Lean principles in manufacturing are guidelines to assist manufacturers in reducing waste and streamlining production efficiency. D&M Plastics is an early adopter of lean principles, which has allowed us to transform our organizational culture and operations. As a result, we are an industry leader in sustainable and efficient manufacturing approaches.

What Are Lean Principles?

Originating from the Toyota Production System, lean principles focus on minimizing waste while maximizing value for customers. The five core principles of lean manufacturing are value, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection, all of which improve the efficiency of the production process. Manufacturers can also improve the quality of their products and reduce operating expenses by adopting lean principles. Established companies like General Electric and Toyota have successfully adopted lean principles and set new benchmarks of excellence for manufacturers in every industry.

The Cultural Aspect of Lean at D&M

At D&M Plastics, lean principles are more than just guidelines for manufacturing. We embrace them as a philosophy and integrate them into everyday operations. Our daily lean meetings allow employees to share how they have implemented lean ideas to eliminate waste, as well as discuss new ways to improve efficiency in their departments. Our decision-making is guided by lean principles, influencing everything from supplier selection to creating production schedules.

Since adopting the principles of lean manufacturing, we have discussed over 12,000 lean ideas and implemented 85% of them, with more actively being developed for future adoption.

How to Implement Lean Principles in Your Manufacturing Process

  1. Conduct an audit of your current manufacturing processes to find inefficiencies and waste.
  2. Focus on employee empowerment by educating and encouraging the use of lean principles. For example, our Lean Training Program teaches employees various lean methodologies. We also request feedback and ideas from staff and implement their ideas the same day, if possible. This approach encourages employees to actively engage with lean ideas and put those ideas into practice. This feedback loop also enhances our efficiency over time, minimizing downtime as much as possible.
  3. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) continuously to ensure proper implementation of lean principles.

Challenges and Solutions

Resistance to change can often be a challenge to implementing lean principles. Employees accustomed to older methods may be reluctant to adopt new methods. At D&M Plastics, we encourage employees to adopt new methods by involving them in the decision-making process, allowing them to be stakeholders in adopting and implementing lean principles.

Strong leadership is crucial in overcoming adoption challenges. Our leadership at D&M is committed to fostering and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement.

Ready to Go Lean? Transform Your Manufacturing With D&M Today!

The five lean principles in manufacturing guide the production efficiency and culture of a manufacturing facility. At D&M Plastics, we implement lean principles in our everyday operations, from holding daily lean meetings to offering lean training programs. While it can be challenging for employees to adopt lean principles at first, strong leadership and employee engagement work hand in hand to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Founded in 1972, D&M Plastics delivers superior quality plastics with fast turnarounds. We can meet the design parameters of the most complex projects, all while upholding the principles of lean manufacturing and our commitment to environmental sustainability. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about our services and lean principles in manufacturing.