Lean principles find a place in the tech sector

Lean principles find a place in the tech sector

In the world of software development, maintaining agility is key, and although it is fundamentally different than lean principles, the two can work together to make the tech sector a more efficient and less stressful work environment. 

Such is the belief of Dan Woods, CTO at Evolved Technologies, who described the way lean manufacturing processes can be adopted by the tech sector to deliver major results in improved productivity. Specifically, Woods wrote how lean processes can help companies be more in tune with all divisions, making it easier to sense signals from the market and supply chain, and react accordingly. 

“At the largest scale, this trend is being driven by principles of Lean manufacturing, which envisions the enterprise as a massive event-driven system, waiting to create products when customer orders arrive instead of building products in advance and holding them in inventory,” Woods wrote. 

Taking an agile approach to software development has been the norm for years, and entails slowly developing a product and changing it to better meet the needs of users who provide regular feedback. 

“In Agile methods, instead of building the whole product, you build the smallest possible useful part and give it to users, who tell you what is right and what is wrong,” Woods explained. 

But as lean continues to find a new home in several niche industries, including software development, it is mixing with existing operation methodologies, like agile. This has created a new hybrid form of the two and is delivering strong results. 

According to ZDNET, as this convergence continues, the two processes will find more common ground as the “industrialization” of software picks up. This will occur as it drifts from an individual craft to a consistent form of mass manufacturing that involves distribution and assembly, as well. 

Putting it to practice
The entrance of lean principles into the technology space is evidenced by EPIC Technologies recent move to enhance its lean manufacturing capabilities. The company announced on February 5 that its El Paso manufacturing facility had been outfitted with new tools and equipment, and lean operations had been implemented. 

“Lean manufacturing and its concomitant flexibility and throughput benefits are a way of life at EPIC Technologies,” said Ted Murphy, vice president of operations El Paso/Mexico & corporate logistics. “One of the challenges in constructing this line, was selecting equipment that enabled us to support smaller package sizes without sacrificing throughput or flexibility. We also wanted a line that would serve as the new standard upgrade platform across our facilities.”

The new equipment has helped the facility go lean by enabling workers to place 01005 packages, the smallest chip available. A new, automated solder paste inspection system will also keep screen printing parameters from drifting, while the AOI system can automatically reject printed circuit board assemblies that fail the first round of inspection. 

 

To learn more about eRPortal, visit www.erportalsoftware.com.

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