Using Lean Manufacturing to Reduce Waste

Reducing Waste in the Glass Industry Using Lean Manufacturing

How much waste is in your business?  For example, do your employees ever have to wait for someone else to finish a task before they can get on with their own work? Do you have breakage during transport? Do you have wasted materials from inaccurate cutting?

The bottom line is that waste costs your business money.

So, how can you reduce waste and do things more efficiently? At the heart of lean manufacturing principles are these core concepts:

  • To view work as a process
  • To identify and maximize value of your product for the customer
  • To improve the process by minimizing/eliminating waste

For this article, we are going to focus on reducing waste in your glass shop floor.  Waste is anything that doesn’t add value to the end product. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to identify areas of waste:

  • Overproduction– Are you producing more than consumers demand?
  • Waiting– How much lag time is there between production steps?
  • Transportation– Do you move materials efficiently?
  • Motion– Do people and equipment move between tasks efficiently?
  • Defects– How much time do you spend finding and fixing production mistakes?
  • Workforce– Do you use workers efficiently?

Wakefield Equipment offers a variety of products designed to help eliminate waste. Some ideas to consider investing in include:

  • Dollies/Racks: Reduce your transportation waste by utilizing dollies and racks that are designed to help you efficiently move products throughout your glass shop. You’ll reduce your overall breakage and improve the amount of time wasted moving delicate glass products.
  • TigerStop: With TigerStop, you can automate your machinery to eliminate human error and to quickly produce the exact number of parts needed. You’ll also reduce costly measuring errors that lead to wasted materials.
  • Tables: Wakefield offers a variety of tables that can reduce the amount of time needed to create a product. Air float tables are ideal for cutting and moving glass.  Our door barrel system makes it easy to access both sides of any door or window without breaking your back. Can be built to work manually, or fully-automatic.
  • Stretch Wrappers: Wrapping windows is a very unique process and is a necessity for safe transportation of windows. Wakefield offers reliable and economical stretch wrappers from manufacturers who know this particular market and build stretch wrappers solely for windows. If you would like to see videos showing our different stretch wrapper models in action, visit our video gallery.

By incorporating lean manufacturing ideas and investing in products to support that goal, you can significantly reduce your waste and improve your ROI. Contact Wakefield Equipment today to see what products can help your glass business.