As end users are becoming increasingly conscientious and less wasteful about the products they consume, many companies have begun analyzing their manufacturing efforts to identify and reduce waste, lag time, and inefficiencies. Victaulic, the leading manufacturer of pipe joining systems, and its Chairman, President & CEO John F. Malloy, are spearheading the campaign of driving lean principles into the modern age.
Lean manufacturing, or the method of minimizing waste within a manufacturing chain without sacrificing productivity, is common to see in many iterations. Lean manufacturing can enable manufacturing companies and their supply chain partners to become much more agile and adaptable to sudden changes, which facilitates delivering products to the end user faster, make swifter changes based on market demands, and remain ahead of competitors.
“American manufacturers are producing almost twice as much output today as we did 25 years ago,” commented John F. Malloy, CEO of Victaulic.“We are tasked to develop new systems to satisfy the changing landscape of manufacturing and the construction industry. It’s our duty to continue to do that for our customers, “ stated John Malloy. Many companies around the world have followed suit, implementing lean principles and new technology in their operations. Technologies like advanced industrial robotics and cloud-based software equip companies to automate their efforts and, further, see their manufacturing efforts in a new and better way.
Despite these lean advancements, it can be very difficult to implement into the larger supply chain as a whole, especially if it’s on a global scale. Moreover, this requires companies to take a strategic approach to aligning their practices for the future. So, this begs the question – can lean manufacturing change the manufacturing landscape even further to satisfy the modern manufacturing supply chain?
The short answer is yes. The foundational idea behind lean manufacturing is to reduce waste, and as more innovative technology emerges from new generations of manufacturing professionals, there is guaranteed to be a positive change. Lean principles allow companies to be highly flexible and equip organizations to adapt and implement critical changes Lean principles create significant opportunities for organizations to drive and support continued growth and improvement.
Here are a few ways that lean strategies are transforming the manufacturing industry.
The need for your products is not likely to change, but the end user’s commitment to finding products that are less wasteful will. Companies are becoming much more cognizant of this and looking for ways to continually reduce waste in their operations.
This is where we can see the most change occurring. Company and manufacturing leaders are analyzing their entire value streams to identify where there are inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. This allows for the end product to reach the end user faster and with less waste.
With improved flow, there is more room for quick turnaround times, which reduces the need for products to be built in advance or materials to be stocked. This eliminates the presence of expensive inventory that needs to be managed thus saving money for both the manufacturer as well as the end user.
The key to this step is to continuously seek out new ways to reduce waste and find innovative practices to incorporate into the five steps. This is the most important step in terms of modernization.
“I believe we are going to still be leaders in manufacturing, but it will come from a different approach,” Malloy said. “That approach will be automation, which has already driven production in the fields of farming and construction. In the future, it will continue to change the manufacturing industry and boost productivity,” commented John Malloy.
“Victaulic has been borrowing and implementing these technologies, including 3-D drawings, which change the way we design projects. 3-D printing is being used not just at Victaulic but by manufacturers throughout the nation,” John F. Malloy said.
Lean practices foster new ways for manufacturing companies to work towards a more sustainable future for their operations and supply chain. With lean principles as their guide, manufacturing companies around the world will ensure their growth and prosperity, while allowing themselves to be nimble enough to accommodate changes as they will inevitably be required over time.