In 2010, Antunes began introducing lean manufacturing techniques into its manufacturing facilities. The techniques worked so well that only four years later, a Lean Initiative was implemented into all Antunes processes. Over the last three years, this implementation has allowed Antunes to become even more efficient, and customers are reaping the benefits.
What Is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing, or “lean,” is a method of approaching manufacturing systems with the goal of eliminating waste without sacrificing productivity. “Waste” is considered to be an activity that consumes time, resources or space but does not add value to the manufacturing system as a whole. Lean provides proven tools to assist in the systematic elimination of waste. Each particular opportunity requires the use of the appropriate tool
Six Sigma Structure
Six Sigma specifically works to improve quality by minimizing variability through data analysis. In the pursuit of improving quality, Six Sigma creates an infrastructure of people within the Antunes team who are trained on Six Sigma practices and lean ideals. Yellow Belts are on the first rung of the ladder — conscious of lean principles and able to identify areas of waste. Green Belts lead and implement focused improvements utilizing an “A3” process, and Black Belts are full-time project leaders addressing broad complex business processes. Antunes currently has fifteen Yellow Belt team members, two Green Belts and four Black Belts — all dedicated to increasing the quality of Antunes’ processes.
Eliminating Waste at Antunes
During the implementation, Antunes was able to change the way it looks at manufacturing and office processes in order to focus on delivering value to customers. With an attitude of action, the team was able to identify several areas of waste, including extended wait times, overproduction and extra processing.
As Antunes expanded their productive capabilities, customers were able to experience tangible results, such as:
- Shorter wait times
- Increased product quality
- Reduced costs
- Better innovative solutions
- Quick response times
Attitude of Continuous Improvement
The goals of lean are simple:
- Improve quality
- Eliminate waste
- Reduce time
- Reduce total costs
Yet achieving these goals requires a culture that encourages experimentation, values rapid response and is open to criticism — a culture Antunes has embraced. Because of lean’s undeniable customer benefits, Antunes is happy to continue in its attitude of continuous improvement throughout our organization.
Watch this short video to learn more about Antunes’ entire manufacturing process, from beginning to end.