Lean Manufacturing The term was popularised by the book published by MIT in the USA in the early 1990s through the publication of a book entitled 'The Machine that Changed the World'.
The book provided a mass of statistics about the state of the automotive industry around the world making comparisons with the Toyota Production System (TPS) which it referred to as 'Lean' practice.
As a consequence, and due to the severe competition in the automotive industry which persists to this day and becoming more and more severe, the concept was eagerly absorbed into the industry around the world.
More recently, businesses both service and manufacture have realised that the principles of 'Lean' are just as relevant in other industries as well as in automobile manufacture and the concept is now becoming accepted as the ultimate modern management approach.
Inevitably however, lean is evolving and it is now recognised that when Lean is couples with Voice of the Customer, SIPOC, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), Concept Engineering and Quality Circles or Kaizen under the umbrella of Hoshin Kanri, the results are stunning.
Lean is based on the observation that there are seven main forms of waste or 'MUDA'. These include 1. Over production, 2. Waiting, 3. Transportation, 4. Over Processing, 5. Inventory, 6. Motion in the forms of excessive walking, searching for tools etc., and 7. Scrap or Rework.
In addition there are also 6 major losses. These include 1. Equipment failure, 2. Set up and Adjustments, 3. Small stops, 4. Speed losses, 5. Losses during production, and 6. Losses during warm up.
What are Lean opportunities?
Deviation for 'right first time'.
Delivery schedule achievement.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness. (OEM).
Value added per person.
Floor space utilisation.
Product cost reduction.