The Role of Materials in Lean Manufacturing

Cut Costs & Increase Efficiency

In the 5M’s of efficiency, materials play an important role in the 5M’s of efficiency, often providing a multitude of benefits including:

  • Leaner material costs
  • Decreased processing time
  • Cleaner workpieces
  • More precise products

Not to overstate the obvious, but good materials make good products. Proper selection of your materials from base material to tooling, to metalworking fluids, will improve the quality of the workpiece.

Quality

Sound material choices make effective products. You will prevent defective workpieces, improve performance of the final product by selecting materials with the proper strength, weight, and endurance. Carbon fiber composites and other commonly used hard-to-machine materials are in high-demand because of their strength and flexibility. New technologies, like Cryogenic Machining, make even hard-to-machine materials accessible for nearly any process.

Cleanliness

Eliminating Waste = Eliminating Expense. Between wasted raw materials, worn-out tooling, and coating parts in contaminated, oily coolant, traditional metalworking methods are far from efficient. By leveraging state-of-the-art materials like cryogenic cooling and efficient manufacturing systems, you can prevent contamination of workpieces and reduce the use of consumables like specialty cutting tools.

Performance

Superior tooling leads to better precision. Lean Manufacturing cannot be achieved with inferior tooling. The quality, availability, flexibility of your tool assets relates directly to how adaptive your business can be. By taking control of your tooling supply, you’ll gain precise control of your materials and workpieces.

Environmental-Efficiency

Increase the efficiency of your manufacturing operation by maintaining a clean and healthy environment both outside and inside your organization. Environmentally friendly materials are characterized by:

  • Reduced Waste

  • Less Scrap Material

  • Decreased Contamination

  • Time Savings

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Increased Health & Safety

Technological breakthroughs like cryogenic machining cool the cutting surface of a tool to -321F and then evaporating into harmless  safe, breathable, non-greenhouse, nonflammable gas. This green manufacturing method produces little to no waste while increasing processing speed and tool life. Workpieces are clean and sterile without extensive coolant management systems.