Ancar goes Lean!
In 2018, long before the current covid19 pandemic started, we decided that it was time to make some changes in our production and purchasing department in order to be able to deliver your dental units faster but without compromising the excellent quality of our units. That same year we started looking for companies who could help us reach those goals. In 2019, Ancar decided to take a leap together with LEANBOX in Barcelona and to start the long process of becoming a lean and eventually more agile company, by implementing the principles of lean manufacturing.
But what is lean manufacturing?
Manufacturing has changed a lot since the 1950s when Toyota Motor Company of Japan introduced the concept of implementing an integrated process to more efficiently manage equipment, materials and its workforce throughout the production cycle. Over time, this technique allowed Toyota to deliver more reliable, higher-quality products faster — and at a lower cost — than other mass produced automakers. This is called lean manufacturing.
The term lean manufacturing refers to the application of “Lean” practices, principles, and tools to the development and manufacture of physical products. Many manufacturers are using Lean manufacturing principles to eliminate waste, optimize processes, cut costs, boost innovation, and reduce time to market in a fast-paced, volatile, ever-changing global marketplace.
In a nutshell, lean manufacturing is a philosophical and methodological approach that strives to provide ever-increasing value to the customer through total employee involvement in the reduction of non-value-added activities and their associated costs. It affects every layer of the company, from management, to marketing and sales, to R&D, to the purchasing department and of course production.
But, when a company decides to go lean, another principle becomes very important: KAIZEN. Kaizen (Japanese for Continuous Improvement) is a strategy where employees at all levels of a company work together proactively to achieve regular, incremental improvements to the manufacturing process. In a sense, it combines the collective talents within a company to create a powerful engine for improvement.
Another principle is called KANBAN. Kanban is a workflow management method for defining, managing and improving services that deliver knowledge work. It aims to help you visualize your work, maximize efficiency, and improve continuously. From Japanese, kanban is translated as billboard or signboard. The Kanban Method helps gradually improve the delivery of products and services. It does so by helping eliminate bottlenecks in the system, improve flow and reduce cycle time. It results in more continuous deliveries and faster feedback to make any changes that may be needed.