Essay: Lean Manufacturing Practices
A typical improvement activity in the food industry is in a large canning industry in which process are done in large batches such as in Delmonte. Food cooking, preparation and sorting are done in large quantities and this leads to many wastes and hence unnecessary costs. With lean manufacturing practices, improvements will include improvement of some specific operations, reducing distance traveled and space, improving the material handing procedures and the equipment utilization. By shortening the production lines, costs were reduced since there was need of fewer labor and the process costs were reduced. By improving equipment reliability and production flow, inventory was reduced significantly and this was the largest benefit. Once the TPM practices were installed, reliance on the inventory holdings was reduced. Food wastage was also reduced through machine uptime (Food Manufacturing).
In the business of fresh fruits like Delmonte, where the main processes include packaging, baking, canning and packing, there was a problem due to short shelf life. A quick turnaround of processes was very helpful to deal with this problem. The improvements done in this case included streamlining a number of the packaging lines, reducing the lead-time through improving the packaging process, reducing waste by improving the food handling methods and reducing the people who are in the lines. The changeover time also was improved making it easier and faster to operate in different business runs that are in the similar line.