What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean Manufacturing is a systematic method that involves never-ending efforts for the elimination of waste. Grand Image has adopted this systematic approach, much to our benefit and that of our partners. The Lean approach to business operations focuses on:

  • Eliminating or minimizing waste to create greater value
  • Continuously improving production processes to create better quality

Lean thinking and management has become a way of life for manufacturers across virtually all industries. It enables them to work smarter and more effectively; saving time and money, and passing savings along to customers. Many people think that lean manufacturing is only about the equipment and processes; however, the system is mostly focused on people.

The Benefits of Implementing Lean Manufacturing

The implementation of lean manufacturing prevents and eliminates seven different types of waste:

  • Overproduction – overproduction is manufacturing too many items before they are actually required.
  • Inventory – excess inventory increases lead times, consumes productive floor space, delays the identification of problems, and inhibits communication.
  • Waiting – waiting is when goods are not moving or being processed.
  • Motion – motion waste is related to ergonomics and is seen in all instances of bending, stretching, walking, lifting, and reaching.
  • Transportation – transport waste is material movement that is not directly associated with a value adding process, and is just moving products around a warehouse or store.
  • Defects – every bit of scrap costs time and money. Accidentally creating defects costs the company, and they’ll have to create the product again, pushing back other jobs.
  • Over-processing – over-processing involves putting more into the product than what is valued by the customer.

Waste is “something that adds no value”. All of these wastes are non-value adding operations and have a direct impact on costs. They are operations that customers would not be happy to pay for and add no benefits to the product or service.

Eliminating the seven wastes is something that can be done through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing. These principles should be used to identify value according to the customer, and make those value-adding processes flow through your organization.

Lean Manufacturing Promotes Process Automation

Pre-press automation is critical foundation when it comes to grand format printing. It helps transform customer’s digital data designs into unique, impressive, finished products.

Making the final check involves highly detailed work, and every detail matters. When printers automate the pre-press step, it makes:

  • The process go faster. Pre-press automation allows your printer to manage the process quickly and reliably.
  • The process go smoothly. Automation enables printers to combine projects being produced on the same material, saving production time and reducing material waste.

As a print shop or broker, working with a grand format printer who adopts the best practices, such as lean manufacturing, will make your company more valuable and more competitive.

Lean Manufacturing is Based on Continuous Improvement

New technologies and capabilities are constantly emerging, so customers expect more than just the status quo. Being dedicated to continuous improvement can assure that printers can respond to every opportunity efficiently and correctly.

The 5-S Step Process and Method

Lean Marketing uses a five-step process and method for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe, and high performance workplace:

  1. Straighten – Process of separating value from non-value and clearing the work space of all unnecessary items.
  2. Sort – Process of stratifying, organizing, understanding frequency, and creating mistake proof mechanisms.
  3. Shine – Process of creating labels, signs, and mistake proofing mechanisms that expose hidden issues and keep the work flow clear.
  4. Standardize – Process of setting rules and creating signs, labels, colors, methods, storage locations, cleaning materials, bins, and hierarchy roles that need to be followed.
  5. Sustain – Process of perpetual evolution to self-sustainment by employees, systems, and a supportive culture.

Before choosing a grand format printer, ask whether they are “thinking lean”. Grand Image, Inc. is proud to have implemented the “Think Lean” methodology.

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