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Encyclopedia > Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is the production of goods using less of everything compared to mass production: less human effort, less manufacturing space, less investment in tools, and less engineering time to develop a new product. Lean manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS)[1] and also from other sources. It is renowned for its focus on reduction of the original Toyota 'seven wastes' in order to improve overall customer value but has some key new perspectives on how to do this. Lean is often linked with Six Sigma because of that methodology's emphasis on reduction of process variation (or its converse smoothness) and Toyota's combined usage (with the TPS). Toyota's steady growth from a small player to the most valuable and the biggest car company in the world has focused attention upon how it has achieved this, making "Lean" a hot topic in management science in the first decade of the 21st century. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... The Toyota Production System (TPS) (トヨタ生産方式) is the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including the interaction with suppliers and customers. ... Muda (無駄) is a Japanese term for anything that is wasteful and doesnt add value. ... The often-used six sigma symbol. ...


"Lean" is viewed by many as the latest management fad in the cost-reduction arena. It has for many the advantage of a very descriptive active name and has been, in many cases, used like any other cost-reduction approach. This has meant that the "Lean" word can be found in many places, projects and proposals. This has meant that for many it has hit the same implementation other approaches which has created a level of cynicism in some quarters about its effectiveness. However, there are enough high-profile high-success implementations (headed by Toyota) that attitudes to it are quite mixed overall.

Contents

Overview

For many, Lean is the set of TPS 'tools' that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste (muda), the improvement of quality, and production time and cost reduction. The Japanese terms from Toyota are quite strongly represented in "Lean". To solve the problem of waste, Lean Manufacturing has several 'tools' at its disposal. These include continuous process improvement (kaizen), the "5 Whys" and mistake-proofing (poka-yoke). In this way it can be seen as taking a very similar approach to other improvement methodologies. Muda (無駄) is a Japanese term for anything that is wasteful and doesnt add value. ... This article is about a continual improvement philosophy. ... Poka-yoke ) means fail-safing or mistake-proofing — avoiding (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka)) is a behavior-shaping constraint, or a method of preventing errors by putting limits on how an operation can be performed in order to force the correct completion of the operation. ...


There is a second approach to Lean Manufacturing, which is promoted by Toyota, in which the focus is upon improving the 'flow' or smoothness of work (thereby steadily eliminating mura, unevenness) through the system and not upon 'waste reduction' per se. Techniques to improve flow include production levelling, "pull" production (by means of kanban) and the Heijunka box. This is a fundamentally different approach to most improvement methodologies which may partially account for its lack of popularity. Mura (æ–‘) is a Japanese term for unevenness. ... Production levelling is key to reducing the Mura waste and to the development of production efficiency in the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. ... Kanban maintains inventory levels; a signal is sent to produce and deliver a new shipment as material is consumed. ... A heijunka box is a visual scheduling tool used in heijunka, a Japanese concept for achieving a smoother production flow. ...


The difference between these two approaches is not the goal but the prime approach to achieving it. The implementation of smooth flow exposes quality problems which already existed and thus waste reduction naturally happens as a consequence. The advantage claimed for this approach is that it naturally takes a system-wide perspective whereas a 'waste' focus has this perspective, sometimes wrongly, assumed. Some Toyota staff have expressed some surprise at the 'tool' based approach as they see the tools as work-arounds made necessary where flow could not be fully implemented and not as aims in themselves.


Both Lean and TPS can be seen as a loosely connected set of potentially competing principles whose goal is cost reduction by the elimination of waste.[2] These principles include: Pull processing, Perfect first-time quality, Waste minimization, Continuous improvement, Flexibility, Building and maintaining a long term relationship with suppliers, Autonomation, Load levelling and Production flow and Visual control. The disconnected nature of some of these principles perhaps springs from the fact that the TPS has grown pragmatically since 1948 as it responded to the problems it saw within its own production facilities. Thus what one sees today is the result of a 'need' driven learning to improve where each step has built on previous ideas and not something based upon a theoretical framework. Toyota's view is that the methodology is not the tools but the method of application of muda, mura, muri to expose problems systematically and to use the tools where the ideal cannot be achieved. Thus the 'tools' are, in their view, 'workarounds' adapted to different situations which explains any apparent incoherence of the 'principles' above. Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka (自働化) used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. ...


The TPS has two pillar concepts: JIT (flow) and autonomation (smart automation).[3] Adherents of the Toyota approach would say that the smooth 'flow'ing delivery of 'value' achieves all these improvements as a side-effect. If production 'flows' perfectly then there is no inventory, if customer valued features are the only ones produced then product design is simplified and effort is only expended on features the customer values. The other of the two TPS pillars is the very human aspect of 'autonomation' whereby automation is achieved with a human touch.[4] This aims to give the machines enough 'intelligence' to recognise when they are working abnormally and flag this for human attention. Thus humans do not have to monitor normal production and only have to focus on abnormal, or fault, conditions. A reduction in human workload that is probably much desired by all involved since it removes much routine and repetitive activity that humans often do not enjoy and where they are therefore not at their most effective. Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka (自働化) used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. ...


Lean implementation is therefore focused on getting the right things, to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change. These concepts of flexibility and change are principally required to allow production leveling, using tools like SMED, but have their analogues in other processes such as R&D. The flexibility and ability to change are not open-ended, and therefore often not expensive capability requirements. More importantly, all of these concepts have to be understood, appreciated, and embraced by the actual employees who build the products and therefore own the processes that deliver the value. The cultural and managerial aspects of Lean are just as, and possibly more, important than the actual tools or methodologies of production itself. There are many examples of Lean tool implementation without sustained benefit and these are often blamed on weak understanding of Lean in the organisation. Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. ...


Lean aims to make the work simple enough to understand, to do and to manage. To achieve these three at once there is a belief held by some that Toyota's mentoring process (loosely called Senpai and Kohai relationship), so strongly supported in Japan, is one of the best ways to foster Lean Thinking up and down the organizational structure. This is the process undertaken by Toyota as it helps its suppliers to improve their own production. The closest equivalent to Toyota's mentoring process is the concept of Lean Sensei, which encourages companies, organizations, and teams to seek out outside, third-party "Sensei" that can provide unbiased advice and coaching, (see Womack et al, Lean Thinking, 1998).


History of waste reduction thinking

Pre-20th Century

Most of the basic goals of lean manufacturing are common sense and documented examples can be seen back to at least Benjamin Franklin. Poor Richard's Almanack says of wasted time, "He that idly loses 5s. [shillings] worth of time, loses 5s., and might as prudently throw 5s. into the river." He added that avoiding unnecessary costs could be more profitable than increasing sales: "A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a-day is a groat a-year. Save and have." Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most well known Founding Fathers of the United States. ...


Again Franklin's The Way to Wealth says the following about carrying unnecessary inventory. "You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. You expect they will be sold cheap, and, perhaps, they may [be bought] for less than they cost; but, if you have no occasion for them, they must be dear to you. Remember what Poor Richard says, 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.' In another place he says, 'Many have been ruined by buying good penny worths'." Henry Ford cited Franklin as a major influence on his own business practices, which included Just-in-time manufacturing. Henry Ford (1919) Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was the founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. ... Just In Time (JIT) is an inventory strategy implemented to improve the return on investment of a business by reducing in-process inventory and its associated costs. ...


The concept of waste being built into jobs and then taken for granted was noticed by motion efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, who saw that masons bent over to pick up bricks from the ground. The bricklayer was therefore lowering and raising his entire upper body to get a 5 pound (2.3 kg) brick but this inefficiency had been built into the job through long practice. Introduction of a non-stooping scaffold, which delivered the bricks at waist level, allowed masons to work about three times as quickly, and with less effort. Frank Bunker Gilbreth (July 7, 1868-June 14, 1924), born in Fairfield, Maine, was a proponent of Taylorism and a pioneer of time-motion studies. ...


20th Century

Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of scientific management, introduced what are now called standardization and best practice deployment: "And whenever a workman proposes an improvement, it should be the policy of the management to make a careful analysis of the new method, and if necessary conduct a series of experiments to determine accurately the relative merit of the new suggestion and of the old standard. And whenever the new method is found to be markedly superior to the old, it should be adopted as the standard for the whole establishment" (Principles of Scientific Management, 1911). Frederick Winslow Taylor Frederick Winslow Taylor (March 20, 1856 to March 21, 1915) was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. ...


Taylor also warned explicitly against cutting piece rates (or, by implication, cutting wages or discharging workers) when efficiency improvements reduce the need for raw labor: "…after a workman has had the price per piece of the work he is doing lowered two or three times as a result of his having worked harder and increased his output, he is likely entirely to lose sight of his employer's side of the case and become imbued with a grim determination to have no more cuts if soldiering [marking time, just doing what he is told] can prevent it." This is now a foundation of lean manufacturing, because it is obvious that workers will not drive improvements they think will put them out of work. Shigeo Shingo, the best-known exponent of single-minute exchange of die (SMED) and error-proofing or poka-yoke, cites Principles of Scientific Management as his inspiration (Andrew Dillon, translator, 1987. The Sayings of Shigeo Shingo: Key Strategies for Plant Improvement). Shigeo Shingo , 1909-1990), born in Saga City, Japan, was a Japanese industrial engineer who distinguished himself as one of the world’s leading experts on manufacturing practices and The Toyota Production System. ... Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. ...


American industrialists recognized the threat of cheap offshore labor to American workers during the 1910s, and explicitly stated the goal of what is now called lean manufacturing as a countermeasure. Henry Towne, past President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, wrote in the Foreword to Frederick Winslow Taylor's Shop Management (1911), "We are justly proud of the high wage rates which prevail throughout our country, and jealous of any interference with them by the products of the cheaper labor of other countries. To maintain this condition, to strengthen our control of home markets, and, above all, to broaden our opportunities in foreign markets where we must compete with the products of other industrial nations, we should welcome and encourage every influence tending to increase the efficiency of our productive processes." ASME redirects here. ...


Ford starts the ball rolling

Henry Ford continued this focus on waste while developing his mass assembly manufacturing system. "Ford's success has startled the country, almost the world, financially, industrially, mechanically. It exhibits in higher degree than most persons would have thought possible the seemingly contradictory requirements of true efficiency, which are: constant increase of quality, great increase of pay to the workers, repeated reduction in cost to the consumer. And with these appears, as at once cause and effect, an absolutely incredible enlargement of output reaching something like one hundredfold in less than ten years, and an enormous profit to the manufacturer".[5]


Ford (1922, My Life and Work) provided a single-paragraph description that encompasses the entire concept of waste. "I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5%. of the energy he expends. … Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a thought given to a logical arrangement. A farmer doing his chores will walk up and down a rickety ladder a dozen times. He will carry water for years instead of putting in a few lengths of pipe. His whole idea, when there is extra work to do, is to hire extra men. He thinks of putting money into improvements as an expense. … It is waste motion— waste effort— that makes farm prices high and profits low." Poor arrangement of the workplace-- a major focus of the modern kaizen-- and doing a job inefficiently out of habit-- are major forms of waste even in modern workplaces.


Ford also pointed out how easy it was to overlook material waste. As described by Harry Bennett[6], "One day when Mr. Ford and I were together he spotted some rust in the slag that ballasted the right of way of the D. T. & I [railroad]. This slag had been dumped there from our own furnaces. 'You know,' Mr. Ford said to me, 'there's iron in that slag. You make the crane crews who put it out there sort it over, and take it back to the plant.'" In other words, Ford saw the rust and realized that the steel plant was not recovering all of the iron.


Design for Manufacture (DFM) also is a Ford concept. Per My Life and Work, "Start with an article that suits and then study to find some way of eliminating the entirely useless parts. This applies to everything— a shoe, a dress, a house, a piece of machinery, a railroad, a steamship, an airplane. As we cut out useless parts and simplify necessary ones, we also cut down the cost of making. ...But also it is to be remembered that all the parts are designed so that they can be most easily made." The same reference describes Just in time manufacturing very explicitly. See also Just-in-time for the compiler system in computing. ...


While Ford is renowned for his production line it is often not recognized how much effort he put into removing the 'fitters' work in order to make the production line possible. Until Ford a car's components always had to be 'fitted' or reshaped by a skilled engineer at the point of use so that they would connect properly. By enforcing very strict specification and quality criteria on component manufacture he eliminated this work almost entirely, this reduced manufacturing effort by between 60-90%.[7] However Ford's mass production system failed to incorporate the notion of "Pull" and thus often suffered from over production.


Toyota develops Lean thinking

Toyota's development of ideas that later became Lean may have started at the turn of the 20th century with Sakichi Toyoda in their textile business with looms that stopped themselves when a thread broke, this became the seed of "Autonomation" and "Jidoka". Toyota's journey with JIT may have started back in 1934 when it moved from textiles to produce its first car. Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota Motor Corp., directed the engine casting work and discovered many problems in their manufacture. He decided he must stop the repairing of poor quality by intense study of each stage of the process. In 1936 Toyota won its first truck contract with the Japanese government his processes hit new problems and developed the "Kaizen" improvement teams. Sakichi Toyoda (豊田 佐吉 Toyoda Sakichi, February 14, 1867 – October 30, 1930)He was born in Kosai city. ... Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka (自働化) used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. ... Jidoka a term used in Lean manufacturing meaning automation with a human touch. ... A statue of Kiichiro Toyoda Kiichiro Toyoda (豊田喜一郎 Toyoda Kiichirō, June 11, 1894 – March 27, 1952) was a Japanese industrialist and the son of Toyoda Loom Works founder Sakichi Toyoda. ... This article is about a continual improvement philosophy. ...


Levels of demand in the Post War economy of Japan were low and the focus of mass production on lowest cost per item via economies of scale therefore had little application. Having visited and seen supermarkets in the US Taiichi Ohno recognised the scheduling of work should not be driven by sales or production targets but by actual sales. Given the financial situation during this period over-production was not an option and thus the notion of Pull (build to order rather than target driven Push) came to underpin production scheduling.


It was with Taiichi Ohno at Toyota that these themes came together. He built on the already existing internal schools of thought and spread its breadth and use into what has now become the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is principally from the TPS, but now including many other sources, that Lean production is developing. Norman Bodek wrote the following in his foreword to a reprint of Ford's (1926) Today and Tomorrow: "I was first introduced to the concepts of just-in-time (JIT) and the Toyota production system in 1980. Subsequently I had the opportunity to witness its actual application at Toyota on one of our numerous Japanese study missions. There I met Mr. Taiichi Ohno, the system's creator. When bombarded with questions from our group on what inspired his thinking, he just laughed and said he learned it all from Henry Ford's book." It is the scale, rigour and continuous learning aspects of the TPS which have made it a core of Lean. Taiichi Ohno (大野 耐一, February 29, 1912 - May 28, 1990) is considered to be the father of the Toyota Production System, also known as Just In Time or JIT. He has written several books about the system, the most popular of which is Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production. ... The Toyota Production System (TPS) (トヨタ生産方式) is the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including the interaction with suppliers and customers. ...


Types of wastes

While the elimination of waste may seem like a simple and clear subject it is noticeable that waste is often very conservatively identified. This then hugely reduces the potential of such an aim. The elimination of waste is the goal of Lean, Toyota defined three types of waste: muda or nonvalue-added work, muri or overburden and mura or unevenness. Muda (無駄) is a Japanese term for anything that is wasteful and doesnt add value. ... Muri (無理) is a Japanese term for overburden or unreasonableness. ... Mura (斑) is a Japanese term for unevenness. ...

  • To illustrate the state of this thinking Shigeo Shingo observed that it's only the last turn of a bolt that tightens it - the rest is just movement. This ever finer clarification of waste is key to establishing distinctions between value-adding activity, waste and non-value adding work.[8] Non-value adding work is waste that must be done under the present work conditions. It is key to measure, or estimate, the size of these wastes in order to demonstrate the effect of the changes achieved and therefore the movement towards the goal.
  • The 'flow' (or smoothness) based approach aims to achieve JIT by removing the variation caused by work scheduling and thereby provide a driver, rationale or target and priorities for implementation, using a variety of techniques. The effort to achieve JIT exposes many quality problems that had been hidden by buffer stocks, by forcing smooth flow of only value-adding steps these problems become visible and must be dealt with explicitly.
  • Muri is all the unreasonable work that management imposes on workers and machines because of poor organisation , such as carrying heavy weights, moving things around, dangerous tasks, even working significantly faster than usual, etc. It is pushing a person or a machine beyond its natural limits. This may simply be asking a greater level of performance from a process than it can handle without taking shortcuts and informally modifying decision criteria. Unreasonable work is almost always a cause of multiple variations.

To link these three concepts is straight forward. Firstly, Muri focuses on the preparation and planning of the process, or what work can be avoided proactively by design. Next, Mura then focuses on implementation and the elimination of fluctuation at the scheduling or operations level, such as quality and volume. The third — Muda — is discovered after the process is in place and is dealt with reactively. It is seen through variation in output. It is the role of management to examine the Muda, or waste, in the processes and eliminate the deeper causes by considering the connections to the Muri and Mura of the system. The Muda – waste – and Mura – inconsistencies – must be fed back to the Muri, or planning, stage for the next project. Shigeo Shingo , 1909-1990), born in Saga City, Japan, was a Japanese industrial engineer who distinguished himself as one of the world’s leading experts on manufacturing practices and The Toyota Production System. ... Just In Time (JIT) is an inventory strategy implemented to improve the return on investment of a business by reducing in-process inventory and its associated costs. ...


A typical example of the interplay of these wastes is the corporate behaviour of "making the numbers" as the end of a reporting period approaches. Demand is raised, increasing (mura), when the "numbers" are low which causes production to try to squeeze extra capacity from the process which causes routines and standards to be modified or stretched. This stretch and improvisation leads to muri style waste which leads to downtime, mistakes and backflows and waiting, thus the muda of waiting, correction and movement.


Observers who have toured Toyota plants have described their aim as 'learning to see' these wastes in order to carry back a new vision of 'ideal' to their parent companies.


The original seven muda 'deadly wastes' are:

  • Overproduction (production ahead of demand)
  • Transportation (moving products that is not actually required to perform the processing)
  • Waiting (waiting for the next production step)
  • Inventory (all components, work-in-progress and finished product not being processed)
  • Motion (people or equipment moving or walking more than is required to perform the processing)
  • Over Processing (due to poor tool or product design creating activity)
  • Defects (the effort involved in inspecting for and fixing defects)[9]
for other candidate wastes see muda

Some of these definitions may seem rather 'idealist' but this tough definition is seen as important. The clear identification of 'non-value adding work', as distinct from waste or work, is critical to identifying the assumptions behind the current work process and to challenging them in due course. In the words of Taiichi Ohno "eliminate muda, mura, muri completely".[10] Breakthroughs in SMED and other process changing techniques rely upon clear identification of where untapped opportunities may lie if the processing assumptions are challenged. Muda (無駄) is a Japanese term for anything that is wasteful and doesnt add value. ... Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. ...


Lean implementation

System engineering

Lean is about more than just cutting costs in the factory. One crucial insight is that most costs are assigned when a product is designed, (see Genichi Taguchi). Often an engineer will specify familiar, safe materials and processes rather than inexpensive, efficient ones. This reduces project risk, that is, the cost to the engineer, while increasing financial risks, and decreasing profits. Good organizations develop and review checklists to review product designs.
Companies must often look beyond the shop-floor to find opportunities for improving overall company cost and performance. At the system engineering level, requirements are reviewed with marketing and customer representatives to eliminate costly requirements. Shared modules may be developed, such as multipurpose power-supplies or shared mechanical components or fasteners. Requirements are assigned to the cheapest discipline. For example, adjustments may be moved into software, and measurements away from a mechanical solution to an electronic solution. Another approach is to choose connection or power-transport methods that are cheap or that used standardized components that become available in a competitive market.

Genichi Taguchi (田口 玄一) (born January 1, 1924 in Tokamachi, Japan) is an engineer and statistician. ... Systems engineering (or systems design engineering) as a field originated around the time of World War II. Large or highly complex engineering projects, such as the development of a new airliner or warship, are often decomposed into stages and managed throughout the entire life of the product or system. ...

An example program

In summary, an example of a lean implementation program could be:-
With a tools based approach
  • Senior management to agree and discuss their lean vision
  • Management brainstorm to identify project leader and set objectives
  • Communicate plan and vision to the workforce
  • Ask for volunteers to form the Lean Implementation team (5-7 works best, all from different departments)
  • Appoint members of the Lean Manufacturing Implementation Team
  • Train the Implementation Team in the various lean tools - make a point of trying to visit other non competing businesses which have implemented lean
  • Select a Pilot Project – 5S is a good place to start
  • Run the pilot for 2-3 months - evaluate, review and learn from your mistakes
  • Roll out pilot to other factory areas
  • Evaluate results, encourage feedback
  • Stabilize the positive results by teaching supervisors how to train the new standards you've developed with TWI methodology (Training Within Industry)
  • Once you are satisfied that you have a habitual program, consider introducing the next lean tool. Select the one which will give you the biggest return for your business.
With a muri or flow based approach (as used in the TPS with suppliers[11]).
  • Sort out as many of the visible quality problems as you can, as well as downtime and other instability problems, and get the internal scrap acknowledged and its management started.
  • Make the flow of parts through the system/process as continuous as possible using workcells and market locations where necessary and avoiding variations in the operators work cycle
  • Introduce standard work and stabilise the work pace through the system
  • Start pulling work through the system, look at the production scheduling and move towards daily orders with kanban cards
  • Even out the production flow by reducing batch sizes, increase delivery frequency internally and if possible externally, level internal demand
  • Improve exposed quality issues using the tools
  • Remove some people and go through this work again (the Oh No !! moment)

Senior management is generally a team of individuals at the highest level of organizational management who have the day-to-day responsibilities of managing a corporation. ... 5S is a reference to five Japanese words that describe standardized cleanup: Seiri (整理): tidiness, organization. ... The Training Within Industry (TWI) service was created by the United States Department of War, running from 1940 to 1945. ... A workcell is an arrangement of resources in a manufacturing environment to improve the quality, speed and cost of the process. ... A manufacturing supermarket (or market location) is, for a factory process, what a retail supermarket is for the customer. ... Kanban maintains inventory levels; a signal is sent to produce and deliver a new shipment as material is consumed. ...

Lean Leadership

The role of the leaders within the organisation is the fundamental element of sustaining the progress of lean thinking. Experienced kaizen members at Toyota, for example, often bring up the concept of "Senpai, Kohai," and "Sensei," because they strongly feel that transferring of Toyota culture down and across the Toyota can only happen when more experienced Toyota Sensei continuously coach and guide the less experienced lean champions. Unfortunately, most lean practitioners in North America focus on the tools and methodologies of lean, versus the philosophy and culture of lean. Some exceptions include Shingijitsu Consulting out of Japan, which is made up of ex-Toyota managers, and Lean Sensei International based in North America, which coaches lean through Toyota-style cultural experience.
One of the dislocative effects of Lean is in the area of KPIs (Key Process Indicators). The KPIs by which a plant/facility are judged will often be driving behaviour by leadership within it, e.g. Production against forecast, because the KPIs themselves assume a particular approach to the work being done. This can be an issue where for example a truly Lean, FRS and JIT approach is planned to be adopted because these KPIs will no longer reflect performance since the assumptions on which they are based become invalid. It is a key leadership challenge to manage the impact of this KPI chaos within the organisation.
Key focus areas for leaders are

Fixed Repeating Schedule is a key element of the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. ... PDCA (aka the Deming Cycle, Shewhart cycle, or Deming Wheel) is an iterative four-step quality control strategy. ... Genchi Genbutsu (現地現物) means Go and see for yourself and it is an integral part of the Toyota Production System. ...

Differences from TPS

Whilst Lean is seen by many as a generalisation of the Toyota Production System into other industries and contexts there are some acknowledged differences that seem to have developed in implementation. The Toyota Production System (TPS) (トヨタ生産方式) is the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including the interaction with suppliers and customers. ...

  1. Seeking profit is a relentless focus for Toyota exemplified by the profit maximization principle (Price – Cost = Profit) and the need, therefore, to practice systematic cost reduction (through TPS or otherwise) in order to realise benefit. Lean implementations can tend to de-emphasise this key measure and thus become fixated with the implementation of improvement concepts of “flow” or “pull” sometimes destroying some of the benefit they deliver.
  2. Tool orientation is a tendency in many programs where they elevate mere tools (standardized work, value stream mapping, visual control, etc.) to an unhealthy status beyond their pragmatic intent. The tools are just different ways to workaround certain types of problems but they don’t solve them for you or always frame the underlying cause of many types of problem. The tools, used as a Toyota, are often used to expose particular problems that are then dealt with, each tool's limitations or blindspots are perhaps better understood by them. So, for example, Value Stream Mapping focusses upon material and information flow problems (a title built into the Toyota title for this activity) but is not strong on Metrics, Man or Method. This is fine for Toyota. Internally they well know the limits of the tool and understood that the it was never intended as the best way to see and analyze every waste or every problem related to quality, downtime, personnel development, cross training related issues, capacity bottlenecks, or anything to do with profits, safety, metrics or morale, etc. No one tool can do all of that. For surfacing these issues other tools are much more widely and effectively used.
  3. Management technique rather than Change agents has been a principle in Toyota from the early 1950’s when they started emphasizing the development of the production manager and supervisor’s skills set in guiding natural work teams and did not rely upon staff level change agents to drive improvements. This can manifest itself as a "Push" implementation of Lean rather than "Pull" by the team itself. This area of skills development is not that of the change agent specialist, but that of the natural operations work team leader. Although less prestigious than the TPS specialists, development of work team supervisors in Toyota is considered an equally, if not more important, topic merely because there are tens of thousands of these individuals. Specifically, it is these manufacturing leaders that are the main focus of training efforts in Toyota since they lead the daily work areas, and they directly and dramatically affect quality, cost, productivity, safety, and morale of the team environment. In many companies implementing Lean the reverse set of priorities is true. Emphasis is put on developing the specialist, while the supervisor skill level is expected to somehow develop over time on its own.

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Lean services

Lean, as a concept or brand, has captured the imagination of many in different spheres of activity. Examples of these from many sectors are listed below.


A study conducted on behalf of the Scottish Executive, by Warwick University, in 2005/06 found that Lean methods were applicable to the public sector, but that most results had been achieved using a much more restricted range of techniques than Lean provides.


The challenge in moving Lean to services is the lack of widely available reference implementations to allow people to see how it can work and the impact it does have. This makes it more difficult to build the level of belief seen as necessary for strong implementation. It is also the case that the manufacturing examples of 'techniques' or 'tools' need to be 'translated' into a service context which has not yet received the level of work or publicity that would give starting points for implementors. The upshot of this is that each implementation often 'feels its way' along as must the early industrial engineers of Toyota. This places huge importance upon sponsorship to encourage and protect these experimental developments. On the positive side there are many examples in service industries accessible through the Lean Enterprise Academy (car servicing, hospital admissions, administrative processes etc) of Lean delivering important results. At this time, however, they are not well publicised.


References

  1. ^ Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T., and Roos, Daniel (1991), The Machine That Changed the World
  2. ^ Toyota Production System, Taichi Ohno (1988), Productivity Press, p 8, ISBN 0-915299-14-3
  3. ^ Taichi Ohno (1988), p 4
  4. ^ Taichi Ohno (1988), p 6
  5. ^ (Charles Buxton Going, preface to Arnold and Faurote, Ford Methods and the Ford Shops (1915))
  6. ^ 1951, Ford: We Never Called Him Henry
  7. ^ David A. Hounshell, From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932 (John Hopkins University Press, 1984), 248 and subsequent
  8. ^ Toyota Production System, Taichi Ohno, Productivity Press, 1988,, p 58
  9. ^ Lean Thinking, Womack, James P. and Jones, Daniel T., Free Press, 2003, p 352
  10. ^ Toyota Vision and Philosophy,[1]
  11. ^ The Gold Mine, F & M Ballé, The Lean Enterprise Institute, 2005, p196

David A. Hounshell is the David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in the Department of History, Engineering and Public Policy program at Carnegie Mellon University. ...

See also

Those areas below are linked to this subject:

Closely related methodologies
Terminology
Areas of implementation outside Production
Lean Software Engineering
Other

The Toyota Production System (TPS) (トヨタ生産方式) is the philosophy which organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including the interaction with suppliers and customers. ... Value networks (value webs), are the human and technical resources in a business that work together to form relationships and add value to a product or service. ... Theory of Constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy that aims to continually achieve more of the goal of a system. ... The often-used six sigma symbol. ... Statistical process control (SPC) is a method for achieving quality control in manufacturing processes. ... Just In Time (JIT) is an inventory strategy implemented to improve the return on investment of a business by reducing in-process inventory and its associated costs. ... Fixed Repeating Schedule is a key element of the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. ... This article is about a continual improvement philosophy. ... Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. ... Poka-yoke ) means fail-safing or mistake-proofing — avoiding (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka)) is a behavior-shaping constraint, or a method of preventing errors by putting limits on how an operation can be performed in order to force the correct completion of the operation. ... Autonomation describes a feature of machine design to effect the principle of jidoka (自働化) used in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. ... Jidoka a term used in Lean manufacturing meaning automation with a human touch. ... 5S is a reference to five Japanese words that describe standardized cleanup: Seiri (整理): tidiness, organization. ... Production levelling is key to reducing the Mura waste and to the development of production efficiency in the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing. ... Muda (無駄) is a Japanese term for anything that is wasteful and doesnt add value. ... Mura (斑) is a Japanese term for unevenness. ... Muri (無理) is a Japanese term for overburden or unreasonableness. ... A workcell is an arrangement of resources in a manufacturing environment to improve the quality, speed and cost of the process. ... Takt time can be defined as the maximum time allowed to produce a product in order to meet demand. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Genchi Genbutsu (現地現物) means Go and see for yourself and it is an integral part of the Toyota Production System. ... Gemba is Japanese term meaning the place where the truth can be found. ... The five whys is a question asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. ... Lean Construction is a translation and adaption of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. ... Agile software development is a conceptual framework for software engineering that promotes development iterations throughout the life-cycle of the project. ... For other uses, see Scrum. ... Extreme Programming (or XP) is a software engineering methodology, the most prominent of several agile software development methodologies, prescribing a set of daily stakeholder practices that embody and encourage particular XP values (below). ... Lean Software Development is a translation of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the software development domain. ... Cellular Manufacturing is a model for workplace design, and is an integral part of lean manufacturing systems. ... Agile manufacturing is a term applied to an organization that has created the processes, tools, and training to enable it to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Manufacturing (from Latin manu factura, making by hand) is the use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale. ... A preorder economy is a type of proposed future economy where the exact demand for goods is known ahead of time, before any material production takes place. ... This article is about reengineering business processes. ... The Training Within Industry (TWI) service was created by the United States Department of War, running from 1940 to 1945. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Books on lean production

  • Carlino, Andy and Flinchbaugh, Jamie (2005), The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean, Society of Manufacturing Engineers , ISBN 0-87263-831-6
  • Chalice, Robert W, (2007), Improving Healthcare Using Toyota Lean Production Methods - 46 Steps for Improvement, ISBN 0873897137 or # ISBN-13: 978-0873897136
  • Cooper, Robert G. and Edgett, Scott J. (2005), Lean, Rapid and Profitable New Product Development, ISBN 0-9732827-1-1
  • Emiliani, B., with Stec, D., Grasso, L. and Stodder, J. (2007), Better Thinking, Better Results: Case Study and Analysis of an Enterprise-Wide Lean Transformation, second edition, The CLBM, LLC Kensington, Conn., ISBN 978-0-9722591-2-5
  • Ford, Henry and Crowther, Samuel (2003), My Life and Work, Kessinger Press, ISBN 0-7661-2774-5
  • Ford, Henry and Crowther, Samuel (1988), Today and Tomorrow, Productivity Press, ISBN 0-915299-36-4
  • Ford, Henry and Crowther, Samuel (2003), Moving Forward, Kessinger Press, ISBN 0-7661-4339-2
  • George, Michael L. (2003), Lean Six Sigma For Service, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-141821-0
  • Hirano, Hiroyuki and Furuya, Makuto (2006), "JIT Is Flow: Practice and Principles of Lean Manufacturing", PCS, Inc., ISBN 0-9712436-1-1
  • Imai, Masaaki (1997), Gemba Kaizen, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-031446-2
  • Levinson, William A. (2002), Henry Ford's Lean Vision: Enduring Principles from the First Ford Motor Plant, Productivity Press, ISBN 1-56327-260-1
  • Levinson, William A. and Rerick, Raymond (2002), Lean Enterprise: A Synergistic Approach to Minimizing Waste, ASQ Quality Press, ISBN 0-87389-532-0
  • Liker, Jeffrey (2003), The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, First edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-139231-9.
  • Norwood, Edwin P. (1931), Ford: Men and Methods, Doubleday, Doran, ASIN B000858158
  • Ohno, Taiichi (1988), Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production, Productivity Press, ISBN 0-915299-14-3
  • Rother, Mike and Shook, John (2003), Learning to See, Lean Enterprise Institute, ISBN 0-9667843-0-8
  • Schonberger, Richard J. (1986), World Class Manufacturing, Free Press, ISBN 0-02-929270-0
  • Womack, James P. and Jones, Daniel T. (1998), Lean Thinking Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-4927-5.
  • Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T., and Roos, Daniel (1991), The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production, Harper Perennial, ISBN 0-06-097417-6

This book covers lean manufacturing principles and thinking, lean leadership moves, the road map for lean transformation, common pitfalls of lean journeys, building an operating system, lean accounting, lean material management, lean in service organizations, and how individuals can apply lean to improve themselves. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The Machine That Changed the World is a book based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys $5 million, five-year study on the future of the automobile, written by Jim Womack, Dan Jones, and Daniel Roos. ...

External links

  • LAI The Lean Advancement Initiative - lots of articles, manuals and case studies
  • "Tutorials - Lean Production/Lean Manufacturing" by the Defense Acquisition University
  • Links to Value-adding Lean Resources NOT Available on Wikipedia
  • A collection of Lean viewpoints at the Art of Lean site

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lean Manufacturing Guide;Increasing production (269 words)
Lean Manufacturing is "A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the demand of the customer."
The process of lean manufacturing is not just a matter of the type of machinery a plant has.
The powerful combination of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma is what we are speaking about when we use the term Lean Six Sigma.
Lean Manufacturing and Lean Enterprise (698 words)
In the global race to compete, Lean Manufacturing is the essential method of removing "fat" or waste from the manufacturing process.
Lean Manufacturing is a term coined in the James P. Womack book, The Machine That Changed the World, based largely on his observations of the Toyota Production System.
Lean principles were implemented by many manufacturers, and many other non-manufacturing organizations, with great success, resulting in significant improvements in quality, cost and delivery performance.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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