Lean manufacturing – How Technology can contribute to increase yield in a cabinet shop

It’s standard practice: cabinet makers carefully plan to cut the most parts from a board or panel. This step to increasing yield has an immediate impact on profit, by reducing materials costs.

You can also enhance yield across an entire production operation, by adopting Lean Manufacturing. Lean maximizes productivity in any step of production – from parts cutting to assembly – by identifying wasted steps, eliminating any action that does not add value to the cabinet being produced.

In a Lean Manufacturing operation, each team member is taught to focus on ways to reduce wasteful motions or actions – for example, putting tools away exactly where they belong, oriented right side up and in the proper direction for use. Over time, such small steps – communicated to the entire team by individual workers – add up to continuous improvement in productivity, the essence of Lean.

Now Lean Manufacturing approach can also be coupled with computer operations, to apply reduce operational waste. Think of the frequently wasted time and effort in:

  • looking for a part when building a kitchen cabinet
  • excess inventory of cabinet components
  • holding a project while waiting for a part to be fabricated
  • wasted motion in physically transporting reports around the plant

Recent advances in technology, including the introduction of Management Execution Systems (MES) such as WEB-CAB’s Production Assistant, are enhancing the process of Lean Manufacturing, by collecting data directly from many points across the production floor – then sharing the data throughout the plant. Production Assistant give real time status and location of every project in the plant. It even turns individual cabinet parts into data points by labeling them as soon as they are fabricated, or when they arrive from outside providers. Once in the system, their location is always known.

Production Assistant provides instantaneous status reports on work in process to help shop managers reduce waste, unneeded movement, and waiting time, obtaining maximum yield from all resources – employees, machinery, and square footage.

Learn more about how WEB-CAB Production Assistant supports Lean Manufacturing at www.web-cab.com