A systematic method for waste minimization within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity is known as lean manufacturing or lean production. The waste created through overburden and waste creates through unevenness in workloads are taken into account. As per the perspective of a client who consumes a product or service, ‘value’ is any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay.
Lean manufacturing adds value to a product thereby reducing everything else. The management philosophy is taken from the Toyota Production System (TPS). In the 1990s only it was identified as lean. TPS is well known for its focus on the reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes to improve overall customer value but they can be best achieved as per various perspectives.
For years lean has developed a number of names and has been primarily developed from the Toyota Production System (TPS) and has been called World Class Manufacturing (WCM), Stock-less production, Continuous Flow Manufacturing, etc. Today it is even known as Lean Sigma and Agile Manufacturing.
Lean is actually developed within manufacturing units but it is equally applicable to office-based administrative functions or within service industries like healthcare. Some people have in mind that lean means an organization that is not fit or is incapable of doing business or an organization that can break under pressure.
Just in time:
Just-in-time (JIT) is a Japanese management philosophy and refers to the production of goods to meet customer demand in time, quality and quantity. The customer may be the final purchaser of the product. JIT means to produce with minimum waste and is taken in its most general sense including time and resources as well as materials. Some of the elements in JIT include continuous improvement, eliminating waste, good housekeeping, set-up time reduction, mixed production, etc. The concept of JIT enables employees’ loyalty, the fulfillment of company goals, and low turnover costs.
Lean Manufacturing vs Just in time manufacturing
Just in time is a system and idea with has seen wide acceptance within the business and manufacturing community. When the competition is heated up between companies and the pressure from Asian manufacturers’ continuous cultural improvement takes a toll on manufacturers. This forces the firms to seek more innovative methods to reduce costs and cope with the competition.
The tendency has been there to identify or include JIT with Lean operations. Of course, there are similarities between the two; there are also some differences between the two methodologies. This means that they play perfectly well together and there are many advantages of using both methodologies at the same time.
In JIT methodology, the processes exhibit some level of stability and consistency. Stability means a decrease of systematic errors in this case and the results gained must remain quite consistent. This is not that easy to achieve at the beginning of the Lean initiative. The objective of JIT is to highlight all the problems in the process. Lean focus to eliminate the problems relating to the process so as to increase production.
JIT has the fundamental component of eliminating waste along with adding value. A firm must monitor series of processes as a target to minimize waste. Value is not added with things like unreasonable waste times, exaggerated inventories, excess manpower, and unnecessary movement of material or any other activity.
JIT alone is not effective to eliminate waste completely as manufacturers realized that items were brought only when they are needed and in required quantities is only one part. The need for JIT to become Lean is always there. Lean has its own range of specific procedures. The task of lean is to define a project that will be beneficial at minimal costs. Lean’s focus is on manufacturing and operations management whereas JIT focuses more on inventory management. The two methodologies share some tools and all aim at creating value for the end-user, the customer. Generally, Lean tools are now often used to achieve JIT, such as the ‘flow’ based approach.
To explicitly highlight process problems is the role of JIT and Lean eliminates the problems.
Both methodologies are used to eliminate waste and JIT alone cannot achieve this and hence there is a transformation to Lean.
Lean is used to achieve JIT and the two employ almost the same set of tools like error proofing.
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