Lean Manufacturing or advanced information systems?

Less (waste) is better is the slogan of Lean Manufacturing and More (data) is better is the slogan of information systems.

For over twenty years Lean Manufacturing and information systems were considered two antithetical approaches.

The Lean Manufacturing approach focuses on the optimization of flows (materials and information) that cross the business system in order to create more added value for the customer with the least work (waste) possible.

Advanced information systems help people to employ all the resources involved in manufacturing processes in a smarter and more connected way.

In recent years companies noticed that, in order to create greater value for the customer by identifying and eliminating waste, it becomes essential to know. The knowledge derives from the continuous acquisition in real time of detailed data on:

  • availability and consumptions of raw materials, semifinished product and products in the warehouses;
  • state of individual machines and equipment;
  • development of orders in progress;
  • incongruities between operator declarations and data recorded by sensors and identification systems.

The ability to capture data in real time and directly from departmental workstations allows entrepreneurs to optimize manufacturing processes according to Lean Manufacturing:

  • data acquisition about costs (labor, scrap, downtime and maintenance);
  • cycle time and production lead time;
  • levels of WIP and unproductive activities;
  • quality of the products with a consequent reduction of scrap and rework;
  • management and forecasting of indirect activities (maintenance);
  • operator workability leveraging automated data acquisition;
  • creation of a system of traceability and traceability for all information and materials that pass through the business system;
  • energy consumption;
  • planning and delivery management.

To achieve customized solutions in support of Lean Manufacturing, AEC Soluzioni offers jpiano®, a next-generation software platform designed and developed in its laboratories in Turin.