Plastic injection molding has been an ideal business to benefit from the lean manufacturing process. In previous articles, we have examined both low and high-volume manufacturing in Low and High-Volume Production: Injection Molding and 4 Benefits of Low-Volume Molding. In this article, we will primarily be discussing another form of production that we are capable of providing to our client—the lean manufacturing process (also known as “The Push-Pull System”).
What is the Lean Manufacturing Process?
The overall purpose of lean manufacturing is to help both the manufacturer and the seller by allowing the manufacturer to produce the correct amount of product ahead of time based on expected sales. This ensures that as soon as the client is ready for the next order, the product will be ready to ship. This model protects against costly hang-ups which would leave the client without products on the shelf.
This concept of lean manufacturing is to eliminate wasteful practices while delivering increased value; waste equals loss of money in business. It requires a shift in thinking to approach efficiency from this vantage point, rather than always striving for larger and faster production.
How Does a Molder Successfully Achieve This Process?
If you embrace the entire concept and do not cherry pick the parts that are quick and easy, you will most certainly experience improvements in your operations.
The first step is to eliminate direct waste, such as wait times and unnecessarily moving goods and materials. Direct waste can lead to unproductive work hours for employees, slow production lines and underutilizing the machines in the shop. If you analyze every step of your production line for wait times and material movement, you can eliminate unnecessary procedures and achieve the comprehensive purpose of lean manufacturing.
One of the most important aspects of achieving lean manufacturing is the elimination of mistakes, and a common mistake is failing to meet customer requirements. This then requires you to use extra materials and labor to make the correction of the product, ending in disrupting the manufacturing line and creating outputs of questionable quality.
Lean manufacturing improves the process by analyzing each mistake, what problems it caused, and make the corrections to eliminate repeat errors. These principles are simple in application but require full employee participation and relentless attention to detail to succeed. Even a partial implementation can benefit manufacturing operations and improve performance by reducing waste. This will ultimately eradicate errors on the production line while reducing costs and increasing quality.
This model has served many of our clients successfully over the years with the production of their parts. At Midstate, we are able to handle a wide variety of jobs which greatly range in both their industries, quality of plastics, and the number of pieces produced. If you’re interested in implementing the lean manufacturing process for your project and want to learn how, make sure to contact the experts at Midstate Mold.