Applying Lean at CB Technology

Written by Graeme Robertson

27 June 2023

The electronics manufacturing industry generates more than 50 million metric tons of electronic waste every year, which can be toxic to the environment and humans.

As a leading independent Scottish EMS  manufacturer, CB Technology thrives in applying methods that can help in protecting the environment and produce high-quality services for our clients. One of these methods is lean manufacturing.

Lean manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on minimising waste systems while simultaneously maximising productivity. Read all about the five principles of Lean Manufacturing in our previous blog here.

Today, we sit down with CB Technology’s Operations Director, Alex Harte to know more about the company’s efforts in this direction.

What are the most important aspects of Lean manufacturing at CB Technology?

The eight wastes in manufacturing are; defects, overproduction, waiting, not utilising talent, transportation, inventory excess, motion waste, and excess processing. This allows us to identify where the critical wastes are concerning our delivery execution.

What changes have you implemented at CB Technology’s operations with regard to Lean Manufacturing?

CB Technology was presented with a  challenge to increase our capacity for some of our highest-running products by more than two times.  To do this we conducted a Value Stream Mapping exercise to identify bottlenecks, product delays, and space constraints. 

This review led to a complete re-laying of the factory floor, tackling waste areas, and implementing 5S principles in the changed areas. This resulted in reducing the footprint of these products by 40%, balancing the lines, and increasing the capacity by 300%.

How does CB Technology manage its industrial and manufacturing waste?

We review our operations to ensure controls are in place for new products to ensure any new waste has been environmentally assessed. We also have contracts with our environmental supply chain to ensure recycling waste is captured and all other waste is controlled and disposed of suitably. Our waste management is SEPA controlled and we have scheduled specific waste pick-ups.

In line with current trends, what do you think will change about industrial and manufacturing waste management in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, we are likely to see an increasing drive towards Factory Heat Pump energy solutions, Development of innovative approaches to resource efficiency technologies

Industry-specific drives for biodegradable plastics and a Greater push to utilise waste treatment technologies that create transport fuels.

As a leading manufacturer, CB Technology will always strive to imbibe efficient manufacturing methods and ensure low-waste generation practices.