What is Lean Production and How Does it Minimize Overhead?

Lean Production and Manufacturing

In today’s economic climate, organizations have had to do more with less. But how does a person, team, organization or even a manufacturing company do more with less?

Is doing more with less even possible? With lean production principles, doing more with less is not just possible; it’s becoming the expectation.

Here at United Scientific Inc., we have adopted many lean principles into our business and manufacturing processes, which helps us to be more efficient and increase production output.

Who Are We?

United Scientific Inc., located St. Paul, Minnesota, is a manufacturing company offering customers high-quality products made within our high-performance, multi-faceted production center. Since the 1940s, our custom machining and manufacturing facility and staff have offered our customers an extensive focus on providing diversified parts manufacturing.

Our employees begin each project with the understanding that the work they perform is essential to our customers’ success. Speed, accuracy, precision, and quality are our hallmarks at United Scientific Inc. Our team will always follow stringent safety protocols, lean principles, and green initiatives wherever possible. We aim for zero defects with 100% on-time delivery rates.

What is Lean Production?

What is Lean Production and Manufacturing

According to the Lean Enterprise Institute, lean means “creating more value for customers with fewer resources.â€

At United Scientific Inc., understanding our customer’s value is essential to the manufacturing and production process. Knowing what our customers’ value aids our team in focusing the manufacturing goals, enhancing our customers’ satisfaction. We know positive customer satisfaction leads to loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.

Also Read: Four Reasons Your Company Can Benefit From a Precision Machine Shop

Adopting lean production helps companies better achieve their goals by assisting management and employees focus on eliminating waste from the production process.

But what exactly is considered waste?

The Seven Deadly Wastes

In the production and manufacturing process, waste is an action or set of actions that do not add any value from the customer’s perspective. Customarily, there are seven areas of waste. They are:

  1. Overproduction – Manufacturing items before they are required or even requested. Overproduction can lead to additional costs.
  2. Inventory – A direct result of overproduction. Excess and “just in case†inventory leads to overstocking and low quality. This practice can wreak havoc on storage costs.
  3. Motion – Related to ergonomics, this is the unnecessary movement of employees or machines within the process. Unnecessary movement leads to injuries and longer production times.
  4. Waiting – This one is pretty self-explanatory. It refers to time wasted waiting for the next step in the production process.
  5. Transport – Unnecessary movement of materials from one location to another. With the high price of fuel, this particular practice can be extremely costly to your business, and it decreases quality.
  6. Overprocessing – The inappropriate use of techniques, oversize equipment, or adding additional features not required by the customer.
  7. Defects – Quality defects have a direct impact on the bottom line. It can lead to rework or replacements, thus costing valuable time, labor, and money.

Lean isn’t Just for Production or Manufacturing

Common misunderstandings about lean principles are that they only apply to manufacturing or production lines. Lean principles can apply to every business and every process. In fact, industries worldwide, including healthcare, military, aviation, and governments, are using lean principles.

Some prefer not to call it “lean.†They wish to emphasize the fact that lean isn’t a cost restructuring program or strategic tactic. Instead, it is a school of thought and a different way of thinking and acting to improve overall production by eliminating waste in the process.

The purpose of lean is to help the company develop thought processes and methods to achieve the critical goal — understanding what our customers value — by eliminating waste in the process while maintaining high quality.

Five Key Principles

Principles of Lean Production

The Lean Enterprise Institute lists five fundamental principles to help guide companies in implementing lean techniques. They are:

  1. Identify Value – What are the customers’ needs for the precise project or product?
  2. Value Stream – Map the steps and processes, from raw materials to delivery of the final product. Remove any waste.
  3. Flow – Ensure the remaining steps in the process flow smoothly without delays, bottlenecks, or interruptions.
  4. Pull – Allow customers to pull product as needed, thus reducing the need to stockpile. This habit saves resources and reduces costs.
  5. Perfection – Make lean thinking and process a part of the organization’s culture. Becoming lean requires consistent effort to be perfect.

United Scientific is Ready to “Lean” for You

Here at United Scientific, adopting a lean mindset has helped us stay “Scientific in Process, United in Purpose.â€

Our customers honor us with the privilege to handle their machining and manufacturing parts requests. We are proud to merge excellent customer service with high-quality parts manufacturing and CNC machining expertise.

Our customers can trust that United Scientific will complete any machining project correctly, on-time, and with the highest level of quality assurance, without any waste or loss in customer value. We work together with our customers to ensure that we meet all their requirements, and customers are satisfied with the final result.

United Scientific Inc. strives to ensure their lean production processes are flexible and adaptable wherever possible. We respect progress, but never at the expense of accuracy, quality, and precision.

We back up our quality-control with a scientific quality process generating a 99-plus percent accuracy factor. Our method yields a 131 Defective Parts Per Million rating, which is tops in the industry. The specialists in our inspection department have implemented Lean processes to eliminate waste, yet not at the expense of quality and precision.

All United Scientific customers experience the feeling of satisfaction, knowing from start to finish that the professionals at United Scientific will meet their requirements. And whenever possible, we exceed our customers’ wishes. We go above and beyond.

No matter your industry, when you need parts manufacturing, CNC machining, aerospace parts, medical device prototypes, or components, put your faith in United Scientific Inc. United Scientific is the company to call for quality, on-time delivery, and accessibility to meet your manufacturing needs.

Call Us!

To learn more about our services, lean processes, and how United Scientific Inc. can support your project, contact us at 651-483-1500, or email [email protected].