Product standardisation embraces lean methodology

Product standardisation embraces Lean methodology and addresses all Eight Wastes

Product standardisation can lead to business improvements using Lean methodology. Products are simplified using product standardisation into re-usable fully defined modular components. A large number of product configurations can be assembled from the relatively small library of the reusable sub-assemblies. This reduces effort to maintain the product.

Standardisation offers benefits throughout the business and leads to increased productivity, profitability and accuracy.

Whilst the concept of product standardisation is simple, many product manufacturing businesses fail to achieve full standardisation. There is a good indication that the company is failing to make good use of product standardisation when engineering teams are engaged in designing iterative product changes. This practice continues to waste valuable sales and engineering resources which could be otherwise engaged on work that adds value.

The eight areas of waste addressed by product standardisation are:

Transport – Products configured during the Sales process can pass to engineering and production without further processing.

Inventory – Fully designed sub-assemblies reduces the number of assemblies that need to be managed. For complex products, this can reduce the number of managed components by order of 1,000

Motion or movement – Providing a standard product library reduces work in Sales and Engineering.

Waiting – Standard products eliminate the need to wait for engineering definition in Sales, Engineering and Production processes, reducing lead times.

Over Production – Customers receive exactly what they request using well-conceived standard products.

Over Processing – Products do not contain any functionality which is not required by the customer

Defects – Product standardisation reduces specification, design and manufacturing errors at source. There is a single place for correction.

Skills – Product knowledge is widely available from a single repository

Gatehouse Design specialises in product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. In a similar way to Lean, the concepts are straightforward, applying these concepts in practice can be demanding. We are here to offer help and advice.


Written by Peter Slee Smith – 30/04/2018

Gatehouse Design offers services around product configuration, along with other design services.

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