Utilizing a Lean Layout in Your Manufacturing Space

    Utilizing a Lean Layout in Your Manufacturing Space

    By Walt Tarpley, Vice President of Client Services for Manex

    Improving work processes and productivity is a central goal for all manufacturers in northern California. A LEAN layout in your manufacturing space is one of the most effective and proven approaches to space management. Whether attempting to make better use of an existing space or planning a move into a new space, manufacturers need to consider:

    1. How much space do you really need?
    2. What is your optimal configuration?
    3. How will you scale future growth?

    While many problems can be solved with a liberal application of money, that is usually a poor choice.   You do not want a bigger version of your old footprint with all of your old problems. You want improvements, but how do you know which ones to choose? And how do you know the capacity a site can support?  How many people will you really need in this layout?  How will your logistics costs be affected? How will you know what to expect of your people in a new layout?  How much raw material inventory do you really need?  How long will this new layout or facility need to last?

    Manex’s expert consultants design site layout plans utilizing Lean manufacturing principles. Through our collaborative process, we design ideal flow and calculate space requirements. Our best practice model examines current equipment and process routings and considers technology and equipment alternatives to achieve desired productivity gains in the new space.  A primitive layout, sufficient for initial architectural design, is distilled from our best practice model and your business capacity plan.

    In the second phase, your team will design work cells.  A physical walk-through of your future workstation layout helps team-members envision and experience their future workspace. Through engagement to refine their workspace, you increase team buy-in and build excitement for the transition.  Manex’s verification process reduces your risks of poor implementation by creating a common vision of success, which reduces site prep rework waste.  A key output to architects enables better utilities planning, and shorter timelines to implement your layout, resulting in fewer change orders, and a shorter timeline to implement your new layout.

    Manex lean consultants can help you make the most efficient use of your manufacturing space. Contact Manex for a complimentary consultation at 925-807-5100 or email info@manexconsulting.com.

    Learn more about reducing waste and increasing profits with Lean manufacturing.

    About the Author

    Walt Tarpley has over 25 years of extensive manufacturing experience and expertise in general management, manufacturing operations, quality systems, engineering, and continuous improvement initiatives, including Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. As an experienced change agent, he has led numerous process improvement initiatives resulting in top-line and bottom-line growth across a range of industry sectors and geographies, in 40 U.S. states, South Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Europe and the United Kingdom. Walt can be reached at wtarpley@manexconsulting.com.


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