Is your EMS into Lean Manufacturing ?

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean Manufacturing is a system designed to optimize productivity by generating maximum value at the lowest cost and in the fastest, most efficient way. It uses only the resources that are needed to provide customers with what is valuable in their opinion. The idea of lean manufacturing is to maximize customer satisfaction while minimizing waste. Create more, with less. In order to achieve this type of manufacturing system, lean electronic manufacturing companies will use tools and equipment that allow for reduction of stocks and occupied areas. Those lean EMS providers will optimize versatile human resources, which increases efficiency. The aim is not to reduce the number of employees, but the costs and cycle time.

Lean manufacturing is often put forward in electronic contract manufacturing companies with two methods: Jidoka or JIT. The JIDOKA method focuses more on quality than productivity. It aims to identify and/or prevent any problem quickly. Lean manufacturing contractors using this method will opt for technology that stops working at any sign of defect, thus preventing useless production and waste. Operators are also formed to manage any technology, which increases productivity. On the other hand, the JIT (Just-In-Time) method focuses on doing only what is needed, when needed, in the required amount of time needed. The main goal is to completely eliminate waste.


8 Waste sources eliminated in lean EMS

Electronic manufacturing companies that go lean have one common goal in mind: getting rid of eight wasteful manufacturing processes which don’t add value. This helps minimize the stock and optimize sales and benefits.

Here are the top 8 processes lean EMSs avoid in order to achieve their goals

  • Useless transportation of unnecessary products
  • Overstocking the resources and unused finished products
  • Unnecessary back-and-forth of the employees in their workplace
  • Waiting time caused by inefficient organization or preparation of the products
  • Overproduction caused by lost items or fear of breakage
  • Non-productive use of employee skills caused by lack of motivation
  • Manufacturing defects increasing the need for retouch or replacement
  • Unnecessary added value


The advantages of opting for lean EMS

By choosing a lean EMS partner, you reduce the manufacturing costs of your product, which can reduce the final selling price, or increase your margin! As the teams in lean manufacturing work upstream to analyze each problem in production, or each complaint, the system allows for better quality and less customer feedback. It optimizes the processes, providing on-time delivery. Even though wages will be higher than in “low cost” countries, lean electronic manufacturing services help keep a local service. The general idea of lean EMS is to create a partnership between suppliers and customers, focusing on the customer values and how much they are willing to pay for those values. That partnership exists thanks to process optimization, which increases efficient responsiveness.

All in all, lean manufacturing optimizes the use of all available productive resources and focuses on increasing capacity while reducing costs and cycle time. Not every company is ready to make the jump into lean manufacturing or even lean management, but opting for a lean EMS is certainly a good way to start and see the benefits of this paradigm early on. Asteelflash is proud to provide its partners with cutting edge lean electronic manufacturing services. Contact us to collaborate on your next project!

Asteelflash will exhibit at IPC APEX Expo in San Diego, Jan 29-31

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