LEAN PRODUCTION

Aditi Phadke TY-C Roll No.: 3120

WHAT IS LEAN?
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and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies. information management becomes much simpler and more accurate. founders of the Lean Enterprise Institute and the Lean Enterprise Academy (UK). less capital. and less time to make products and services at far less costs and with much fewer defects. creates processes that need less human effort. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste. Many organizations choose not to use the word lean. Companies are able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety. but the way the company operates. The word transformation or lean transformation is often used to characterize a company moving from an old way of thinking to lean thinking. Ph. assets. lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. Not true. This takes a longterm perspective and perseverance. including healthcare and governments.D.The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. but to label what they do as their own system. To accomplish this. assets. less space. compared with traditional business systems. respectively. Also. instead of at isolated points. It requires a complete transformation on how a company conducts business. While there are many very 2 . and departments to customers. and with very fast throughput times. Lean for Production and Services A popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing. lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies. at MIT's International Motor Vehicle Program. Simply.. Businesses in all industries and services. Eliminating waste along entire value streams. It is not a tactic or a cost reduction program. but a way of thinking and acting for an entire organization. The characteristics of a lean organization and supply chain are described in Lean Thinking. Why? To drive home the point that lean is not a program or short term cost reduction program. The term "lean" was coined to describe Toyota's business during the late 1980s by a research team headed by Jim Womack. low cost. by Womack and Dan Jones. Lean applies in every business and every process. high quality. such as the Toyota Production System or the Danaher Business System. A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. are using lean principles as the way they think and do.

process. capable.People: How can the organization insure that every important process has someone responsible for continually evaluating that value stream in terms of business purpose and lean process? How can everyone touching the value stream be actively engaged in operating it correctly and continually improving it? "Just as a carpenter needs a vision of what to build in order to get the full benefit of a hammer.Purpose: What customer problems will the enterprise solve to achieve its own purpose of prospering? . Early Developments 3 . It derives from the Toyota Production System orJust In Time Production." said Womack. adequate. Purpose.Process: How will the organization assess each major value stream to make sure each step is valuable. Lean Thinkers need a vision before picking up our lean tools. and leveling? . It is not especially new. The lineage of Lean manufacturing and Just In Time (JIT) Production goes back to Eli Whitney and the concept of interchangeable parts. and that all the steps are linked by flow. Lean Thinking remains one of the best resources for understanding "what is lean" because it describes the thought process. available.This article traces the high points of that long history. Henry Ford and other predecessors. pull. people is the key to doing this.good books about lean techniques. People Womack and Jones recommend that managers and executives embarked on lean transformations think about three fundamental business issues that should guide the transformation of the entire organization: . "Thinking deeply about purpose. the overarching key principles that must guide your actions when applying lean techniques and tools. Process." HISTORY OF LEAN MANUFACTURING Lean Manufacturing is the latest buzzword in manufacturing circles. flexible.

40 each. a key tenet of JIT and Lean Manufacturing. Frederick W. Frank Gilbreth (Cheaper By The Dozen) added Motion Study and invented Process Charting. there was Henry Ford. • How each worker went about a task This changed in the late 1890's with the work of early Industrial Engineers.people. Army for the manufacture of 10. Lillian Gilbreth brought psychology into the mix by studying the motivations of workers and how attitudes affected the outcome of a process. However. fashioned the first comprehensive Manufacturing Strategy. modern machine tools were perfected and large scale processes such as the Bessemer process for making steel held the center of attention. Taylor began to look at individual workers and work methods. The Ford System And then. of course. Sorensen. he had a peculiar attitude towards factory workers. They took all the elements of a manufacturing system-. Ford and his right-hand-man. There were. tooling.Eli Whitney is most famous as the inventor of the cotton gin. few people concerned themselves with: • What happened between processes • How multiple processes were arranged within the factory • How the chain of processes functioned as a system. These were the people who originated the idea of "eliminating waste". machines. For the next 100 years manufacturers primarily concerned themselves with individual technologies.000 muskets at the unbelievably low price of $13. During this time our system of engineering drawings developed. Taylor was a controversial figure. As products moved from one discrete process to the next through the logistics system and within factories. In addition.and arranged them in a continuous system for manufacturing the Model T automobile. Starting about 1910. He called his ideas Scientific Management. Whitney developed this about 1799 when he took a contract from the U.S.Charles E. Ford was so incredibly successful he quickly became one of the world's richest men and put 4 . many other contributors. The concept of applying science to management was sound but Taylor simply ignored the behavioral sciences. and products-. Process charts focused attention on all work elements including those non-value added elements which normally occur between the "official" elements. The result was Time Study and standardized work. the gin was a minor accomplishment compared to his perfection of interchangeable parts.

By the mid 1930's General Motors had passed Ford in domination of the automotive market. When the world began to change. Ironically. began to incorporate Ford production and other techniques into an approach called Toyota Production System or Just In Time . However. Annual model changes. Product proliferation also put strains on the Ford system. Taichii Ohno and Shigeo Shingo." Just In Time and The Toyota Production System The Allied victory and the massive quantities of material behind it (see "A Bomber An Hour") caught the attention of Japanese industrialists. At Toyota Motor Company. Ford production depended on a labor force that was so desperate for money and jobs that workers would sacrifice their dignity and self esteem. many elements of Ford production were sound. and Joseph Juran. the Ford system began to break down and Henry Ford refused to change the system. With General Douglas MacAurthur actively promoting labor unions in the occupation years. He developed business and manufacturing strategies for managing very large enterprises and dealing with variety. even in the new age. Ford's harsh attitudes and demeaning job structures were unworkable in post-war Japan. Sloan took a more pragmatic approach. They 5 . It is even doubtful that Henry Ford himself fully understood what he had done and why it was so successful.the world on wheels. Henry Ford hated war and refused to build armaments long after war was inevitable. For example. At General Motors. Ford methods were a deciding factor in the Allied victory of World War II. and options did not fit well in Ford factories. Edwards Deming. They studied American production methods with particular attention to Ford practices and the Statistical Quality Control practices of Ishikawa. Ford assembly lines were often employed for products and processes that were unsuitable for them. they did so on a fantastic scale as epitomized by the Willow Run Bomber plant that built "A bomber An Hour. Ford is considered by many to be the first practitioner of Just In Time and Lean Manufacturing. particularly with respect to employees. Ford's success inspired many others to copy his methods. They recognized the central role of inventory. Alfred P. But most of those who copied did not understand the fundamentals. The prosperity of the 1920's and the advent of labor unions produced conflict with the Ford system. multiple colors. The Toyota people also recognized that the Ford system had contradictions and shortcomings. Yet. when Ford plants finally retooled for war production.

Norman Bodek first published the works of Shingo and Ohno in English. the superficial aspects like kanban cards and quality circles. They brought back. Toyota Production. mostly. Reducing setups to minutes and seconds allowed small batches and an almost continuous flow like the original Ford concept. General Electric and Kawasaki (Lincoln. It culminated in team development and cellular manufacturing. American executives traveled to Japan to study it. Toyota soon discovered that factory workers had far more to contribute than just muscle power. but that would not be evident for some years. Ishikawa. a knowledge and experience base developed and success stories became more frequent. To some extent it spread to other Japanese companies. America's "Greatest Generation" carried over attitudes from the Great Depression that made the system work in spite of its defects. went to work on the setup and changeover problem. such as Omark Industries. Gradually. Lean Manufacturing 6 . All of this took place between about 1949 and 1975. He did much to transfer this knowledge and build awareness in the Western world. and many other names all referred to systems that were. Consultants took up the campaign and acronyms sprouted like weeds: World Class Manufacturing (WCM).were also unworkable in the American context.Nebraska) were achieving success. When the productivity and quality gains became evident to the outside world. It introduced a flexibility that Henry Ford thought he did not need. World Class Manufacturing By the 1980's some American manufacturers. never changing product. and Juran all made major contributions to the quality movement. Stockless Production. Deming. essentially. This discovery probably originated in the Quality Circle movement. It did not cope well with multiple or new products. Shingo. Continuous Flow Manufacturing (CFM). Most early attempts to emulate Toyota failed because they were not integrated into a complete system and because few understood the underlying principles. The Ford system was built around a single. Another key discovery involved product variety. at Ohno's suggestion. Robert Hall and Richard Schonberger also wrote popular books.

and individual process. Lean implementations are now commonplace. Our series of articles on implementation includes a "Mental Model" to assist the thinking process and guidance on strategy and planning. an art. 7 . Before examining what can done to improve the thrust of implementation and more quickly gain the benefits across a broad scale of U. The knowledge and experience base is expanding rapidly. uncertain."Lean Manufacturing. There is no cookbook for manufacturing. What was new was a phrase-. But.S. Overcoming lean manufacturing challenges The road to a lean manufacturing implementation isn't always a smooth one. manufacturing. and history. and find out how to plan ahead to ensure lean manufacturing success. Manufacturing Strategy will always be a difficult. The application in any specific factory does change. Strategy ("The General's Art") is still. largely. Womack's book was a straightforward account of the history of automobile manufacturing combined with a study of Japanese. and European automotive assembly plants. it is important to summarize the flaws that have served to hamper progress: 1." They do not substantially differ from the techniques developed by Ohno. The essential elements of Lean Manufacturing are described at our page "Principles of Lean Manufacturing. In this book chapter excerpt. Shingo and the people at Toyota. processes. their application is not. that should not prevent us from bringing the available science to bear on the problem. learn how to overcome lean manufacturing challenges. The lack of an appropriate focus on a plant's key production equipment in setting the stage for an aggressive application of Lean across the entire operation.In 1990 James Womack wrote a book called "The Machine That Changed The World".While certain principles may be immutable. Just as many firms copied Ford techniques in slavish and unthinking ways. many firms copy Toyota's techniques in slavish and unthinking ways and with poor results. American. people." Lean Manufacturing caught the imagination of manufacturing people in many countries. Each firm has its own unique set of products. Forming a strong implementation strategy will make the journey easier.

were lowered 50% and more. produces plastic extruded components for the automotive industry. Work-in-process inventory levels were reduced as much as 90%. After much deliberation. profits and share of market began to spiral. rework. Management was more than willing to see Lean become a success and to fully support it -. A growing trend away from a "just do it" mentality to establishing a proof-based comfort level before change of any kind is allowed. in terms of the actual number of people required to perform the work.2. A special event was conducted involving a number of key factory personnel. That point. especially considering the change was made over a very short period of time. which has been in business for well over two decades.up to a point. Although it would have been easy to say there simply wasn't strong enough management support. I was called on by various firms to assist in setting the foundation for a Waste Free Manufacturing environment. it enjoyed steady growth and improved market share. Under any form of evaluation these would have to be classified as phenomenal accomplishments. After communicating to employees. On the other hand. There are those. an area of the factory was selected as a pilot project. including the plant manager and various members of his staff. But as competitive pressures grew. Productivity. management decided there was a need to pursue a Lean Manufacturing initiative. and obsolescence. Avery hired the services of a well-respected consulting firm. of course. In every case. A general failure in the utilization of the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering functions in the process. improved as much as 30%. that wasn't the case. who would like to see plant management much more driven as to the need for Lean and more willing to step forward in defense of the process. there was more than one occasion where completing implementation on a plant-wide basis fell short of the goal. in the form of scrap. As a result. After retiring. was when Lean began to seriously distract from achieving other factory obligations. 3. this isn't something that can be depended on to keep a Lean initiative at the forefront of priorities. such as dealing with expenses and meeting customer demand. Still. Required floor space was reduced up to 50% and quality measurements. As a first step. In the vast majority of cases. we have to face reality. For much of its existence. some very pronounced accomplishments were made. 8 . including myself. it slowly began to lose business to overseas competition. Consider the case of Avery Manufacturing (Case 1-1): Case 1-1 Avery Manufacturing Avery Manufacturing.

Following this. • Train and communicate • Enlist the workforce *Details spelled out in Chapter Two. The strong enthusiasm on the front end slowly began to ebb and largely turned to skepticism on the part of employees. required work-in-process inventory levels were lowered. a fictional account. SMED. especially regarding work-place organization.2 To emphasize what I'm driving at. Work began on spreading the change plant wide.1 How to Go About the Job • Establish clear levels of accomplishment: Level I through Level IV* • Determine the tools needed: Poke-Yoke. Afterwards. Figure 1. Participants received training in the basic tools and techniques. This case is. I once worked with a well-known firm where.S.1). direct labor was redistributed. Although a substantial number of smaller in-house events were conducted after the pilot. old and infrequently used equipment. etc. things frequently begin to slow. Figure 2. As is usually the case. among the many that had started and died over the years. In addition. focus had been placed on making small improvements within the confines of larger production departments. But it points to what's transpiring in much of U. and such were removed from the area and stored in a special zone until a decision could be made as to disposition. for the most part. however. one could find little evidence of a successful turnaround. I was astonished to see that outside of some rather insignificant changes on the factory 9 . I returned for a follow-up review. numerous visual controls were installed. however. enthusiasm ran high. Initial efforts are generally impressive and filled with unique accomplishments and high enthusiasm. Factory inventory levels remained as high as ever and slippage was evident in the selected pilot area. principally as a result of not fully understanding what to attack first. which tended to be suffocated by the batch environment going on around them. the chosen pilot area was totally revised. Twenty-four months later. They began to view Lean as just another program. Unneeded items consisting of inventory. industry. Floor space was reduced. As added competitive pressures grew. six months after a highly successful event.The event went extremely well. more and more effort was shifted from implementing Lean to addressing and resolving immediate production issues (firefighting). and manpower adjustments were made. and so on (see Figure 1. work stations were redesigned with input from the operators. second. TPM.

all of them noted that "other things" came first. in particular. after initially being targeted as the first pull area of the factory. the post-pilot goals for setup reduction were far from achieved and no work whatsoever had been applied to error-proofing equipment. the team had improved setup on two pieces of equipment. I cautioned them that the degree to which they expressed satisfied or disappointment said a lot about where they ultimately intended to take the process. I learned in a follow-up meeting with plant management that they were pleased with the work accomplished.floor. The plant manager. In addition. Upon further investigation. the pilot area. was visibly upset and asked me to provide the reasons I felt that way. little progress had been made. in achieving their stated objectives. Even more disappointing. I proceeded to give each of them a copy of the participant feedback form I have team members complete on a follow-up visit. no machine in the factory had a setup time less than twenty minutes in duration and some machines took hours to change over. Collectively less than eighteen hours over a six-month period had been made available for team members to work on stated objectives. On two projects where team members had placed some effort. In response. in order not be seen as lacking in their commitment. had shifted back to a push system of production. Although a majority of the team believed management thought Lean was important. 2. which was designed to be a showcase for how the process should both look and feel. 3. including: • Meeting production schedules • Meeting forecasted operating expenses • Providing support to higher priority or more important plant and corporative objectives 10 . No meetings had been conducted by management to check on how things were going or to redirect the activities of the team as needed. Among the findings: 1. But as politely as I could under the circumstances. They noted that although the goals hadn't been fully achieved (a vast understatement). it became apparent that the objectives established for the change effort had in no way been met. Much of their response was an effort to justify where progress stood. In fact. The silence was almost deafening as I told them that I didn't think Lean was really all that important to them.

There could have been many reasons for this. strive for a goal that's something less than possible and offer a pat on the back for any improvements made. The Japanese and more specifically a number of ex. Otherwise. drains needed resources. in order to move the process across the entire factory. They do not believe machines can run without breaking down and without producing scrap and rework. which for years has served as the one thing that poses the greatest stumbling block to achieving Lean's stated objective. It wasn't insignificant to the decision making process for issues such as adding business. there has to be a commitment to dedicate some number of resources to the process on a full-time basis. scrap. even if it takes an abundance of downtime.S. is there's no magic that would serve to make manufacturing anything other than a day-to-day chaotic exercise. would be staying after hours and weekends to make it happen. Admittedly." • The problem many manufacturing managers have is that they simply refuse to get out of the way of progress. however. I further reminded them that other pressing matters and higher priority objectives will always be there. second.and if and when inventory becomes an issue. so never overstate an objective. however. we'll take our limps and move on. and for the most part has no immediate impact on the big picture. In order to move a Lean initiative forward at a reasonable level of speed. creates unneeded downtime. including the 11 . If anything. etc. and rework -. I should note that management was in no way disinterested or thought that Lean was less important than other things. What they do believe. They do not believe setup can be reduced to near zero and that errors inherent to specific pieces of equipment and processing can be entirely eliminated. shores. which strongly influenced an operating mentality that said: "Things are always going to get in the way. they'd be pushing the hardest for the change and. was precisely what should come first. They were simply typical manufacturing managers.I noted that anything more than single minute changeover fell short of WorldClass. The thing they never seemed to clarify. implementing Lean puts a strain on expenses. increasing line rates. or at minimum some pre-determined period of time.Toyota managers were the first to bring the general philosophy of the Toyota Production System to U. and so forth." • "The most important thing is to keep banging out parts and components. But place the initial thrust on effectively improving a plant's key production equipment. in one form or another. in most cases. working under typical conditions. and attitudes will shift dramatically.

12 .possibility they simply didn't look at it in those terms. The skeptic.not because they were striving to hide something from us. was trying to tell us. but rather in making certain that participants understood how the various tools and techniques were intended to work. they generally had to think about it a bit because it was something they had never considered. In fact. Those who didn't respond in like fashion admitted they really didn't know for certain. Toyota applied much more attention to their equipment than has come to be recognized -. Taiichi Ohno. I believe if Toyota had to do it again. but because we did not pay close enough attention to what the recognized father of the Toyota Production System. Anyone who knows anything about Lean Manufacturing has a special admiration for Toyota and what it accomplished. The majority came to the conclusion that Toyota would follow the same path we are currently using. of course. No one was convinced Toyota would go about it in an entirely different manner. through a highly professional application of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) and Poke-Yoke (a Japanese term related to mistake proofing equipment). But suppose Toyota was placed in the position of having to do it again. I lean toward the theory that they didn't view the process in terms of speed of implementation. They have served as the basic role model for Lean initiatives in the United States. would say it wasn't in their best interest to show the United States how to gain parity. Would they take the same basic steps we're using to implement the process? I posed that question to a number of people who were implementing Lean in various organizations. they would first gear their equipment to support Lean.