Lean manufacturing is a concept that’s been around for decades, begging the question “Was there ever fat manufacturing?”
All kidding aside, as a “new” idea at the time, hundreds of industrial manufacturers embraced the concept and attempted to adapt. Challenges to success at the time: Corporate leaders weren’t convinced it would work; company cultures weren’t conducive to change; minimal communication with the workers on the factory production floor who could make it work.
We know that easily understandable ideas, simply communicated, have a way of catching on. At its core, Lean manufacturing is simply an everyday habit to be developed and embraced. It might start with a simple focus on reducing waste. This could lead to optimized processes and efficiency by re-thinking workflows to improve productivity. Taking the time to step back & look is critical; common sense becomes extremely valuable.
Fast forward to today and learn what’s changed…
While the Lean manufacturing concept remains (mostly) unchanged, we now have a workforce and environment driven by digital technology. Make no mistake, the digital revolution is here and it’s driving the embrace of Lean manufacturing by providing real time tools and information. The basic objective remains the same: optimize all processes to dramatically improve ROI .
Joining the digital revolution isn’t just smart, it’s critical for success in the future. The power of digital and its ability to uncover unknown problems and opportunities cannot be overstated. Once that information is known, applying the basic principles of Lean manufacturing will lead to process improvement and greater productivity.
In our current climate, Lean manufacturing has received major enhancement push by way of robotic automation. The aforementioned digital revolution produced technological advances in automation that now work hand-in-hand with the needs of countless industries ranging from all aspects of industrial manufacturing to warehousing, hospitals, and beyond. Consider companies like FANUC, the world leader in industrial robotics & collaborative robots. By designing robots that can both handle repetitive tasks AND work safely alongside workforce, a facility sees a new phase of lean principles take shape.
These advancements improve efficiencies, yes. They enhance safety & productivity. They also allow a production facility the opportunity to gain back valuable real estate by condensing the size of end-of-line cells. How? By eliminating the need for large conveyor systems and that can be done by implementing autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to your process. The combination of FANUC robots and autonomous mobile robots from manufacturers like Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) not only transforms a production facility, but it also changes how we view lean manufacturing in general. Fortunately, there are robotic integrators like Ohio’s RōBEX who are bringing such solutions and much more.
RōBEX is a nationally-known certified automation integrator that fully embraces lean manufacturing concepts. They work every day to optimize manufacturing processes though robotic automation, but also by analyzing workflow on behalf of customers that manufacture, assemble, package, warehouse and ship a wide variety of goods. “We speak digital and can help you apply lean manufacturing principles in your plant through robotic automation” shared their President Craig Francisco. “Lean principles, which crucial to maximizing productivity, still need to evolve with technology. That’s where we come into play. Our team is comprised of some of the brightest, most experienced minds in automation & engineering. We see a vision for customers to have the ‘full robotic experience’, where they utilize any variety of FANUC robots and AMRs to alleviate those repetitive functions that take away from the efficiency needed to meet production schedules.”
To learn more, contact RōBEX today.