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Lean Manufacturing Lean Production: A History and an Overview Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production, got its

s start in the mass production era. Specifically, Henry Fords standardization of tools and parts was the basis for what we call Lean Manufacturing today. Fords system utilized the principles of Scientific Management, it was these founding principles that were used as a basis for lean. Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, was the visionary responsible for refining Fords system and taking it to the next level. Ohnos system was based around eliminating waste (known in Japan as Muda). Ohno considered anything that did not add value, waste. TPS was solely focused on eliminating waste, or non-value adding activities. This focused elimination of waste is what makes Toyota to be one of the best manufacturers in the world.

Where Did The Term Lean Manufacturing or Lean Production Come From?

A team of MIT researchers in the 1990s in the book, The Machine That Changed The World, came up with the term Lean Manufacturing.

Lean Manufacturing / Lean Production Beliefs People: A core belief in lean is that people are an organizations most important asset. When engaged and leveraged properly, your people are your competitive advantage. More specifically, the way in which you value those people are your competitive advantage. Keeping them safe and providing excellent working conditions help show this value.

Quality: Producing defect free product is critical to eliminate waste. A core belief in Lean is that a product should never be sent to the next step in the process if there is a defect. This means you will need robust systems in place to ensure this.

Delivery: Get the right products to the right place at the right time in the correct quantities. That sums up delivery in a Lean organization. One key difference in Lean is idea that inventory is waste. The days of hoarding inventory to make up for production shortfalls are over. Just in time delivery is a core component.

Cost: Waste increases cost. At the heart of lean production is the elimination of waste, in turn the elimination of cost. Make no mistake; eliminating or reducing costs is important in any organization.

What is waste and how can you eliminate it with lean manufacturing? There are 8 wastes and understanding them and how to eliminate them is crucial to your success. Here is a short explanation of each type of waste and a tip for eliminating it.

Waiting: Think broadly when trying to see waiting. Are your people standing around waiting to do something? Do you have equipment that is waiting on product? Is your distribution department waiting on production? These simple questions will help you start to see the waste of waiting. Tip: match work load to cycle time in order to reduce waiting. Transportation: The simplest example of this is unnecessary conveyance. Companies love to convey product, but keep an eye out for over using it. Tip: Place machines closer together or change to a cell layout to reduce transportation. Inventory: Any WIP above or finished product that is just being stored is considered waste. Its a huge expense. Tip: Take the inventory out of your system and highlight the problems it was masking. Get to the root cause of those problems and fix them for good. Motion: A common example is an employee having to walk 20 feet to get a tool. This is wasted motion. Tip: Place the tool close to the employee and eliminate this waste. Overproduction: Producing more than is ordered, or producing it sooner than necessary. Tip: If you have inventory, you have over production. Over processing: Doing more to the product than the customer is willing to pay for. An example might be putting on 6 coats of paint when 3 will do. Tip: A lot to times over processing can feel like the right thing to do because you think the customer will appreciate it. But it will increase your cost, and its doubtful the customer will let you pass that cost onto them. Defects: This one pretty self explanatory. Look for rework piles and youll find the defects. Tip: Take all defects seriously and work to get to their root cause. Wasting Talent: Not utilizing the talent of your people. Think of your employees as partners and engage them in your business. They are full of great ideas; theyre just waiting to be asked. Tip:

make sure before you start engaging them that youre serious about getting their help. Nothing kills morale like getting everyone excited to help and then not acting on it. Lean Production

Lean Production is a system of production developed in the production of automobiles. Originally developed for Toyota and by Toyota, it is also known as the Toyota Production System (TPS), and also the just-in-time production system.

This system of production owes its conception to an engineer TaiichiOhno who was working with Toyota. He focused on eliminating waste in war-torn Japan, and also on empowering the workers. He also reduced kit-inventory and improved productivity. In doing so he went against the philosophy of Henry Ford who believed in shoring up resources in anticipation of what could be required in the future. To overcome the futuristically envisaged shortage of manufacturing resources, as Ford had done before him, the management team at Toyota built partnership with the suppliers! By making the maximum use of multi-skilled employees available at the factory, Toyota was able to flatten their management structure and focus their resources in a flexible manner. Being an in-house and smooth transition and also due to aftermath of the 2nd World War, Toyota was able to make the changes quickly. Toyota emerged way ahead of its competitors by doing so.

Rules Of Lean Production

The 10 rules of Lean Production can be best described as under:-

Minimize inventory Eliminate waste Maximize flow Pull production from customer demand Do it right the first time Meet customer requirements Design for rapid changeover

Empower workers Partner with suppliers Create a culture of continuous improvement. For a lay man the word Lean would be best explained by the simple language-creating more value for customers with lesser resources. In order to achieve this, lean thinking changes the focus of the management from optimizing separate technologies, vertical departments and vertical assets to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, departments and assets to customers. This can be achieved by eliminating waste along the entire value stream, instead of isolated cases. It can also be done by creation of processes that require less human effort, less space and less time to increase production. In Lean Production the value of the customer is recognized, and every effort is made to multiply it.

Lean Production As Part Of A Lean System Today, the Lean system is being adapted by every organization. The lean system applies not only to the production line but to every business and every process. In plain words, it is not a tactic or a program but a way of life and thought, not for an individual only but for the complete organization.

Some organizations prefer not to use the word lean and use their own nomenclature, e.g.; the Toyota Production System (TPS). Most companies do so to demonstrate that the program is not a short-term cost reduction program as visualized by the general public. They want the public to know the way the company thinks, and operates and conducts its business.Just as a carpenter needs a vision of what to build to get the full benefit of a hammer, Lean thinkers also need a vision before picking up Lean tools.

Process Mapping

Process Mapping, as the term indicates is a work flow diagram which is adopted to bring forward a clearer understanding of a process or a series of processes. It refers to the strategic act of defining every single action of production. This can be very helpful in understanding the systems and procedures that are already in place. It also helps in understanding the existing short comings in order to make improvements to them. It would be appropriate that all persons involved in the business of production also be involved in Process Mapping.

If the intentions are to make an improvement in the work place, one should first of all know the system; what works and what needs improvement. One should be familiar with the as is condition prior to making any changes. Process maps are more than just knowing how a system works. Before attempting to improve the work area one should be thorough with the system itself.

These are a potent set of tools that in the right and competent hands can unlock opportunities to do the following things:-

Eliminate non-value added activities Increase efficiency Expand service capabilities Reduce cycle time Minimize dependencies Gain buy-in and organizational support for change Simplify work flow. Process Mapping Or Flow Charting

Earlier Process Mapping was also known as flow charting. However, this term was routinely used for software development. When organizational work is flowcharted, a broader set of tools appropriate for business workflow can illuminate the multiple views of process performance. These set of tools comprise Process Mapping.

To acquire the maximum benefit from process mapping, one has to use the right set of tools. The oft quoted saying, If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail applies to Process Mapping too. If one always makes the use of block diagrams to indicate how work flows, one might miss the other opportunities of business performance (who, where and why). Successful process mapping begins with choosing the right tool from your multi-faceted tool kit. Each tool has its own pros and cons, and should be used appropriately. Each technique involves certain aspects of a process, and its only by a trial and error method that the right tool can be found for the problem. The following are the methods to illustrate your process:-

System maps-formal and informal Top down chart

Block diagramlogic flow-left to right Block diagramresponsibility matrix Block diagramcycle vs. process Flow process chart Work flow diagram(Basic flow chart) Swim lane or development chart(deployment maps or cross functional flow charts) State change chart

Process Mapping vs. System Charts These system charts are very handy and useful when evaluating the systemic interplay between the various processes.

Each tool is better or worse to illustrate parts of your process, and to find gaps that you have found in your process analysis. There are seven critical dimensions which would help in giving depth to your analysis, and greater meaning to your images. They are:-

Who What When Where Whether What degree (How much),and What frequency (How often)

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping is a Lean Manufacturing system utilized to understand the flow of information and products to the customer. The system originated in the Toyota factory where it was termed as material and information flow mapping. This terminology is used in the process/processes that need improvement.

This is a helpful method that can be used in a lean scenario to improve upon the lead time. This system is useful not only in the manufacturing process but also in logistics, service related industries, health care and product development. It is a visualization tool oriented to the TPS. It helps in understanding and streamlining work processes using the various tools and techniques of lean management. The goal of Visual Stream Mapping is to identify and demonstrate waste in the system, and eliminate the same. This system is taken as a starting point for the manufacturers, production engineers, suppliers, schedulers, associates and even customers to identify and eliminate waste in any form. Thus, it can be seen that the visual mapping stream is not only a communication tool but also a strategic planning tool and a change management tool.

In order to achieve this end, the visual stream mapping system maps the flow of materials from the time they enter the factory premises, through the production line and right up to the time they arrive at the dock for shipment as finished products. Mapping out the various activities in the manufacturing process (down times, cycle times, in-process inventory, and material moves etc.) helps visualize the current state of the process activities, and guides that state to a future desired state. The procedure generally includes the physical mapping of the current state while also focusing on the future state. This, at a later stage, would serve as the stepping stone for future lean management strategies.

In the Toyota Production System (TPS) seven wastes were identified. These wastes were commonly accepted. They are:-

Inappropriate processing Transport(inordinate delay) Unnecessary inventory(excess stock) Overproduction(faster than necessary pace) Defects(correction of mistakes) Unnecessary motion

Inappropriate processing Having identified the seven inherent wastes, the seven Value Stream Mapping tools are as under:-

Process activity mapping Supply chain response Production variety funnel Physical structure mapping Decision point analysis Demand amplification mapping Quality filter mapping There are four steps to Value Stream Mapping:

a) Define and pick the product and, or the product family.

b) Create the current state Value Stream Mapping.

c) Create the Future state Value Stream Mapping.

d) Develop an action plan to make the FSVSM and the CSVSM.

Value Stream Mapping Software In todays environment, eVSM software is available to visualize the value stream. The latest version of eVSM software includes a Quick eVSM template which improves mapping capability by over 3X.The software has been designed to complement the lean implementation methodologies. Value Stream Mapping is considered one of the major activities in the journey towards Lean. It is seen to be effective in the management of the flow of products and services involved in providing value to the customer. Lean Management: Just-in-Time

One of the best lean management strategies is Just-in-Time, or JIT. This strategy helps businesses to increase their return on investment. Essentially, JIT works because it reduces all in-process inventory so that the costs that come with it can be reduced as well.

JIT works on the principle that inventory is waste. This may seem like a ridiculous idea, as many businesses see a packed warehouse as a huge asset. But, a warehouse full of products that are not moving is essentially waste. Businesses have to pay for warehousing and for inventory to be counted, therefore inventory that is just sitting in a warehouse is waste.

But eliminating inventory can cause problems. Upper management will always ask the question: what if there are problems? Inventory acts as a safeguard that protects businesses from any production problems that might occur. If there are holdups, mechanical problems, equipment failures of problems with employees then having inventory will help cover some of these problems. The JIT strategy aims to have the precise amount of product on hand and on time, when it is needed without having to have inventory.

However, JIT can be affected by external factors. Transportation poses a huge problem to the JIT method. There could be traffic jams that delay trucks, flights might be grounded or there may be port delays that hold up ocean shipments. These delays result in a tremendous amount of wasted time, fuel and inventory.

There is a big reliance on consistency and a high level of quality must be maintained at all times. It is becoming more and more popular to have suppliers produce goods, and if they are not JIT compliant, then businesses lower down in the chain can suffer. Some suppliers will charge more if their customers want them to be JIT compliant. For businesses, finding the best supplier with the highest quality and lowest price is essential.

Lean Management In Todays Business World

Lean management got a big kick-start with Henry Ford and the Model T automobile. While that may have been almost a century ago, lean is still a very important strategy in todays business and industrial world.

Lean managements goal is very simple: reduce waste and increase productivity to increase profit. The driving force for lean must be the employees. Employees must have a high level of morale and pride in the tasks that they perform. They must also be encouraged to communicate. Communication is essential in the workplace, as it helps with addressing problems and lessening the amount of down time.

All businesses are able to benefit from the strategy that lean is teaching, because the goal is to eradicate waste. Waste can be anything that is considered to be unnecessary. It could be a production process, an action or disorganization in the working environment. Lean strives to create a more streamlined flow in the production process. For businesses, waste is a bad thing as it results in lost income because of increased down time. With an increased level of flow, profits can be made because of a higher level of productivity.

On paper, the concept is very straight forward. However, implementation can be tough and consistency is imperative if this strategy is to work properly. One of the most important steps is to empower the workforce. Employees who are proud of the work they are doing will have a better output and a higher level of job satisfaction.

But it is essential that businesses do not slowly fall back into their old ways. Instead, it is important to review and perfect the production process. If any problems are found, they should be addressed and change must be implemented. In turn, this will increase output, minimize waste and increase income.

Kaizen and Lean Management

The Kaizen strategy is a term in lean management that seeks to promote continual improvement. Kaizen was developed after World War Two in Japan. It was brought to Japan by foreign teachers and by American businesses. Both showed examples of quality management. Now, it has become a global business idea that has found its place in many sectors.

The kaizen process aims to take the working environment and to humanize it. Work that is considered to be too hard or too taxing should be eliminated. Its goal is also to show workers how they can assess the work that they are doing so that any waste they are creating can be identified and eradicated so that the flow can be increased.

The aim here is to empower the workforce to strive to increase their productivity and to minimize the waste that is being produced. Employees who actively participate in the process of kaizen should receive praise and encouragement.

Kaizen is a cyclical process. A business must start out with having a standardized operation. Then the operation must be measured and all parts of the process must be quantified: the cycle time and required inventory should all be noted. This must then be compared to the requirements that are actually needed for the particular process. Changes can then be made so that productivity and production can be increased. The new changes must then become the standard and the cycle should continue in this manner.

This produces constant change and constant improvement. Kaizen requires a high level of communication, effort, quality and an openness to the change process by every employee. This means that everyone from the CEO to the janitorial staff must be on board so that the business as a whole will be able to reap the benefits of the kaizen strategy. The 5S Lean Management Strategy

There are many different lean management strategies. One of leans most popular manufacturing strategies is 5S. 5S was developed by Hiroyuki Hirano in Japan where it was used to improve the quality of housekeeping and increase the streamlined flow of manufacturing.

The 5S strategy is comprised of five Japanese words which is how it got its name: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. These terms have been translated to English, and, like the Japanese words, the 5 English all being with the letter S: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

The first step is to Sort. This means that all tools and materials that are deemed to be unnecessary must be removed. The aim is to have a workplace that only contains items that are needed. Everything that does not have to be there must be taken away. It must either be stored elsewhere or discarded.

The second step is to Set in order. This means that items must be arranged in a neat and orderly manner. Anyone that has to access the items must be able to reach them in a safe and easy way. This step can save a business a lot of time. It eliminates the need to search for things or to bend in order to reach them. It basically straightens and simplifies the flow so that time can be saved.

The third step is Shine. This means that cleanliness must be maintained at all times. It is essential that everything is put back to its proper place after it has been used. Cleaning up should be done at the end of the work day or shift. This should be an essential part of the work day, not an activity that takes place occasionally.

The fourth step is Standardize. This means that every practice within the working environment must be standardized. Employees that perform the same task must be put at work stations that have all of the same tools and that look the same.

The fifth step is Sustain. This means that the previous four steps must be monitored, maintained and then reviewed regularly. The aim for 5S is to keep a business moving forward and not have it slowly go back to its old and wasteful ways. In addition to maintaining these new standards, businesses should always be considering how they can improve their strategies and production processes. Lean Manufacturing: What is Waste?

When we talk about lean manufacturing and waste, we are not talking about actual garbage. In manufacturing terms, the waste is defined as something that does not add any value to the end product that is being produced or the work that is being performed.

In order to increase the flow or the smoothness of the operation, it essential to quantify or estimate the actual amount of the waste. Then businesses can forecast the effect of any changes that are

made and, once change has been implemented, production can continue moving forwards towards its ultimate goal.

One of the factors that need to be addressed with any lean manufacturing operation is organization. Arguably one of the biggest contributors to waste is poor organization. This includes having to handle things too many times or having to move things around more than necessary. Essentially, any act that can be avoided or any actions that are considered to over-process the goods are considered to be waste. It is a waste of time, waste of man-power and a waste of resources all of which ultimately lead to revenue and income being lost.

Some other examples of waste are overproduction and unnecessary movement of goods. Overproduction can be a huge drain on resources. Businesses will have to pay for all of this inventory to be produced and also pay to store it in their facilities. The unnecessary transportation of goods can be very costly. With gas prices continually climbing, the costs associated with trucking goods or shipping it by air or ocean is very expensive. Also, cross-boarder shipping is very costly. Unnecessary transportation should be avoided at all costs, as it will save a lot of time and money in the long run.

Waste is not only defined as physical waste. In production and manufacturing terms, time, resources, energy and man-power can all be wasted. In order for a businesses to function efficiently, waste should be reduced as much as possible so that both time and money can be saved. How Is Waste Defined By Lean Management?

The definition of waste by lean management is not physical waste or garbage. It is actually anything that does not contribute to the value of the product of service that is being given to a customer.

Lean seeks to identify and eliminate waste, so that production can be increased. In order to do this, the amount of waste must be identified and quantified. Businesses can then begin to plan their changes and forecast what the effect of these changes will be. The changes then need to be implemented. Now, production can continue in a more streamlined manner and the goal of having an increased work-flow can be attained.

One of the largest creators of waste is bad organization. This covers a multitude of things, such as the over-handling of goods or too much unnecessary transportation. Any step that can be avoided or

actions that lead to goods being over-processed are essentially waste. Time, man-power and resources can all be wasted. This ultimately leads to a big loss in income.

Unnecessarily transporting goods is also a big producer of waste. This can be expensive especially today, when the price of gas is at a historical high. As such, the price of trucking and shipping goods is extremely expensive. Another example of waste is overproduction. Rather than help a business, having too much inventory is very expensive. Businesses have to pay to have the goods produced and then they have to pay warehousing fees to have it stored. Both of these examples of waste are very costly. Eliminating them will save businesses large amounts of time and money.

In lean management terms, waste is not just the stuff that ends up in the dumpster. It can include resources, man-power, time and energy as all of these things can be wasted, and doing so leads to money being lost. The goal for lean is to help businesses eliminated their amount of waste so that they can function more efficiently.

Lean Management Lessons from Toyota

Toyota is one of the most powerful examples of lean management. The strategies and methods that they have developed have made a huge contribution to the industrial world. Toyota started out as a textile producer and switched from the textile to the automotive vehicle industry.

In 1934, Toyota manufactured their very first automobile. Kiichiro Toyoda was the founder of the Toyota company and was responsible for overseeing the casting that took place when engines were produced. While monitoring the processes, he noticed that the manufacturing procedure had many problems. He concluded that he must closely study every stage of production in order to create an environment with a streamlined level of output.

The drive for a streamlined flow was fueled because of Japans weak post-war economy. After World War Two, Japan was struggling. As such, there was a strong desire to remove waste and the popular idea of using the mass production technique was not appealing. Instead of concentrating on meeting production targets, the goal became the challenge of making their production figures correlate with the actual sales figures. This enabled Toyota to manufacture the goods that were needed rather than having any left-over inventory, which is essentially waste. This was a big help for Japans economy and the production strategy became to Pull instead of to Push.

The Pull strategy is a key example of how pushing to mass produce is not always the best business strategy. It helped businesses to save a great deal of money and was able to offer customers what was required and did so with very little waste.

Mr. Taiichi Ohno was the creator of this production strategy, which is now called TPS or Toyota Production System. He developed this strategy after reading a book that was written by Henry Ford. It has now grown to be one of the key strategies for lean management. Lean Management in the Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford is one of the most popular lean management pioneers. He pioneered the production technique that brought the idea of mass production to the Ford Motor Company this was the assembly line technique. With this, he essentially revolutionized the way that goods were manufactured.

It started with the Model T. Ford was able to hugely increase the level of flow in the factories by arranging all of the steps into a sequence. He had special types of machines and different gauges which were used to assemble the various components which went inside the automobiles. This streamlined approach allowed Ford to have a huge increase in production.

The flow system itself was very good. But, the problem for Ford came because they did not offer their customers any variety. Black was the only color that the Model T was manufactured in. This was because black was the fastest drying paint color. This did not worry Ford, as their customers could always go and get their automobiles painted if they wanted a different color. There were also third party companies who produced drop-on parts for the automobiles that allowed customers to change the look of the vehicles, post production. However, competitors started to produce cars that had different features and with different colors to choose from. Subsequently, Ford experienced a drop in sales figures.

But mistakes lead to progress. As such, many other industries looked to Ford and developed their own assembly line techniques. Slowly, these production strategies were implemented and plants and factories began to get larger and the machines inside them got bigger in size and increased in speed. The industrial world aimed to lower both operating expenses and production time. In todays

world, businesses are still trying to benefit from lean management. They are adapting their methods to create less waste and to produce a higher level of goods and services.

What Are the Principles of Lean Management?

Lean management is a principle that aims to help businesses increase their output and to eradicate waste. The desired outcome is for profits to be maximized and for time and energy to be saved. This principle works around the notion that a business resources must serve to create more value for customers. Resources that are considered to be waste must be eliminated so that the business can function more efficiently.

This principle operates with the idea that the right things must be in the right place and at the right time. This creates a streamlined flow that perfects the production process and leads to a significant decrease in the amount of waste that is produced. The idea is also that if there are any problems, a perfect production flow will uncover them. For this reason it is believed that the reduction of waste should occur naturally.

Waste reduction also leads to lower costs. By cutting out the unnecessary steps, unnecessary goods or wasted time, the business will operate more efficiently and more money can be saved. With this principle, lower costs ultimately leads to higher profits in the long run. In fact, lower expenses can lead to more profits than a higher number of sales.

This method seeks to reduce the amount of time and energy that is spent on processing so that the customers needs can be met in a faster and smoother way. Lean has found its way into many different industries, ranging from logistics, healthcare to government.

Businesses all across the globe are trying to discover new ways to lower or eradicated the amount of waste they produce and to streamline their production flow. In order for profits and production to be increased, businesses are trying to perfect their lean management principles so that goods and services can be delivered with far less waste. Lean Manufacturing: Kaizen

Kaizen is a Japanese term for lean manufacturing that refers to the practice of continual improvement. The idea of kaizen was adopted in the Japanese business world after World War Two. It was influenced partly by businesses from America and by teachers from foreign countries who taught quality management. It has now spread all over the world and is practiced in many different sectors.

Kaizen is a process which seeks to humanize the work environment and to eliminate any work that is deemed to be overly hard. It also aims to teach workers how they should perform experiments on the work that they are doing so that they can identify and eradicate any waste that is occurring in the business process.

The main idea is to nurture the human resources in a company so that productivity is increased and waste is minimized. Active participation in the kaizen process of activities should be praised and encouraged.

The kaizen process is cyclical. It begins with an operation being standardized. The operation should then be measured, the cycle time should be noted and all of the required inventory should be acknowledged. The measurements should then be gauged against the requirements for the process. Then, changes should be made in order for productivity to be increased. These changes must then be standardized so that operations can be improved.

This process should then be continued ad infinitum so that the operations process can continue to improve. The main elements that are required in order for kaizen to be the most effective are: effort, openness to change, quality, the involvement of every employee and communication. The steps outlined above can be applied to positions throughout a company from the top all the way down to the bottom. Both the CEO and janitor will be able to benefit from the kaizen process system.