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Lean manufacturing: a practical demonstration

01 May 2010

An opportunity to learn the theory of lean tools and techniques whilst observing and examining in detail the operation of a real lean manufacturing cell is being offered by the Lean Factory Group UK, a consortium of seven suppliers of equipment and services to the manufacturing sector

To promote the benefits of lean manufacturing to UK companies, the Lean Factory Group UK has set up a demonstration production cell adjacent to Bosch Rexroth’s facility in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. The Group is using the cell to host half-day seminars that both explain and demonstrate how lean manufacturing, once implemented, can help companies to streamline their operations, improve efficiency, productivity, competitive position and profitability.

The cell embodies the latest developments in lean manufacturing technology and manufactures real products to show how effectively lean manufacturing meets the present-day requirement of a high-mix production environment.

The seminars, presented by experts in lean manufacturing techniques from each organisation within the Group, comprise a series of informative presentations, complemented by practical sessions in the production cell.
Topics covered include value stream mapping, work content and workplace design, dimensioning of the Kanban control loop, the design of Kanban boards, the customer order in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, levelling, and the design of Heijunka boards.

All those attending are given ample opportunity to discuss their individual manufacturing set-ups, objectives, problems to overcome and specific requirements with each of the presenters. Free of charge and open to all interested parties, the seminars are held at regular intervals- details available at the Lean Factory Group UK website ( An, subject to certain conditions, tailored seminars can be arranged to meet the needs of individual companies.

The seven constituent organisations of the Lean Factory Group UK are Bosch Rexroth, Bosch Power Tools, Leonardo Group, K Hartwall, ADM Automation, Sick and SSI Schaefer. Between them, they offer all of the products and services needed to implement an efficient lean manufacturing operation.

Bosch Rexroth contributes hardware and, in particular, its modular MPS manual assembly and Ecoshape tubular assembly systems. These products allow production cells to be constructed quickly and economically to suit the user’s precise requirements. In addition to conventional pneumatic hand tools for production applications, Bosch Power Tools offers cordless electric tools that are not only more convenient to use, since they are not tethered to a pneumatic line, but also deliver large energy savings.

The Leonardo Group provides consultancy services relating to lean manufacturing, and also in-depth training courses that cover such topics as flexible production to meet customer requirements, practical flow control, elimination of process inefficiencies and supply chain management.

K Hartwall is a leading supplier of logistics equipment, including roll containers, dollies and trays for use in lean manufacturing applications, while ADM Automation, which also represents Orgatex, is a specialist in automatic guided vehicles and visual input products.

Sick contributes expert knowledge of sensor systems, hand-held scanners and electronic vision systems for automated inspection as an aid to achieving zero defects. SSI Schaefer is a leader in the development and supply of warehousing and logistics systems, with particular expertise in high-bay systems, automation, and installations for lean manufacturing applications.

The combined expertise of the constituent companies of The Lean Factory Group UK has been harnessed to ensure that its new demonstration production cell embodies the latest and most effective lean manufacturing systems and techniques, and to maximise the benefits for those attending its seminars.

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