In a previous post titled “How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?” my prospective thinking was all about technological disruptions and the impact on companies.
The same question is valid for the future of Lean. If as I assume much of the non-added value can be taken out of actual processes by additive manufacturing, what will be left for lean practitioners to work on?
Whole processes could be reduced to 3D printers or equivalent*, taking out lots of costs and non-value added. But what may be really shocking in near future could be to reconsider what we assumed being added-value in traditional manufacturing, e.g. cutting away material by lathing, milling, etc.
*3D printers stand here for a generic expression for additive manufacturing techniques and machines. 3D printers are already well-known from the public, therefore it makes it easier at present time to refer to additive manufacturing as 3D printing.
These processes transformed raw material in something of higher value, but at expense of a lot of energy, capital and material, like shavings, for example.
With the new perspective of additive manufacturing techniques, raw material will be used in just necessary quantity, most of the energy will really be used to “add” value and almost all of the manufacturing cycle time will be added value time.
Even the non-added value that cannot be suppressed – a former colleague of mine positively calls it “value enabling” – like all the fragmentation of the process between different techniques/machines, hand-offs, transfer, wip, etc. may simply disappear or at least seriously shrink.
While today about 2% of the lead time is usually added value, in near future it could soar up to 80% or more!
Future of Lean, Lean in the future, what is your point of view?
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