Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production, addresses the most indispensable part of manufacturing, i.e., waste. The process oversees that all of the resources are deployed efficiently during stunt production. The production also comprises neglected resources that include everything ranging from manufacturing management tools to expert staff.
The core principles of Lean Manufacturing helps businesses across the globe to become efficient to compete in any vertical. Without Toyota, Lean Manufacturing wouldn’t have seen the light of the day. The methodology is ideal for manufacturing facilities that produce tons of products and reduce waste. Reducing waste during production is one side of the coin. However, the other side is increasing productivity. Lean management segregates the value by ultimately reducing everything and anything that doesn’t add value.
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In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most sought-after interview questions alongside answers. Moreover, professionals will find some of the most fundamental problems, whereas advanced level questions help them land the best job. MindMajix offers Lean Interview Questions that help you in cracking your interview & acquire a dream career as a Quality Analyst.
After in-depth research, we found that these questions and answers are can impress your potential employer.
Lean Interview Questions and Answers
1Q) What are the crucial elements of Lean Manufacturing?
Ans: The following are the crucial elements of Lean Manufacturing:
- Empower people and fellow employees in the company for building trust between the workforce and the management.
- Eliminate Waste. Given that Eliminating Waste is the core reason why manufacturers should integrate lean in their production facilities. It is essential to focus on this USP.
- Lean aims to make things as simple as possible to make the entire process transparent and easy to remember.
- Focus on one issue at a time as in manufacturing; there is always one issue or the other. Lean manufacturing could help solve one problem after another without any compromise in a very articulate manner.
- Seamless flow of information with a minimal level of friction.
- Cutting-edge visual interpretation to knowing when a process isn’t functional.
- Making the quality of processes and products to be optimum, performant, and consistent.
[Related Article: Lean Management Tutorial]
2Q) What are the seven waste products in Lean Manufacturing?
Ans: The process of eliminating waste through lean is called Muda. By the looks of it, the removal of waste takes place right within the manufacturing system; Lean is accountable regarding different types of waste such as continuous human motion. It aims to integrate all the steps necessary to make production holistic, completely efficient. At the same time, it reduces the overall costs while enhancing revenue. Under Lean Manufacturing, seven types of wastes are currently identified, such as inventory, defects, waiting, over-processing, Transport, and overproduction.
This type of waste is referred to as the waste that is produced via irregular inventory. Further, the waste also includes storage, capital waste trapped in the unprocessed inventory, waste that transports the inventory, containers that possess inventory, and storage space lighting. There are chances that excessive rates of inventory could easily hide the actual waste in them.
Some of the impacts on the environment due to inventory waste are deterioration, packaging, damage while working. Inventory also comprises waste which acts as additional materials for replacing obsolete or damaged inventory, the energy required to either light, cool, or heat an inventory space.
Defects come into being when a product initially deviates from its usual standard of design and the customer’s expectations. The defective products are meant to be put into a replacement. Further, replacing damaged goods requires human labor alongside paperwork for processing. Defects are also the reason why manufacturers lose their precious customers. Moreover, the resources which are put into use to make defective products aren’t used.
Defective products also imply waste is a part of the production at different levels. It also points out the need for an efficient production system that reduces defects and, at the same time, increases the resources required for addressing them. Defects also have an adverse effect on the environment as the resources used for manufacturing are also wasted.
Waiting refers to the overall time that is wasted due to obstruction in production. The entire production chain is disrupted the moment production is put to a halt. If a single task in the chain takes more than usual, then the employee in charge of the following task will wait. Tasks that consume time should be made quite efficient. If need be, manufacturing units should reach out to new employees should be to aid with the workflow.
During the waiting period, the labor, energy from heating, lighting, cooling are also wasted. Further, waiting also tends to spoil materials as well as components by damaging them due to incompetent workflow.
Over-processing refers to components for the manufacturing process which are entirely unnecessary. Some of the notable examples of over-processing are painting areas that will never be used or house any employees. What would happen if you use cutting-edge features in your manufacturing but never rely on them. When it comes to manufacturing, adding value is an excellent attitude of any facility. However, excessive adding of values that customers do not require is a sheer example of waste.
Defects’ environmental costs comprise raw materials which are consumed. It also includes products’ defective parts that require recycling and disposing of. There are also times when extra space will be necessary to increase the energy used to deal with defects.
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[Related Article: Lean Principles and Tools]
Moving any materials from one position to the other is called Transport. In Lean Manufacturing, transport comprises no value regarding the product. Hence, it is essential to minimize the cost. In case a manufacturing unit has a facility closer to another, then diminishing the overall transportation cost using systematic methods. Handing material in manufacturing facilities requires time and resources. It also requires employing staff for operating training, transportation, introducing safety precautions, and using space effectively. Often, transport leads to the waste of waiting because one segment of the production chain must wait for materials to arrive.
Environmental costs for waiting also include transportation packaging, gas emissions, damage to the product en-route, among several others.
Lean manufacturing considers overproduction to be a severe waste type as it leads to other wastes and results in massive inventory. When facilities stock up too much product that goes unused, it leads to storage, excessive capital, and wasted materials.
Overproduction also leads to severe damage to the environment as already more raw materials have been used. As overproduction leads to spoiling or product, and it would ultimately be dumped off, the hazardous materials are further wasted, leading to extra emissions
[Related article: SixSigma Interview Questions]
3Q) How can you achieve lean manufacturing with us?
Ans: The process of eliminating waste through lean is called Muda. By the looks of it, the removal of waste takes place right within the manufacturing system; Lean is accountable regarding different types of waste such as continuous Lean manufacturing empowers users with a systematic method to minimize waste. By overseeing quality and productivity, lean manufacturing allows companies to reach the epitome of operational efficiency to compete in the market. The following are the ways by which you can implement lean manufacturing.
Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement. Lean manufacturing at its core practices continuous improvement.
Kaizen allows us to analyze specific crucial manufacturing metrics such as cycle time. Cycle time aids in finding convenient ways to shorten off overall time. As a practice, Kaizen encourages the implementation of value streams for improving work and reducing waste.
Demand-based flow manufacturing
Inventories in pull systems are pulled via production centers when necessary. Pull systems ensure the just-in-time working principle to complete customer’s orders. Pull systems are entirely different from other practices as it enables everyone at a manufacturing facility to focus on certain things rather than carrying out the work all at once.
KPIs, Measurement, and visualization
In lean manufacturing, metrics like cycle time, lead time, cumulative flow, and throughput aid organizations in measuring the impact of improvement efforts. Moreover, analyzing, collecting, and socializing the metrics together promotes transparency and drives change.
The most successful lean manufacturers in the world are well-aware of the entire process. Reinforcing an overall responsibility via teams for pursuing opportunities to focus and improve value is equally important.
4Q) How can you calculate Takt Time?
Ans: Takt time in Lean manufacturing represents the average time required to meet up the customer’s demand capacity. Takt time is usually calculated via the following equation:
Takt time = Ta÷ D
The formula would help get overall production time (Ta) alongside the rate of the customer (D) to find Takt time. Production time doesn’t denote the total amount that a machine runs or the entirety of the workday. Rather, Takt time indicates total hours employees work, which they haven’t spent on maintenance, meetings, lunch, breaks, and planned stoppages.
5Q) What is Lean Methodology?
Ans: Lean methodology is used in health care, manufacturing, and other verticals. It is a concept where businesses attempt to create a complete flow of flow through specific elemental ideas. Continuous Improvement and Value Stream are the core values of Lean Methodology.
6Q) What are the 5s methods, and why is it important?
Ans: The 5S came into being with a goal to decrease waste while optimizing the overall productivity via maintaining a workplace. It utilizes visual cues by attaining consistent results. 5S are the most important pillars for any manufacturing workplace. The 5s stands for:
1.Seiri or Organize: Seiri eliminates everything that cannot be compartmentalized, like parts, tools, instructions from the unneeded materials.
2.Seiton or Orderliness: Organizes everything which remains by neatly arranging and at the same time identifying tools and parts for seamless usage.
3.Seiketsu or Standardize: Scheduling maintenance and regular cleaning by overseeing seiton, seiri, and seiso every day.
4.Seiso or Cleanliness: Organizes a cleanup campaign to clean the work area.
5.Shitsuke or Discipline: It ensures that 5S is a way of life in Lean Manufacturing. Shitsuke also provides the follow-up habits of the first four S’s in the list.
Benefits of 5S:
- Improves safety
- Diminishes defect rates
- Ensures higher equipment availability
- Reduces costs
- Increases production flexibility and agility
- Better utilization of assets
- Improves morale of employees
- Enhances the overall image of the enterprise to suppliers, customers, management, and employees
- [Related Article: Difference between Lean and Agile]
7Q) Purpose of volume leveling?
Ans: Production leveling is an effective technique to reduce mura or unevenness that further reduces Muda or waste. Production leveling is crucial to increase efficiency in lean manufacturing. The goal of volume leveling is to produce goods and products immediately in a consistent manner. The process needs to be carried out predictably and consistently.
8Q) What are Muri, Mura, and Muda?
Ans: When Toyota came up with Lean Manufacturing, it developed a groundbreaking production system by eliminating three evils or enemies in the manufacturing process:
- Muda or Waste
- Muri or Overburden
- Mura or Unevenness
All three enemies are interrelated, and maintaining them should be a top priority in a production process.
9Q) What is Kanban in lean?
Ans: In Lean Manufacturing, Kanban is a technique that eliminates inventory and labor waste. Kanban relies on pull production to reduce waste. As a technique, Kanban regulates the production of items according to demand and consumer supply. Rather than estimating the volume of specific items that are needed in the market. Kanban ensures the production of items in the most straightforward manner as per the market’s demands.
Kanban also provides trails for pilot programs for certain employees to experience the holistic pull system & teamwork. Visual systems must be exponentially indispensable.
Other benefits of Kanban are:
- Increase Efficiency
- Prioritizing the production goals
- Lowering the overhead costs
- Diminishes obsolete inventory
- Enhances flow
- Provides personnel across work area with transparency and control
- Making teamwork a core foundation of operation
- Managers receive progress reports at regular intervals
- Reduces the overall inventories by almost 75% in certain industries
The Kanban system controls the whole value chain from the value chain directly from the supplier to the end-user. The Kanban system aids in avoiding goods’ overstocking and disruption in supplies. Moreover, Kanban has also become a go-to option for several production systems across the world.
10Q) What is SMED in Lean Manufacturing?
Ans: SMED or Single-Minute Exchange of Dies is a lean system that dramatically reduces the time taken to completing equipment transfiguration. The very essence of SMED in lean manufacturing is to convert external changeover steps. It simplifies and, at the same time, streamlines the conclusive efforts.
Successful SMED program has the following benefits:
- When changeovers are faster, it suggests the downtime of equipment will be seemingly less. Ultimately this lowers the cost of manufacturing.
- Faster changeovers would enable frequent product changes, further giving rise to a smaller size for lots.
- Small-size lots enable flexible scheduling by improving responsiveness to counter customer demand.
- The streamlined changeover process improves both quality and consistency to help startups kick-start most smoothly.
- If the lot sizes are smaller, it further results in lowering the inventory levels.
These questions and answers cover all the essentials to know about lean manufacturing to impress your potential employers.