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What Is Lean Manufacturing? How one can Streamline with Versatile Automation


September 27, 2021

Lean manufacturing shouldn’t be a brand new time period within the business—lean methodology has been round for the reason that Nineties, and it has roots relationship again to early 1900s vehicle manufacturing, with Ford’s meeting line and the Toyota Manufacturing System.

However as customers maintain the stress on producers to be aggressive by means of an elevated reliance on e-commerce, fluctuating order volumes, and demand for customized orders, lean manufacturing is extra necessary now than ever. 

What’s lean manufacturing within the context of your materials dealing with facility, and how will you make the most of automation to carry the methodology to life to streamline your group?

Versatile and Lean Manufacturing Outlined

Lean manufacturing, additionally known as lean manufacturing, is usually used interchangeably with versatile manufacturing, however they’re really two completely different philosophies. 

  • Lean manufacturing maximizes throughput with fewer sources and accomplishes it in much less time and with much less effort than different strategies. It usually requires versatile instruments that may stability materials move and sustain with the tempo of manufacturing.
  • Versatile manufacturing permits corporations to react to modifications. Manufacturing facility workers can leverage the methodology to develop the manufacturing course of or change workflows to satisfy buyer demand, which retains prices down.

When deciding on which method to take, facility managers fortunately don’t have to decide on between the 2—an operation may be lean and versatile. The trick is to seek out the very best lean instruments that let you accomplish probably the most quantity of duties as shortly, effectively, and cost-effectively as attainable with out compromising security. For long-term success, the lean instruments you select have to be versatile and agile to reply to the quickly evolving facility panorama. 

That is the place autonomous cellular robots (AMRs) are available. Handbook materials motion is a big useful resource expense and doesn’t present any buyer worth. An agile AMR answer ticks all of the lean and versatile bins and addresses this expense by serving to corporations transfer supplies effectively and safely whereas supporting efforts to be conscious of the wants of shoppers, particularly in the case of personalized orders.

Listed below are simply two of the methods AMRs may help you obtain a lean and versatile manufacturing system:

1. Lowering Lead Time

Reducing stock to ranges which can be conducive to your operation will cut back lead time. The pull system is a lean manufacturing approach used to scale back waste within the manufacturing course of, the place services make a product based mostly on precise buyer demand. The pull system signifies that the ability gained’t home a big surplus of merchandise, permitting more room to be dedicated to the areas that straight result in getting clients what they need.

AMRs excel in this sort of manufacturing course of. Automating the transport of supplies and merchandise in services reduces operational prices, lead time, questions of safety, and foot site visitors. In reality, Seegrid Palion AMRs can simply be skilled by in-house personnel with routes to reliably ship supplies to workstations at exact instances. As soon as the duty is accomplished, the worker on the workstation merely pushes a button to inform the AMR that it may proceed with its subsequent job. Transferring solely the correct amount of product on the proper time eliminates bottlenecks within the manufacturing line, successfully shifting materials between workstations or meeting traces as wanted.

2. Transporting Supplies to the Manufacturing Flooring

Getting supplies to the manufacturing flooring safely and effectively is important to a versatile and lean course of. It’s not as simple because it sounds, as a result of generally, shifting materials includes human staff. Allocating the correct amount of workforce may be difficult as a consequence of points akin to productiveness fluctuations, absent staff or a scarcity of staff, together with these on sick or trip time or because of the scarcity of expert laborers, customized order due dates, or materials delays to the manufacturing line, all of which have an effect on sources. No matter which particular concern it’s possible you’ll face at a given time, there’s a value related to all of them that straight and negatively impacts lean manufacturing. 

Integrating a versatile autonomous transportation system to maneuver supplies and merchandise may help with labor uncertainties, along with lowering labor prices, questions of safety, and stock on the manufacturing flooring. Moreover, automating harmful and monotonous duties permits facility managers to redistribute their human staff to safer and extra mentally stimulating jobs elsewhere within the firm, thus bettering worker satisfaction and security. Automating duties will increase reliability and accuracy as human error is eradicated from the equation, which ensures items arrive on time, each time.

Versatile automation options additionally allow companies to repeatedly enhance materials move of their facility as calls for change and develop. For instance, with Seegrid’s holistic options, customers can retrain and redeploy their Seegrid Palion AMRs with out having to attend for a technician, thus lowering extra prices and downtime ready for an professional to journey to the positioning. 

Seegrid’s cloud-based fleet analytics software program, Fleet Geek, is one other device that may lead facility managers on the trail of steady enchancment. Fleet Geek collects Palion AMR fleet efficiency information that reveals traits and may inform data-based productiveness selections and course of enchancment. For instance, Fleet Geek can report on insights, like excessive wait instances, intervals of low utilization, and high-traffic areas, that when improved, might straight optimize fleet efficiency and enhance capability.

The Future Requires a Versatile, Lean Automation Machine

To maintain up with buyer calls for and competitors, a fabric dealing with facility supervisor should absolutely decide to lean pondering. This consists of inspecting the ability and present workflows, maybe with an automation vendor throughout a facility scope, to find out the very best alternatives to remove waste, prices, and bottlenecks to streamline and drive efficiencies. When managers belief AMRs to take their materials dealing with to the following stage, it frees up a large quantity of sources and human energy that may be higher utilized elsewhere. 

The availability chain is dealing with extra disruptions, challenges, and alternatives than ever. The pliability of Palion AMRs is crucial for materials dealing with services to be agile and resilient at this time and in the long run.

Need to study extra? Obtain this infographic to find the right way to map your path to automation success by driving effectivity with AMRs and information analytics. 

Lindsay Derda is a strategic advertising chief with practically a decade of expertise at fast-paced, excessive development robotics and tech corporations. Lindsay presently leads product advertising at Seegrid, the market chief in autonomous cellular robots (AMRs) and enterprise software program for supplies dealing with–with greater than 5 million autonomous miles pushed. At Seegrid, Lindsay connects automation market data and purchaser insights with product technique to create impactful go-to-market methods for the corporate’s AI-based pc imaginative and prescient expertise and rising portfolio of cellular robots.

 

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