The popularity of lean manufacturing has crossed all barriers in these days and a huge number of companies have been utilizing this method with great amount of success. What about the history of lean manufacturing? The basic concept of lean manufacturing can be traced in the ideas developed by Henry Ford. He made use of the concept known as ‘continuous flow’ for his Model T automobile and his focus was on the standard of production to make the process of manufacturing really tight. His intention was to make different stages of production complement each other to ensure better efficiency and quality. The elimination of waste became a reality with this method of approach.
Things started changing after a certain period of time and various assembly lines started producing the same thing because of the lack of flexibility in his method. The end product remained the same (Model T) and changes or modifications became a distant reality. It was a business oriented approach than a customer oriented approach and waste began to increase over a period of time. This business model by Ford became a failure and it resulted in the wastage of huge amount of money.
In the initial stages, a good number of people applied the methods advocated by Ford in their businesses and at a later stage; they realized that it was not flexible enough to solve their problems. TaiichiOhno of Toyota came up with a new method known as Toyota Production System (TPS) and in order to improve efficiency, he made use of a lot of Just In Time methods. Toyota became one of the leading companies in the world by using this process with great amount of discipline and commitment and they set good example for other companies to emulate. That is what exactly happened and a huge number of companies have making use of this system to improve overall efficiency. With the evolution of time, lean manufacturing has became a full- fledged philosophy for all business organizations.
SMED also known as single minute exchange of die is a lean production method which is used to reduce waste during manufacturing. It is used to provide a fast and reliable way of changing a manufacturing process from the product being produced for the next one. It is used to improve on the general flow of production. SMED has proved very helpful for companies which make, prepares, process and package their products using a single line or machine. It makes it easy for changeovers to be done at the right time enabling the clients expectations to be met with precision. For you to be able to appreciate this method it is important to know how it works.
Usually, once the process of manufacturing a product is through, the entire system is shut down. The line is cleaned and the tools that were in use removed and new ones installed for a new product to be produced. After all the preparations are finished it is only then that new production begins. Needless to say, this process takes long and is tedious; however, it can be reduced with the use of SMED.
SMED effectively identifies and separates the change over process into vital operations. An external setup allows the operator to start making changes which can be done while the machine is still running in preparation for the change over. The internal ones can be done after the machine has been halted for the change over to be done. However, if you are not careful, there can be a waste in between the two operations. For you to be sure that you have no waste in terms of time of workmanship it is imperative to measure the time you spent making a change over. Having a clear picture about the time used during a start up process will help you to improve on it next time.
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When a company is creating a system that can help it with the work that it needs to finish, this company needs to protect the information afterwards. There are certain systems that can help the company with this. TPM is such a system. TPM actually means trusted platform module. That means that this system is going to keep all the information that it is used in production safely so that it cannot be modified or that it cannot be robbed. This system also helps to maintain the production and a way to just find where the defaults are.
The TPM system needs a team of experts that will help it function properly and also some operators that can put to work. This is not a difficult job, but the ones that work with this need to have some kind of an experience. They need to have an understanding of how the system works and how it can help them find the faults and the other problems that come when the company is in production. This is a great system because this way the company will not spend so much time when it is producing.
The TPM system is an investment for the future. The company has only to win from this because it is something that it is going to keep its production default safe and also safe from other things that can occur during the process. The TPM system was developed in fact in Japan and so it is known that they have a great technology there and so they know how to take care of their line of production. The Japanese people know how to invest into their future and how to make everything work at a higher level than the other countries out there and their technology.