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Bosch Rexroth offers tips on how lean principles improve sustainable manufacturing

BUCHANAN, MI — Bosch Rexroth is offering advice on how basic lean principles can be used as a means for reaching sustainable manufacturing goals.

Developed with lean manufacturing expert Jamie Flinchbaugh, Rexroth's "Lean and Sustainability" discusses the relationship between lean manufacturing and sustainable manufacturing. The challenge is how to effectively use lean as a tool to drive sustainability in manufacturing operations.

Flinchbaugh, who is co-founder of the Lean Learning Center and co-author of the popular book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean," emphasizes that manufacturers can experience "double benefits" by implementing lean principles that also have a positive effect on the environment, and waste reduction lies at the heart of both lean and environmental improvements.

For example, when implementing lean, consider these tips to also help reduce environmental impact:

  • Manufacturers can eliminate much of the damage done to the environment by going after the waste in a given manufacturing process. This way, the waste no longer affects the environment, and also improves the company's bottom line.
  • Check for air leaks — split hoses, punctured bladders, leaking connections, etc. Leaks cause the plant to run less efficiently — costing more to maintain and keeping compressors working harder to deliver air pressure — also wasting electricity in the process.
  • Reduce the inventory needed to cover up waste. This will also reduce the need for driving forklifts to move the inventory, reducing the use of propane or electricity.
  • Use materials more effectively. A more efficient use of materials will deliver the same value, at less or equal cost, and with less impact on energy and resource demand.
"Lean and Sustainability" is episode number ten in Rexroth's lean manufacturing podcast series, available for listening or free download from the company's website at The podcast series is also available from the iTunes podcast library and other podcast directories on the web.
Developed by Bosch Rexroth's Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies group, each eight- to ten-minute lean manufacturing podcast episode presents guest experts and information to help manufacturers and OEMs understand and apply lean principles and practices in their businesses.

November 25, 2009  By Newswire

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