Weighing Improves Production In Lean Manufacturing

From the METTLER TOLEDO Manufacturing News 16

Tackle the Seven Wastes of Lean

Lean ManufacturingWe all have been preached the power of Lean Manufacturing – high-quality product, more punctual deliveries and a significant reduction in stock inventories. Sounds great, right? Well, it is, if your business can manage to address the seven wastes of Lean Manufacturing.

When manufacturing hundreds of parts and components, the cost of production defines your competitiveness and your success with customers. While parts and components differ among the factories where they are produced, the typical wastes found in discrete manufacturing environments do not. With weighing, you can eliminate the root causes of the common sources of waste.

The definition of Lean Manufacturing is a process-management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System. It identifies seven wastes to be avoided in a modern, efficient production process. Wastes such as over-production, product defects and unnecessary transportation time stem from inefficient and disharmonious production processes.

Scales and balances not only fulfill their weighing task within the process; they also contribute to process improvements on the shop floor. Let’s take an in depth look at the wastes of lean and how weighing can prevent them.

  1. Transport Time

lean manufacturing transport-puzzleLean ManufacturingTransporting products during production is a cost that adds no value to the product. Save time in warehousing and production with mobile counting. Simply put compact scales on trollies and transmit data wirelessly. This will facilitate a 98 percent reduction in walking. To weigh bigger loads, use a pallet truck scale to move and weigh goods at the same time.

  1. Unnecessary Inventory

Lean ManufacturingLean ManufacturingReduce your inventory, Make your warehouse lean. Weigh deliveries from supplies right at the receiving department. The weighing data gives you an overview about date, time and quality of goods that entered your facility. You can keep track of your stock items by counting them when they enter the warehouse, or upon production. Count smallest quantities of high value goods with high-precision counting scales, or verify complete batches with floor or pallet scales.

  1. Unnecessary Motion

Lean ManufacturingUnnecessary motion includes operator movements that are not related or required for the processing of a product. That kind of motion not only sacrifices your production efficiency, but also results in increased labor costs, injuries and accidents. To avoid those issues, scales can be installed and terminals can be mounted in various ways to fit the operator and workplace for more ergonomic motion.

  1. Waiting

Lean ManufacturingWhenever products are not moving or being processed, wasteful waiting occurs. We are dedicated to helping you speed-up weighing tasks for high throughput even in manual assembly. Therefore, our scales are equipped with the colorWeight® display function that indicates weighing results using a simple color code. This increases handling speed by 30 percent, and reduces misreading’s to zero. Lean ManufacturingYou may also have to wait for scale data to upload. To ensure that weighing data gets to every scale on the shop floor as quickly as possible, we recommend using databICS software and WLAN, both of which provide easy data management and fast distribution.

  1. Inappropriate procession

Lean ManufacturingUsing the right weighing equipment for your processes is important for product quality. Using the wrong weighing equipment can lead to poor quality, product defects and rework. Significant monetary loss can occur over time. Scales have to fit your application, tolerances and work environment. Select the right scale for your production with GWP®.


  1. Overproduction

Lean ManufacturingProducing too many parts and components may result in high storage cost. Weigh production output at the end of your production line to know the right time to stop producing. This not only saves you money, but it also allows you to verify stock quantities more easily. With scale-assisted parts counting, you can also improve your intra-logistics and supply your shop-floor workstations with the exact material counts.

What works for your processes can also satisfy your customers. Use scale-assisted packing to ensure precise package counts. Fulfill your shipments while the box is placed on a scale to eliminate under – or over-filling.

  1. Defects and rework

Lean ManufacturingLean ManufacturingChecking quality using scales is a simple method for avoiding costly recalls due to damaged or incomplete products. Place a product on a scale or weigh module, and check for completeness against a preset target. With that, you can identify out-of-spec products quickly and reliably in manual or automated processes.

Further Information

For more information about Lean Manufacturing visit: www.mt.com/ind-lean-manufacturing-ma