Posts Tagged ‘lean’

Lean Manufacturing Tip: Takt Time

We’ve spoken about Lean Manufacturing many times on our blog, and it’s a term that most people are familiar with. There are many different ways that lean manufacturing can be implemented in a business; Takt Time is one of the fundamental aspects of it.

But what exactly is Takt Time?

It can be used in all areas of business, but is more relevant in manufacturing – specifically in production lines. The basic definition of Takt Time is the maximum amount of time allowed per unit for production in order to meet customer demand. So, if there is a lot of demand for the unit, then your maximum allowed time to make the unit is very small, however, if there is not a lot of demand for the unit, the maximum allowed time to make it is a lot larger.

To discover exactly what your Takt Time is, you would need to figure out the amount of time in total that you have to work on your order – remembering to take into account employee breaks, lunches, machine downtime, etc. – and divide it by how many units you need to produce (again taking into account the fact that there may be test parts and defective units).

So how does Takt Time help you implement lean manufacturing? Simply, once you have Takt Time in place, you can look at your process and see what is inefficient and non-value-added, and decide from there what can be improved upon. Ways that this can be done include reducing idle time, set-up time and eliminating waste. One of the biggest benefits of Takt Time is that you will easily be able to see where any bottlenecks are in the production process and can quickly fix that.

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Continuous Improvement in Manufacturing

We’ve spoken a bit about continuous improvement on our blog, but we haven’t yet talked about WHY exactly it is important for manufacturers, and how exactly you can apply it to your business.

As a brief reminder, continuous improvement is the process of constantly making your business run more efficiently, with better effectiveness and producing better quality. On the most basic level, it is a series of small changes to improve your business, with the belief that building on all of these small changes will make a great bettering of your business. It is perhaps best stated by Edward Deming, as “the need to improve constantly and forever the system of production and service to improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs.”

This process is important for manufacturers, especially in our economic time, because it can help us to cut costs, to produce higher quality products at a faster rate, to reduce the amount of waste and deficient products we produce, and to remain competitive with other companies (both on a national and global stage).

Sounds like a great thing, doesn’t it? And there are many different ways in which you can apply continuous improvement in manufacturing, some of which are very successful and have become very popular. These include Kaizen, Just-in-Time and Lean manufacturing.

How are you applying continuous improvement in your business?

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