LEAN manufacturing software and Industry 4.0

LEAN manufacturing software – how it works with Industry 4.0

Lean manufacturing software based on Industry 4.0 principles can help you implement LEAN. Lean manufacturing, or LEAN, is the systematic elimination of waste (‘Muda’) within a manufacturing system. Lean manufacturing is derived from the Toyota Production System. Lean is centered on reducing anything that does not add value. ‘Value’ is any action or process that a customer will be willing to pay for. E.g., inspection and setup are necessary in manufacturing, but do not add value because the customer is not willing to pay for them. They are therefore waste.

Toyota Production System (TPS) concentrates on eliminating 3 types of waste, the Japanese words for which are: Muda, Mura, Muri. Muda means waste, uselessness or idleness.

Muda Type – I : Necessary non value-added activity (e.g, Inspection, setup). 

Muda Type -II : Unnecessary non value-added activity (e.g., inventory costs).
TPS lists 7 types of Muda:
1. Transport – moving products that are not actually required for a process
2. Inventory – all parts, work in process and finished parts not being processed
3. Motion – people or equipment moving or walking more than required for the process
4. Waiting – waiting for the next step in production
5.Overproduction – producing more than demand
6. Over processing – producing to higher accuracy, finish, etc. than required by customer
7. Defects – effort involved in inspecting and fixing defects

Mura means unevenness or irregularity. Mura is avoided through a Just in Time (JIT) system. Muri means unreasonableness, or beyond one’s power. E.g., carrying heavy weights, dangerous tasks, even working significantly faster than usual. It is pushing a person or a machine beyond natural or designed limits. This generally causes variations in a process. To reduce waste, you first need to know the quantum of waste and the causes.

Lean manufacturing software enables you to track waste at each machine caused by machine downtime and part rejections. The downtime could be due to a variety of reasons – operator absent, waiting for raw material, inspection, setup change, machine breakdown, etc. LEANworks Cloud tracks the instances, durations, and reasons for machine downtime, 24/7, and reports them.


Cotton candy all over the place

Of late, I’ve been seeing a lot of people selling cotton candy (candy floss) at traffic intersections in Bangalore. I don’t know how much money they make from other vehicles, but from our they make a lot – my family is full of cotton candy addicts. I must be the only person who can’t stand it (even though I have a terrible sweet tooth).

To make cotton candy, sugar is melted until it becomes a liquid. This liquid sugar is then spun in a machine in a central ring. The ring has tiny holes through which the liquid shoots out because of centrifugal force, and then instantly solidifies when it comes in contact with the outside air, forming a sugary cobweb of fine threads. You mix the sugar with favouring and a colouring agent to get various flavours and colours. I’ve only seen pink cotton candy ever. The pink of course comes from some ghastly chemical, not from fresh strawberries.

It has various different names in various countries, but I think my favourite is the name in France, barbe à papa, which means father’s beard. Cotton Candy was invented by a dentist called Dr. William Morrison in the US, in 1897. Great way of increasing business, Bill ! With the crazy rush hour traffic in Bangalore and the long lines of vehicles stuck at traffic signals, I’m sure the cotton candy wallahs do roaring business.

About his blog from LEANworx: Plug-and-play Industry 4.0 system for MSMEs.

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