What if Waste is the Source of Your Waste in Lean Manufacturing?

Lean Manufacturing

There are many forms of waste that arise in complex processes of production. Not only will you send waste to the landfill, but you’ll also find waste in your water and electricity resources, as well as in every phase of the production line and in defective products. These are just a few of the wastes that necessitate the lean manufacturing philosophy that has become the norm throughout the industrial world, in which leaders aim to reduce all streams of waste throughout production.

When we think of waste, we typically think of garbage and yet in lean manufacturing models, actual landfill-bound waste isn’t part of the consideration. Should it be central to the lean manufacturing model? Reducing landfill waste does indeed save a company money in logistics and possibly purchasing, as well as other valuable resources that are being wasted.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

The concept of lean manufacturing is derived from the renowned Toyota Production System which was developed and widely adopted in the 1990s. The Toyota Production System focuses on seven wastes that, when reduced, will improve overall customer value. Since value is measured through the eyes of the customer, any action or service that a customer would be willing to pay for is considered valuable. This lean manufacturing model is what made a small Japanese car company into the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, and all by focusing on the reduction of waste. In their seven waste streams, however, landfill waste is never mentioned, though in today’s market it is absolutely of value to a customer who wants to buy products from responsible companies.

Why Should Landfill Waste Be Included in Lean Manufacturing?

Landfill waste is an aspect of production where the lean manufacturing mentality can be applied to save money and improve productivity and therefore value. Not only do your customers desire products from companies who care about their impact on the environment, but the amount of landfill waste you produce directly correlates to other forms of waste that you are probably overlooking. When you have excess landfill waste, you will  find waste in  aspects of production like logistics, space usage, and downtime.

How Waste Can Lead to More Waste

When your landfill waste is piling up at unreasonable levels, it is often a symptom or cause of other forms of waste throughout your production where the principles of lean manufacturing are transformative. Motion is one of the seven wastes that is often associated with the movement of landfill waste throughout a manufacturing facility as waste cans need to be frequently emptied, or are in inconvenient places for certain employees. This movement can then lead to more waiting, which is another of the seven wastes, as employees might get lackadaisical in their movement throughout the facility resulting in lower production times.

Trash compactors are a great tool to help in reducing landfill waste and the other wastes associated with it throughout your facility. Not only do they reduce the size and therefore the frequency of waste removal trips, but they also reduce the movement associated with landfill waste. If you are considering waste management practices and how they coincide with your lean manufacturing model, call KenBay to find out how we can be of service.

Food Manufacturing has Unique Waste Management Needs

Food ManufacturingThe food manufacturing industry is one of the biggest producers of waste out there, weighing in at an almost unbelievable 7.1 billion pounds annually. Of the largest food manufacturing organizations in existence – like grocery stores and international chain restaurants – the majority of this waste is diverted from landfills. With the food waste itself, there are many avenues to follow in order to reduce the amount that goes in the trash, but packaging is the real kicker. There isn’t a way to avoid packaging when you’re working in food manufacturing, so it’s time to find the most efficient way to dispose of it. First, let’s look at ways to repurpose food waste.

Recycle Food Waste

If you have foods that are not yet inedible, but rather just a tad past the date that you’re comfortable selling them, look for shelters in the area that take donations and get that food into someone’s belly. With all the hungry people in our country, it’s a shame that any food goes to waste. When food does pass the point of being edible for humans, consider animal feed. There are plenty of farmers around you who would gladly take your gallons of scraps and old food to feed their livestock. If you haven’t already considered a collaboration with farmers, many businesses work on trade in this way with their producing counterparts. Compost is another great use for food scraps, and farmers would probably be just as glad to add your food waste to their compost piles to get their fields growing.

Recycle & Reuse

When it comes to packaging, the first step should be to recycle and reuse whatever you can. Buckets and other containers are great for both freezer and cooler storage, and are typically quite durable. When you’ve used them until they’re falling apart, make sure they make it into the recycling bin where they will be broken down and made into other products, instead of in the trash where they will end up in the landfill. Most people aren’t aware that most plastic wrapping can also be recycled. Whether it’s the bags that your veggies come in or the plastic wrap you used to seal something up, get it all in that recycling bin.

Compact It

Now let’s talk trash compaction. Trash compactors are ideal for the food manufacturing industry. The RotoPac SacPac, made by KenBay, is designed specifically for food manufacturing, and will reduce your waste by six times, and take up no more room in your facility than a standard pallet. Made completely out of stainless steel, they will also stay sanitary. How many trash bags of loosely packed plastic wrapping have you thrown away? Why waste your trash can space and pay for waste removal in such an inefficient way? When your waste is sufficiently compacted, your waste removal will be less frequent and more efficient, and end up saving you money.

Don’t take waste management in your food manufacturing facility lightly. A well thought out and efficient system will make all the difference in both your production and the cleanliness of your space. For more information on the incredibly feasible option of purchasing a trash compactor for food manufacturing, call KenBay.

10 Ways to Improve Manufacturing Safety

Manufacturing SafetyAs an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure your manufacturing facility is safe. Your employees have the right to a safe workplace free of hazards and health risks. That said, running an organization doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for you to be supervising the workplace to ensure that health and safety codes are always up to date and being followed diligently. Don’t let this keep you from implementing the necessary manufacturing safety protocols, and making sure there are trustworthy people in place to see that they are adhered to. Manufacturing safety ought to be at the top of your business strategy list to ensure that you are decreasing the liability and risk of your operation.

10 Ways to Improve Manufacturing Safety

  1. Trustworthy Supervisors
    Make sure that every shift has respected supervisors who have rapport with all the workers. These leaders should be revered by everyone they work with, able to motivate and correct them in productive ways, and to uphold all manufacturing safety protocols, no matter how inconvenient they might be.
  2. Education
    Provide frequent continuing education classes for these supervisors to keep them up to date on new health and safety standards, as well as new methods of updating and optimizing manufacturing safety practices.
  3. Unite the Team
    Hold manufacturing safety meetings whenever a risk is brought to your attention to inform employees of the seriousness of hazards in the workplace. Unite the team around the common goal of doing work with excellence, which means it is as safe as possible.
  4. Zero Tolerance
    Do not, under any circumstances, tolerate someone who is willfully ignoring manufacturing safety regulations. These individuals put more than just themselves at risk, but also your organization and its employees.
  5. Frequent Monitoring
    While you are certainly busy running the operation, don’t withdraw your presence from the manufacturing site. The more your employees see and interact with you, the more they know you actually care about their health and safety, and not just covering your own back.
  6. Checklist
    If you have protocols that can be tracked on a list by day and time, initialed by the person who completes them, this can be a great way to set up accountability among the team. This way you can both commend and reprimand employees for their performance and commitment to have a risk-free work environment.
  7. Signage
    Good signs throughout your facility is a great way to remind employees of the manufacturing safety rules in place.
  8. Waste Management
    Waste can be central to the safety and health hazards in manufacturing facility, and ought to be properly managed. Be sure that your waste cans are optimally placed throughout your workspace to both reduce waste and to ensure that they are emptied and cleaned frequently.
  9. Build a Team
    If your supervisors are too busy managing the other aspects of manufacturing safety, have them designate teams of people in charge of making sure that waste is disposed of properly.
  10. Buy a Trash Compactors
    Stainless steel trash compactors are an affordable way to improve the manufacturing safety of your workplace, not only reducing potential fire hazards and obstructions, but also reducing the cost of removal.

Call KenBay if you are ready to learn more about how waste management practices can increase manufacturing safety.