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George Gemeinhardt Explains Lean Manufacturing


Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of maximizing productivity while minimizing waste. Waste is considered anything that doesn’t add value to the consumer or final product.

George Gemeinhardt is a retired manufacturing manager who focused on lean manufacturing principles. Today, he’s here to explain lean manufacturing.

Eliminating Waste

Eliminating waste is the core principle of lean manufacturing. This allows the company to continually improve its processes and deliver the highest level of value to the customer.

Waste can include processes, activities, products, and services that require resources but don’t add value to the consumer.

Examples of waste include misusing or underusing talent, ineffective procedures, material waste, and excess inventory.

Benefits of Lean Manufacturing

George Gemeinhardt notes that there are four basic benefits of lean manufacturing.

These benefits are:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Improving quality
  • Reducing costs
  • Reducing time
  • Eliminating Waste
  • Waste can have several costs. These can include time, personnel resources, space, energy drains, and deadlines.

Improving Quality

Continually focusing on quality improvement helps to keep a business competitive. It also fosters customer loyalty and improves the company’s reputation.

Reducing Costs

Cost reduction is a key part of lean manufacturing. You can reduce costs by eliminating waste and improving processes.

Reducing Time

You’ve heard the phrase time is money. This is true when it comes to manufacturing. Reducing the time used also reduces waste and increases production.

5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

  • Value
  • Mapping the value stream
  • Create flow
  • Establish a pulling system
  • Kaizen (Perfection)
  • Value is considered from the perspective of the consumer. The aim is to balance the cost of the product or service while maximizing profit, according to George Gemeinhardt.

Mapping the value stream requires identifying the resources needed to produce a product. Then, identify any waste and improvements that can be made.

Creating flow means removing any barriers to harmony and productivity. Processes should flow easily from one to the next.

A pull system requires manufacturing or completing processes based on demand rather than forecasts.

Lastly, Kaizen, which is Japanese for perfection. This means continuing to improve your processes and reducing waste in the pursuit of perfection. This should be a part of the company culture.

Lean Manufacturing History

The ideas behind lean manufacturing have existed for a few hundred years. However, Benjamin Franklin made the ideas concrete in Poor Richard’s Almanac.

He stated that reducing waste could be more beneficial to a company than increasing sales. The idea was then expanded on by others, including Henry Ford.

Later, owners of the Toyota Company further streamlined lean manufacturing and gave it its name.

George Gemeinhardt

Growing up in Chicago, George Gemeinhardt attended Lane University, which is well known for its manufacturing programs. Lane University also stressed extracurricular activities, which fostered a strong love of music in Gemeinhardt. He went on to attend the Musical College of Roosevelt.

He was employed by NN Inc., which focuses on creating high-quality products. Over the years, he helped establish the company around the world.

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