Polaris MEP Project Manager Ted Kennedy spoke with Susan Shalhoub of the Providence Business News about how Lean Manufacturing tools and techniques can be used to improve both workflow and workspace, with thoughtful plant layouts.
“PBN: What is an example of how lean methodology can improve productivity in plant layout creation?
Plant layout is a good example of where Polaris MEP helps clients pick and use the right lean tools to manage workflow and workspace.
The first step is to gather production volume and material movement data along with forecasted future volumes. We use the data to determine an approximate location in the building for each operation or department. The departments that have the smallest amount of current and future material movement could then be relocated in the back of the building, away from the shipping and receiving area.
The operations with the highest material flow volume go closest to Shipping and Receiving. The same is done with material storage. Something you need often in Shipping and Receiving would be stored close by, reducing steps and speeding up turnaround. These lean layout changes cut down on labor in a building – it makes the team leaner in how much it handles materials.”