Lean Line Design Introduction

lean line designLine design is one of the best ways to get bottom line savings quickly with Lean.  A Lean line design is the process used to streamline a process to remove waste but doing it systematically.  Here are some terms you need to know before we get into how to do a Lean line design.

  • Takt Time – The pace we need units to come off the production line.  It is calculated by dividing the production time (usually in seconds) by the units required over that same time period.
  • Waste – Defined by the 7 wastes – (TIM WOOD) Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over Production, Over Processing, Defects.
  • Machine Time – Time associated with a machine to complete a task.
  • Operator Time – Time a human operator takes to complete a task.
  • Drop-off Time – For areas with multiple stations this is the time you expect a unit to come out of the area.  For example if you have three machines cutting sheet metal templates and each machine takes 300 seconds then we can expect a unit out once every 100 seconds.  The drop off time would be 100 seconds.
  • Throughput Time – The total time a unit takes from start to finish.
  • Cycle Time – The time it takes for one station in one area to finish it’s task.  It combines machine time and operator time.
  • Value Add Time – The amount of time at each station that is not wasteful.
  • Work element – The smallest unit of work that can be transferred to another person.

Let’s take a look at the overall process below:

  1. Current state
  2. Initial future state
  3. Line requirements
  4. Station Layout
  5. Testing
  6. Materials flow
  7. Daily Managment

Each step is critical in getting the results you want when doing a Lean Transformation.  Many times people will skip the line requirements and it will cause problems in your process.  A typical line design you can get 30-100% increase in efficiency in producing your product as well as reducing your costs structure.  It’s not uncommon to turn a cost center (like a repair facility) and turn it into a profit center (outsourced repair center).


Related Posts

Leading a Lean Transformation Part I

Leading a Lean Transformation Part II

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