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Lean Facility Design: Benefits Plenty!

  • By faber
  • May 19, 2014

While taking a Gemba (real workplace) Walk at India’s largest bone china manufacturer, huge scope of improvement was foreseen by the transformation project team. Having said that, it is noteworthy that the client has massive space, excellent products and some big names in the kitty to cater in the bone china market. As a part of the transformation journey towards world-class setup, the project team rolled out the Lean Facility Design (LFD) exercise.

What is Lean Facility Design (LFD)?

1. Unique toolkit (methodology) developed by Faber Infinite, which supports organizations to build Best In Class factory layout. This methodology if implemented, assures that the new plant becomes most efficient from Day Zero.
2. This methodology is applicable for organizations, which are coming up with new plants, revising layouts or expanding current setup.

Why Lean Facility Design (LFD)?
  • To prevent all inefficiencies from entering in to new plant
  • To get best in class manpower productivity
  • To lower the total throughput time (time taken for raw material receipt to finished goods delivery)
  • To achieve optimum space utilisation
  • To work with optimum inventory levels (ensuring no overstocking as well as zero shortages)

Team Faber Infinite initiated the 14 – Step LFD rollout with value stream identification and value stream mapping. Value stream mapping a step-by-step paper & pencil tool that helps you to see and understand the flow of material and information as a product or service makes its way through the value stream. Value stream mapping is basically a visual snapshot of the operations. It is the preferred methodology for identifying the inherent waste and losses within an operation.

The LFD rollout further focuses on optimal layout design considering aspects like flow design, capacity calculations, manpower and equipment planning, material (and scrap) handling. The design phase concludes with visualization and risk assessment exercise.

Snapshot of Benefits Delivered:

The manpower productivity was one of the major benefits where production per person per month improved by 112%, other parameters like throughput times and value adding ratio showed significant improvements of almost 80%. In addition, the inventory at various stages was reduced from 90 days to as low as 15 days.

The application of LFD principles easily integrates the traditional approach to designing a Lean facility. Lean will help to set clear performance metrics at the outset of the exercise to ensure that the facility is capable of meeting the needs of the organization as it grows and evolves. Moreover, in so doing the challenges associated with culture change can be avoided. It will enable the move to make best practice as standard practice.

Written & Adapted by: Anand Bhattad & Aakash Borse