Lean Manufacturing (LEAN)

(a.k.a. Lean Production) A manufacturing/production system best characterized as relentlessly eliminating waste from all of its’ activities and operations. Lean strives to produce products:

Using as few resources as possible
Better than competitors
Faster & Cheaper than competitors

Comments: Lean Manufacturing is the “umbrella” under which many manufacturing improvement tools are housed. Some examples include:

SMED: Single Minute Exchange of DIE
TPM: Total Productive Maintenance
5S: Visual Workplace or Visual Factory
KanBan: Work Signaling System
2-Bin: Materials Replenishment system
Error & Mistake-Proofing: A perfect process tool
Level-Loading (Heijunka): For producing mixed quantities and styles of products
(And the list goes on…)

Lean Manufacturing is now present throughout the world and has become a global standard or set of practices which virtually all companies must adopt in order to be competitive in a global economy.

Beyond the “need” to compete globally Lean empowers and motivates employees to engage in the betterment of their respective companies. It’s also good fun!