Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing business slide

Lean manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS) but also from other sources. Toyota's steady growth from a small player to the most valuable and the biggest car company in the world made Lean a hot topic in management science. In order to improve overall customer value, the Lean approach focuses on the reduction of the original Toyota 8 wastes. 

Lean and DMAIC picture above from Lean Sigma Institute

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Five Principles Of Lean Manufacturing:

Principle 1: Accurately specify the value from the customer's perspective for both products and services.

Principle 2: Identify the value stream for products and services and remove any non-value-added waste along the value stream.

Principle 3: Make the product and services flow without interruption across the value stream.

Principle 4: Authorize production of products and services based on the pull from the customer.

Principle 5: Strive for perfection by constantly removing layers of waste.

Lean Tools

Lean is the set of  'tools' that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste (muda), the improvement of quality, and production time and cost reduction. Below is a picture and links to some of the common Lean Tools. 








Lean Thinking

Overall Equipment Effectiveness



Stream Lining

Takt Time

Theory of Constraints

Total Productive Maintenance

Value Stream Mapping

PDCA Complete is an organizational task management system with built-in continuous improvement tools. Includes projects, meetings, audits and more.

Built by Quality Assurance Solutions.

PDCA Complete

Another Lean Approach

There is a second approach  to Lean Manufacturing that is promoted by Toyota. This focuses's upon implementing the smoothing the flow (opposite of mura, unevenness) through the system and not upon 'waste reduction'.  Techniques to improve flow include production leveling, pull production (by means of kanban) and the Heijunka box. 

Standard Work

Standard work means there is a set of work procedures that effectively combine people, materials, processes, technology, and machines to maintain quality, efficiency, safety, and predictability.

It establishes the best methods and sequence steps to optimize performance and minimize waste. After creating the work procedures you train people to follow the established standard.

This help ensures employees complete a process the same way every time no matter who works the tasks. High quality is a direct output of a repeatable process.

Applying this throughout the enterprise gains consistency in manufacturing processes.  In addition there is a wealth of opportunities for applying standardized work to administrative processes. This tool is not just a lean tool for manufacturing but necessary for Quality Systems certifications such as ISO 9001.

Be sure to integrate the lean tool of 5S-visual-management, Quick-Changeover, and Mistake-proofing when writing work procedures.

By Applying Standard Work, You...

  • Create repeatable processes.
  • Identify the most efficient method for a process.
  • Implement defective and productive training for employees.
  • Establish documentation for each process.
  • Improve process and product quality.
  • Lower cost associated with scrap and rework.
  • Reduces excessive processing due to poor process design.
  • Eliminate excessive and unnecessary motion for a process.
  • Identify waste in a process.
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More Info

  • Level Mix Model Production

    Level Mix Model Production means scheduling daily production in a sequence that evens out the peaks and valleys of produced quantities. Learn more!

  • Mistake proofing

    Mistake proofing is defined as an improvement technology that uses a device or procedure

  • Quick Changeover

    a NARROW view of Quick changeover as only the time required to pull an existing tool or fixture and set the new tool or fixture. but there is much more to it.

  • One Piece Flow

    This article discusses all the benefits to one piece flow. Work cells help your manufacturing process with this.

  • Lean Thinking

    Become a friend with lean thinking. Learn the steps to implement the lean process.

  • Theory of Constraints Concepts and Details

    See our article on Theory of Constraints. Every system keeps at least one constraint that limits the system outputs

  • Takt Time

    Takt Time is defined as :The rate at which the end product or service must be produced

  • Spaghetti

    Spaghetti Map or Physical Process Map is the simplest Lean Sigma tool. It demonstrates the physical flow of an entity or multiple entity types

  • SMED

    SMED: Rapid changeover or rapid setup is also known asSingle Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) and was devised by ShigeoShingo

  • OEE

    Overall Equipment Effectiveness ( OEE ) is used extensively in the maintenance and equipment reliability world to examine equipment availability.

  • Lean vs Agile

    Lean vs Agile: Which process methodology is best for your industry?

  • The 7 Wastes of Lean

    Learn the 7 wastes of Lean, the Tim Wood acronym, and how they affect your company's bottom line and the actions to counter these wastes.

  • Value Stream Mapping

    a value stream mapping is the first step required in any lean improvement initiative

  • TPM

    Total Productive Maintenance: Learn the implementation steps for full TPM at your facillity.

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Robert Broughton
(805) 419-3344
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