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Lean Tools and Practices for Fabricators Looking to Boost Productivity

March 10, 2017 /


The idea of moving your fabrication shop over from traditional manufacturing to lean manufacturing can seem a bit daunting, but in today’s competitive market, it’s almost necessary. Even high-mix shops are finding ways to get lean and, in turn, are reaping the rewards of efficiency and reduced waste.

Knowing where to start is often a stumbling block for many fabricators, especially since smaller shops don’t always have all the resources required for a complete transformation. Which tools are the most effective? Which ones are the fastest to implement? How do I go about “mapping” out my company’s lean journey?

To help address some of these questions and more, the LENOX Institute of Technology has compiled the following useful tools and best practices to help educate shops that want to “get lean.”

Adopt Some Lean Practices

There are a host of lean practices manufacturers can use to reduce waste and improve productivity. According to the eBook, Five Performance Boosting Best Practices for Your Industrial Metal-Cutting Organization, the following tools are just a few to consider:

Buy Some Practical Tools

Just like a line needs the right equipment to perform an operation, your shop needs the right tools to implement and communicate any lean manufacturing efforts. American Machinist offers five practical tools that companies should invest in as they begin incorporating lean principles into their operations. Below are three of the tools suggested: (Click here to read all five tools.)

Focus on Building a Culture

Most experts agree the key to a successful lean transformation is cultural acceptance. In other words, everyone in the organization needs to be on board if it’s going to work. An article from Plant Services provides four building blocks to creating a lean culture:

What lean tools and practices have you implemented in your fabrication shop?