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Lean manufacturing

The Lean philosophy is part of Aqualectra’s policy. People, Planet and Profit (CSR) is well-supported through the execution of this policy. Lean, as the term suggests, stands for ‘slim’. The assumption is that all activities, resources, materials and processes within Aqualectra should result in added value for the customer.

LEAN THINKING

  • the customer and its products benefit from it
  • the product or service is being enhanced or improved by it
  • maintains flow throughout the processes
  • added value, the customer is willing to pay for it
  • it’s done right the first time
  • a pull (demand-driven) production system
  • respect employees (positive approach) and support them with ergonomic solutions

Lean Manufacturing achieves the optimization of the operating process by eliminating eight different types of waste from the process. This will result in an optimal flow which leads to improved lead time, higher quality and/or lower production costs per unit.

When necessary, related methods such as Six Sigma are used. Six sigma can provide a management framework for the continuous improvement of quality and applies the Lean approach to detect waste and enhances this process at the same time by creating numerical insight. Based on this insight, so statistically supported, very effective measures are taken and priorities are set. These have a positive effect on the quality, lead time and/or costs. Aqualectra has chosen to (temporary) take measurements to get insight.

TYPES OF WASTE

Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability.

Muda waste: systematic method for the elimination of waste created by activities that do not add value within the manufacturing system,

  • Type 1: no added value, but needed for correctly operating the system.
  • Type 2: no added value, not needed for operating the system. This type of waste is first in line to be eliminated.

Mura waste: waste created through unevenness in workloads.

Muri waste: waste created through overburden of people, machinery and systems.

5S method

  • sort (organise the working space, get rid of unnecessary items)
  • systematic arrangement (create a standard location for everything so it’s always easily found)
  • shine (keep everything clean and tidy, it will last longer)
  • standardize (creation of a system of keeping the best practises in place)
  • sustain (keep the working area clean and find ways to sustain that or to improve)

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