refers to lightening fast. New process improvements from a Kaizen Blitz are identified in real-time and implementation is generally less than one week.
Kaizen principals incorporate making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting. Large-scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling are replaced by smaller experiments, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are suggested. This type of continuous renewal is compounded from several productivity improvements.
Effective Use of Kaizen Principals:
- Consider the process and the results (not results-only) so that actions to achieve effects are surfaced.
- Systemic thinking of the whole process and not just that immediately in view (i.e. big picture, not solely the narrow view) in order to avoid creating problems elsewhere in the process.
- Learning, non-judgmental, non-blaming (blaming is wasteful) approach and intent will allow the re-examination of the assumptions that resulted in the current process.
Six Sigma – Improve customer satisfaction and profitability by reducing, and eliminating defects.
While Six Sigma is its own methodology, it is often used in conjunction when implementing Lean strategies. Six Sigma a disciplined, data-driven, time-tested methodology for eliminating defects and improving customer satisfaction. In Six Sigma’s statistical thinking paradigm:
- Everything is a process
- All processes have inherent variability
- Data is used to understand the variability and drive process improvement decisions
Six Sigma is a measurement based strategy for process improvement and variation reduction that utilizes DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) as a road map to successful implementation.
- Define process improvement goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
- Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data.
- Analyze the data to verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered.
- Improve or optimize the process based upon data analysis using techniques like Design of Experiments.
- Control to ensure that any deviations from target are corrected before they result in defects. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, move on to production, set up control mechanisms and continuously monitor the process.
Stage four teaches you how to keep the momentum alive, moving your company to a state of continuous renewal and growth. We’ll ensure that you are trained, have the right tools, and are confident enough to deploy the various principals and methodologies of success on your own.
Meet the Experts
NJMEP has developed a network consisting of leading experts in Lean and Continuous Improvement. Learn more about our featured industry resources ready to help NJ manufacturers become more competitive and profitable. Click here to read their bios.
Why work with NJMEP?
Getting Lean is an enlightening experience that opens doors to new opportunities for growth and higher profits. The NJMEP programs Lean Manufacturing Principles, Lean Strategies for Office, and training systems have assisted NJ manufacturers streamline their operations and increase profits. NJMEP, a not-for-profit, is an affiliate of the NIST/MEP network. The MEP organization is a resource for manufacturers linking them to national, regional, and local resources both in the public and private sector and to funding. Unlike consulting firms, our services are supported by federal funding, your tax dollars, making our services a cost-effective solution for implementing Lean.Whether Lean principals are new to your organization, or you are seeking assistance in implementing Lean, NJMEP can transform the way you do business by becoming more productive, profitable and globally competitive.
Lean is not a destination, but rather a journey. Our expertise and proven methodologies will get you there. For more information, call us at 973-998-9801 or fill out the form below.