Lean Manufacturing: 4 Ways to Minimize Scrap

Any amount of rework or scrap in lean manufacturing points to an opening for improvement. The biggest challenge is realizing the source of the problem. Once the root cause is determined, lean manufacturers can achieve improved levels of scrap minimization. If proper minimizing is not carried out, manufacturers can get stuck in a never-ending loop of solving numerous symptoms caused by the issue without essentially coming to a resolution; one that can save them money and enhance their cash flow.

4 Ways to Reduce Scrap

While it is almost impossible to completely remove scrap and rework, there are certainly ways to reduce them.

1. Diminish scrap through documentation

Lean manufacturers can decrease scrap and rework in their factories or companies by optimizing the way they assess lean manufacturing processes, communicate engineering and manufacturing changes, as well as the way they document product data throughout their supply chain. If priority is granted to improving and assessing all the manufacturing processes, it can become a lot easier to decrease the quantity of scrap and rework.

2. Focus on manufacturing processes

Apart from documenting product data, lean manufacturers can help lessen scrap by constantly and cautiously monitoring how all their products are made. Even though it means taking a trip to the manufacturing floor, comprehending the entire process and how it is being put into practice on the manufacturing line is perhaps the best way for them to prevent any scrap costs from creeping up. At the same time, manufacturers can find ways to improve.

3. Managing and documentation changes go together

When manufacturing processes have been caught, assessed, and approved through a restricted documentation and release method, the risk of scrap is significantly condensed. To further minimize scrap, it is imperative that lean manufacturers log and improve the way they handle changes to their manufacturing procedure.

Given that scrap and rework can happen when changes are applied at the wrong division of a manufacturing course, it is crucial to communicate change information to all internal employees, supply chain, and key stakeholders. Additionally, it is essential to remove lag time amid making a decision and corresponding with stakeholders, as without any advanced notice in regards to forthcoming alterations, it is intricate to work together to improve production.

Overlooking this process can result in severe waste, and yet, numerous lean manufacturers continue to make this mistake.

4. How electronic and paper change methods match up to cutting scrap

Lean manufacturing is defined by constant product transformations and the increasing pressure to invent successful change management methods and processes that are solutions to averting scrap. While documenting all the changes is the primary step, an equally essential part of change administration is the effectual and continuing communications of change information.

Other areas to consider when looking to reduce waste is the type of injection mold system being used; typically either a hot-runner or cold-runner system. Cold runners are less expensive than hot runners and are easily maintained as well, but they tend to create more waste, which in-turn should be recycled if possible. Read more on the pros and cons of cold-runner vs hot-runner systems.

In order to preserve a competitive edge, all small and medium-sized lean manufacturers must frequently find ways to cut down expenses and enhance their competence. One way to save money and time is by avoiding scrap and rework. It is crucial for any lean manufacturer to consider following all the aforementioned ways to fully minimize their scrap.