Successful Lean Manufacturing practices depend on Standardized Work. Check this article to see what effect standard work instructions can have on your lean factory!
1. It prevents overproduction
Overproduction is one of the most common forms of waste. It misuses raw materials, results in scrapping costs, and harms the environment. The first step to prevent overproduction is to give your team standardized work instructions, so they know exactly how to execute and not overproduce against the plan. Standardized work also prevents production errors and extract losses. For instance, we have seen can-coding errors at a large beer manufacturer go down by 67%, simply by having standard instructions.
2. It minimizes changeover time
Changeover time is the time it takes employees to transition from using one machine or completing one process, to using or starting up another. Minimizing changeover time is extremely important to drive operational efficiency. One of our customers, a large pharmaceutical company, averaged 31 minutes of changeover time for the different manufacturing processes in their plants. By digitizing these processes in Standard Operating Procedures and work instructions, they were able to save 4 minutes during each changeover. This adds up to several hundred thousand dollars in savings per year.
3. It facilitates quality control
In a lean factory, there is little room for quality deviations. A product with a defect is a product recalled or returned, incurring the company costs and waste. Standardizing and digitizing work processes can make a big impact here. Before digitizing their quality control checklists, employees at a large meat processing plant were doing 250 audit and operational checklists per month. By digitizing this process and following a standard set of instructions, they are now able to do over 1,000 checklists in the same period of time. They now get critical signals from the shop floor instantly when they identify a deviation, exception or abnormality.
4. It makes knowledge easily accessible
Technicians are not always around when something goes wrong on the shop floor. Standardized and digitized work instructions allow you to instantly distribute knowledge and instructions right in the moment of need. No more tedious manuals to sift through, or long wait times. Your technicians can simply walk other employees through each step remotely using clear visuals on a tablet or even augmented-reality tools.