The rate at which work proceeds through a manufacturing system.

Comments: Generally speaking the greatest inhibitor to Throughput is waste. Machine downtime, waiting for materials, out of stock supplies, operator errors, poorly designed processes, etc. all contribute to poor throughput in a manufacturing system.

All Lean improvements ultimately result in increased throughput of company products. In the “ideal” Lean environment materials are brought directly to the first processing area, processed as needed throughout the system, and loaded onto trucks or rail cars etc.

Increasing Throughput is always a function of eliminating waste found throughout the system. Even small improvements that eliminate or reduce waste can have a cumulative effect on overall throughput.