Nowadays is quite common to hear words like “Lean manufacturing” or “Lean Methodology“, but still few people know the correct meaning this. The truth is that, even if the concept is quite simple, it contains a lot of other meanings that could induce to understand this word incorrectly.
Let’s start with the common description: from the Wikipedia we can read that “Lean” is a word used to describe a production philosophy that considers the expenditure of resources in any aspect other than the direct creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.
Given this description is could be easy to associate this concept only to what happens inside the plant, and this is true somehow, because the first step of a “Lean production” is to focus all the entrepreneurial efforts on the thing that matters and consequently on what the client demands, reducing every unnecessary waste of time and money. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg… if we want to keep digging on the final meaning we could divide the Lean word in 5 different principles:
1) Eliminate unnecessary waste (which of course will lead us to find and recognize it)
2) Expand knowledge in order to avoid failures
3) React as fast as possible
4) Enhance the working team
5) See every aspect of the company as a single one
If you want to apply this concept in your factory try remembering this sentence. Being reactive is what makes the difference nowadays.
“Think big, act small, make mistakes soon, learn fast”.
In Lagos, we “focus on Lean” in both our manufacturing plant and outside it. You may be asking yourself: How could you apply this idea outside the factory?. Well, it’s quite simple. The only think we have to do is to focus on our clients. Knowing the worker’s problems and having direct contact with all our customers allows us to develop products and solutions oriented exactly to what they need and when they need them. A good example of this could be our renowned “TROTTER” product line, which aims to reduce time and energy consumption on surface treatment and painting, with maximum mobility and minimal effort. This is a lean product oriented to the client that cares about its business.
In conclusion, if you are going to apply a Lean concept, don’t stop in your own manufacturing process and think about how could you help everyone else to be Lean and sustainable.
We leave you until the next update with a brief video of our “paint Trotter” and its functionality recorded at Automechanicka Frankfurt 2014, starring David Rodríguez, Manager auto at Cabinas Lagos… Lean at its bests: