March 19, 2018


Emma Bird

"Our state-of-the-art equipment offers lightning fast turnaround times, and we specialize in offering our clients zero-defect precision on all orders."

Manufacturing precision metal parts requires precision equipment, and precision design. As the market matures for products, it becomes increasingly important to manufacture them faster and cheaper.

One important component of lean manufacturing is Just-in-Time (JIT) delivery. With a JIT system, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) coordinate with their suppliers to receive deliveries at the beginning of each production run so that they don’t have the expense of storing parts or raw materials. JIT systems offer the ultimate in efficiency for OEMs, but they require companies to be highly organized with their ordering systems, and they require suppliers to deliver the materials on time, every time.

At Central Tube and Bar, we’ve been providing quality CNC bending services and CNC laser cutting services for two decades and counting, and we specialize in JIT delivery. Our state-of-the-art equipment offers lightning fast turnaround times, and we specialize in offering our clients zero-defect precision on all orders.

The overall goal of lean manufacturing is finding and eliminating waste in the process by looking closely at each individual step.

Break down each job into a series of observable steps

This is usually pretty easy, but many manufacturers initially find it a little challenging to write down each step of procedures that they do frequently. Your team should leave no stone unturned, and no detail is unimportant.

Examine each step in detail

Now that you have your data, look at it together, and search for procedures that waste time or resources, and find ways to improve. Your line operators should be allowed to speak their mind at all times, and the focus should be on constant improvement.

Implement the new procedures and monitor the results

You shouldn’t implement too many changes at once, and you should always reserve judgment on a change’s success or failure until you’ve implemented it enough times to make an informed decision.

The way that it works is simple: each time that we get an order, we begin by examining the blueprints from top to bottom. We think about the steps that we took to complete similar orders, and apply that experience to develop ways to do the job quicker or more inexpensively.

For example, we might be able to shorten the length of a production run by performing certain operations in a different order, or by making small design modifications that use less parts or less expensive materials.

But it doesn’t stop there. As the production run begins, we keep collecting information so that we can look critically at each step of the process. If we can clearly see that one of our changes has made a difference, we apply that change to future orders. Most importantly, we want to improve turnaround times, while continuing to meet the exact specifications for each order. 

Our CNC machinery can be configured to automatically perform multiple operations that used to take multiple machines and/or manual operations, and the data that we collect helps us get the maximum benefit from our machinery. It also saves our clients money!

Lean manufacturing is a great way to pull a team together, and it’s amazing what a difference small improvements can make if you make enough of them. If you have questions about lean manufacturing, contact us online, or give us a call at (501) 450-7750.

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