What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply, "Lean," is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS) (hence the term Toyotism is also prevalent) and identified as "Lean" only in the 1990s.[1][2] It is renowned for its focus on reduction of the original Toyota seven wastes to improve overall customer value, but there are varying perspectives on how this is best achieved. The steady growth of Toyota, from a small company to the world's largest automaker,[3] has focused attention on how it has achieved this. Lean manufacturing is a variation on the theme of efficiency based on optimizing flow; it is a present-day instance of the recurring theme in human history toward increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas. As such, it is a chapter in the larger narrative that also includes such ideas as the folk wisdom of thrift, time and motion study, Taylorism, the Efficiency Movement, and Fordism. Lean manufacturing is often seen as a more refined version of earlier efficiency efforts, building upon the work of earlier leaders such as Taylor or Ford, and learning from their mistakes.

Lean principles come from the Japanese manufacturing industry. The term was first coined by John Krafcik in a Fall 1988 article, "Triumph of the Lean Production System," published in the Sloan Management Review and based on his master's thesis at the MIT Sloan School of Management.[4] Krafcik had been a quality engineer in the Toyota-GM NUMMI joint venture in California before coming to MIT for MBA studies. Krafcik's research was continued by the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) at MIT, which produced the international best-seller book co-authored by Jim Womack, Daniel Jones, and Daniel Roos called The Machine That Changed the World.[1] A complete historical account of the IMVP and how the term "lean" was coined is given by Holweg (2007).[2] For many, Lean is the

using tools like SMED. is one of the best ways to foster Lean Thinking up and down the organizational structure. (see Womack et al. Lean Thinking. who can provide unbiased advice and coaching. organizations. and embraced by the actual employees who build the products and therefore own the processes that deliver the value. do and manage. The closest equivalent to Toyota's mentoring process is the concept of "Lean Sensei. Five S. third-party experts.. all of these concepts have to be understood. The flexibility and ability to change are within bounds and not open-ended. More importantly. Lean aims to make the work simple enough to understand. These concepts of flexibility and change are principally required to allow production leveling. appreciated. Kanban (pull systems). (loosely called Senpai and Kohai). but have their analogues in other processes such as research and development (R&D). As waste is eliminated quality improves while production time and cost are reduced. This is the process undertaken by Toyota as it helps its suppliers improve their own production. while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change. The cultural and managerial aspects of Lean are possibly more important than the actual tools or methodologies of production itself. Examples of such "tools" are Value Stream Mapping. Steps to achieve lean systems The following steps should be implemented to create the ideal lean manufacturing system: 1." which encourages companies. and poka-yoke (error-proofing). 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. and teams to seek outside. and these are often blamed on weak understanding of Lean throughout the whole organization. To achieve these three goals at once there is a belief held by some that Toyota's mentoring process. Recognize that there is always room for improvement 3. 1998). There are many examples of Lean tool implementation without sustained benefit. Design a simple manufacturing system 2. and therefore often not expensive capability requirements. Continuously improve the lean manufacturing system design Advantages of Lean Manufacturing Time Savings .set of "tools" that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste (muda). which is Japanese for senior and junior.

then that means she spends several thousand seconds out of her day just changing sockets. If the worker must change the sockets hundreds of times per day. Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing Supply Problems Because only a small amount of inventory is kept on hand. But. Saves Money The two aforementioned traits of lean manufacturing both lend to the money savings that lean helps to accomplish. or spending. which works to separate tools and place each item in a "home" so that it is always easy to find. material. Lean has evolved from Total Quality Management and seeks to build quality into the process. because it was not spent actually making the product. One example of lean manufacturing is "5S". lean manufacturing depends heavily on suppliers that can provide products for the manufacturing process .Assume a worker on an assembly line must use two different sockets to do her job. then that 10 seconds is wasted. manufacturers had quality inspectors who inspected final products that came off the assembly lines. If it takes the worker 10 seconds to change the sockets on the ratchet. Saves Space In the drive for eliminating waste. Quality Control In the past. By organizing workspace and keeping the appropriate tools within reach. whether it is waste in steps. lean as adapted to a culture as a whole creates an environment that strives to eliminate all waste. lean manufacturing saves space. rather they strive to continually improve their process. Continuous Improvement Lean manufacturers never rest on their accomplishments. lean manufacturing is focused around workspace layout.

and yet there are still companies that persistently refuse to embrace the ideas. Moreover. Delivery delays can cause long-lasting marketing problems that can be difficult to overcome. With the prevalence of lean ideas and books it is amazing to see that as recently as 2005. on production--can be a problem that adversely affects customers. Customer Dissatisfaction Problems Because lean manufacturing processes are so dependent on supplier efficiency. 22% replied that their companies were “on the lean . Problems like employee strikes. any disruption in the supply chain--and therefore. High Cost of Implementation Implementing lean manufacturing often means completely dismantling previous physical plant setups and systems. Lack of Acceptance by Employees Lean manufacturing processes require a complete overhaul of manufacturing systems that may cause stress and rejection by employees who prefer old ways of doing things. transportation delays and quality errors on the part of suppliers can create manufacturing holdups that can be fatal. polls among manufacturing managers showed that 41% of them admitted to little understanding of what lean was. Another 34% were familiar with the term but did not really know how to achieve it. Conclusion Lean manufacturing and more generally lean enterprise work principles are widely taught throughout most industries now. which some employees may feel disinclined or unqualified to do.dependably and without interruption. lean manufacturing requires constant employee input on quality control.

Bibliography: http://en.html .org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing http://www.ehow.com/about_5418429_advantages-disadvantages-lean-production.path” but not getting the desired results. and only 3% were undergoing lean transformations with great results (Koenigsaecker 2005).wikipedia.

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