EDCO Blog

Top 10 Lean Manufacturers

Constant Improvement

An interesting post on manufacturingglobal.com lists their Top 10 Lean Manufacturing companies around the world.  You know most of the names – but not all.

Lean Manufacturing or lean production, means something different to every manufacturer that practices it.  The common definition is “a systemic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing process. Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden and waste created through unevenness in work loads. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, “value” is any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.”

The origins of Lean are often debated.  Some say Henry Ford first developed it in the early 1900s.  Many say Lean originated in Japan.  Regardless its start, Toyota made modern day Lean famous.  Practicing Lean principles helped Toyota become one of the world’s largest car manufactures.

EDCO views Lean as constantly improving its relationship with customers/partners.  Its principles have helped EDCO become more efficient, allowing us to deliver high-quality products and services when our customers want them.

TOP 10 LEAN Manufacturers according to manufacturingglobal.com:

10. Nike

The super-cool clothing company worked with NGOs and fellow manufacturers on sustainability projects. They worked with the Fair Labor Association to create performance indicators and sustainable sourcing and launched the Sustainable Apparel Coalition with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other manufacturers, and in the process saved money on energy and waste materials.

9. Kimberley-Clark Corporation

The Makers of Kleenex recently outsourced logistics at its Barton Mill UK plant to leading Lean thinkers, Unipart. Before this, staff at the plant resented the long shifts and overtime and absenteeism was at 10 percent. Unipart got Kimberley-Clark to spend on enhanced staff engagement and development, meaning they saved on staff absenteeism and through an improvement in efficiency brought about by better staff morale.

8. Caterpillar Inc.

The US machinery manufacturers Caterpillar Production System is modelled after elements of the Toyota Production System. A key thing the company recognised is that pace is a critical aspect of Lean integration, if projects take too long to complete, they will fail. Projects must be quickly implemented, and far reaching, to be successful.

7. Intel

Intel is the world’s largest computer chip maker. Joe Foley, factory manager at Intel Fab Operations in Leixlip, Ireland, said: “Five years ago, it took us 14 weeks to introduce a new chip to our factory; now it takes 10 days. We were the first Intel factory to achieve these times using Lean principles.”

6. Illinois Tool Works

Engineering manufacturer Illinois Works employs 65,000 people in its hundreds of businesses, but smaller is better when it some to implementing Lean principle. The company’s policy of extreme decentralisation, splitting into 365 units in 34 countries – leaving just 100 employees at headquarters, means its local units react far faster and more efficiently to customer needs……

Read the whole list here….

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