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Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a methodology focused on waste reduction in manufacturing processes.

Wastes analyzed are:
- Over-production,
- Unnecessary inventory
- Peoples move,
- Inadequate process,
- Lead time,
- Waiting time,
- Defaults.
It is focused on the analysis of five domains called five primary elements.
The strength of a lean manufacturing methodology comes from the analysis of all activities, not one
by one as before, but as a whole. It also insures the cost calculation accuracy since the product
It is basically how to achieve productivity and profitability by respecting the following principle: the
good product at the right place at the right time in the right quantity reducing as much as possible
wastes and guaranteeing flexibility.
The five primary elements are described below.
Manufacturing flow
It means physical flows, organization and production tools within a given manufacturing process.
This process is usually divided in several entities called cell.
The main analysis tools are :
- Product quantity assessment
- Process mapping
- Routing analysis
- Takt time calculation
- Workload balancing
- Kanban sizing
- Cell layout
- Standard work
- One piece flow
It means the way of identification of staffs functions, organization, training and communication.
The main tools are:
- Product focused multi disciplinary team
- Lean management development
- Cross-training skill matrix
- Training
- Communication plan
- Roles and responsibilities
Process control


It means the way that processes are evaluated, monitored, improved and stabilized.
The main tools are:
- TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)
- Poka yoke
- SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies)
- Graphical work instruction
- Visual control
- Continuous improvement
- Line stop
- 5S
It means the way of how is physically and concretely measured the performance, improvements and
team recognition.
The main tools are:
- On time delivery
- Process lead time
- Total cost
- Quality yield
- Inventory
- Space utilization
- Travel distance
- Productivity
It means the way that are developed, improved and controlled physical flow activities of planning and
- Forward plan
- Mix-model manufacturing ability
- Level loading
- Workable work
- Kanban pull signal
- ABC products handling (ABC Method)
- Service level
- Client supplier alignment
- Operational rules
The lean manufacturing approach is based on :
- Project management tools and methodologies,
- Continuous analysis (Kaisen),
- Continuous control (5S and Poka Yoke)
- Pull production application.
Lean methodology project applies the following steps :
- Lean Assessment focused on waste opportunities
- Current state gap
- Future state design
- Deployment
- Results assessment


Involvement of all studied activities managers and of direction board is an important vector of
success and ensure the identified changes opportunities adequacy with customers expectations.
At the end of deployment a sustained change will be insured by a permanent control:
- Management realizes 5S audit at least once a month
- Operational workers are animated trough continuous improvement activities
- Operational teams conduct Kaisen event every quarter
- Operational KPIs are updated every day
- Operational problems are reviewed every day
- Operational meeting every day to review progress and issues
- Setup times are recorded
- Training level evaluation matrices are updated every quarter
- Equipment is cleaned and checked every day
- Customers and suppliers are visited by operational team members every quarter.
Examples of Lean Manufacturing results
Lean Manufacturing approach improves:
o More Productivity
o Lead Time reduction
o Inventory reduction
o Surfaces need reduction
o Launching process time reduction
o Low quality costs reduction
o Efficient and coordinate Communication
o Efficiency
o Autonomy
o Competence
o Low security risk
o Motivation
To clients
o Reactivity in answering the needs
o Flexibility
o Service
o Confidence