12 May

    Practical industry exchange at L&R on the subject of lean management

    On May 9, L&R welcomed 11 members of the Rhine-Ruhr Lean Network to the Neuwied site. The program included the exchange of experts from very different industrial sectors on the topic of lean management in practice. In concrete terms, L&R presented digital solutions in production - both theoretically and practically in implementation. Among others this was the so-called "shopfloor management" at its production site. The network meetings are coordinated by the company Lischke Consulting.

    In economics, lean management refers to an approach of continuous process optimization and encompasses the efficient design of the entire value-added chain. Lean management pursues the goal of harmonizing processes and creating a holistic production system without waste, across all areas of the company. Central to this are aspects such as customer orientation, but also cost reduction. Despite different end products or services, the same or similar challenges often arise in the production process of companies in different industries. As a result, the approaches to solving them can often be similar as well.

    The Lean Network Rhine-Ruhr is a platform for the exchange of experiences and solutions in the sense of Lean Management - and this even across companies and industries. Lean management experts from the Rhine-Ruhr region meet regularly at the site of a member company to learn about lean management solutions.

    Digitalization as a lever for lean management
    On May 9, 2023 and after a long break due to the Covid pandemic, an on-site meeting of the Lean Network Rhine-Ruhr took place again. This 11th meeting since the network was founded was again coordinated by Lischke Consulting. 11 members, among others employees of the mobility industry, the plastics industry, the steel processing industry, companies for safety systems and pump systems as well as the medical device industry, met in Neuwied at the production site of the medical device manufacturer L&R. Here, products for wound care (e.g. Suprasorb, Lomatuell, Curapor, Curafix and Pro Ophta eye dressings) and Cellona plaster bandages are manufactured.

    A brief introduction about L&R was followed by a 2-hour production tour, during which a production team presented selected digital solutions that L&R uses in production. Among other things, this is "shopfloor management". This refers to the daily 10-15 minute meeting of the supply chain (production, technology, logistics, quality assurance, etc.) in which the current status (key figures, innovations, production changes, etc.) is exchanged.

    In recent years and due to Covid pandemic, this exchange was developed into a hybrid system (alternating between on-site and online meetings), thus taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalization.

    Jürgen Bonn, Head of Production at L&R: "We are currently simplifying further processes in production by means of digitization, such as paperless order documentation. This is a step that is often very time-consuming in the strictly regulated environment of a medical device manufacturer, but should and will make many things easier in the long term."

    Exchange of experience and knowledge
    All network participants were able to see the practical implementation of digitization activities for themselves during the production tour. Afterwards, there was a lively exchange through small group discussions, in which the strengths, weaknesses, risks, and above all the opportunities of what had been seen theoretically and practically were worked out together.

    Peter Gelbrich, Managing Partner at Lischke Consulting: "The Lean Network event at Lohmann & Rauscher was an outstanding experience. They put their employees at the center of the digital transformation and actively involved them, a core philosophy of Lean. The exchange about 'digital production' in the context of Lean has revealed common challenges and possible solutions."

    Jürgen Bonn (L&R) adds: "This exchange with representatives of other industrial companies is extremely valuable. Hosts as well as all participants benefit from it, because the exchange does not only remain on a theoretical level, but one sees the production and the implementation of the processes. The different industry backgrounds always result in exciting discussions about how others have solved certain challenges, which you can then take back to your own company and use or adapt for yourself."