Lean manufacturing is not a fixed method, it feeds on creativity. For example, a standard lean diagram will have the new logistics and productivity created at the line side. However, there remain the small mudas of waiting and motion on the line linked to choosing parts on the racks and also the muda of inventory of parts in the line side racks. Finally, there is still a muda of transport due to small motorised trains.
According to Trilogiq Australia , once JIT and pulled flow tools are mastered, lean manufacturing can be developed. For example shop stocks have been moved to the immediate vicinity of the line side and set up in the preparation zone, which is known as ‘kitting’.
Following are the principles of the development to improve the function of conventional ‘lean’ shop stocks:
- Introduce a sequence preparation zone: a localised preparer in the shop stocks prepares a ‘part kit’ for each model which is then delivered on line by LeanTek ‘shooters’
- Pushed by hand: the result is to reduce mudas of waiting, motion and inventory to their simpler form by picking sequenced kits
- The operator only has to turn around, pick the kit and assemble it without worrying about managing diversity
This method improves the level of added value at the workstation, while reducing the muda of repair/rejects which could be generated by mistaking a part. The logistics team is slightly increased in this configuration because of the preparation time but the cost of this logistics load is compensated by line productivity gains.
Following are the line productivity gains by LeanTek tools:
- Additional gains of space on the line
- Reduction of other mudas, especially those of transport and inventory.
- Elimination of motorised trains and use of the manual LeanTek shooter together with simple and compact line side racks, with automatic return of empty bins
- Reduction of the muda of repair/rejects