Production, refers to a
business concept wherein the goal is to minimize the amount of time and resources used in the
manufacturing processes and other activities of an enterprise, with emphasis on eliminating all forms of wastage. It
is basically the fusion of various management philosophies designed
to make operations as efficient as possible. Business philosophies
invoked by lean manufacturing include
Manufacturing, Kaizen, Total Quality Management (TQM),
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM),
Cellular Manufacturing, and the like. The roots of lean manufacturing
can be traced to Japan, or more specifically, Toyota.
manufacturing operates on three
1) that 'muda', or waste, is bad; 2) that the manufacturing processes
must be closely tied to the market's requirements; and 3) that a company
should be seen as a
continuous and uniform whole that includes its customers and suppliers,
a concept known as
manufacturing is not merely a tool - it is a way of life that all
members of an organization must appreciate, and practice.
of lean manufacturing are: 1) just-in-time, higher
efficiency manufacturing through the principle of 'continuous
(also known as 'single piece
continuous improvement of processes along the entire value chain,
primarily in terms of quality and cost; and 3)
setting up of multi-functional and multi-skilled teams at all levels to
achieve its goals. Lean
manufacturing is, in essence, the 21st century's upgraded version of the
20th century's 'mass-production' philosophy.
elements, the most eye-catching is perhaps the
which entails the redesign of the production floor such that a product
is manufactured progressively from one workstation to another with
minimal waiting time and handling operations between stations.
This may mean the dedication of an entire process line to a group of
similar products, or a group of products that undergo similar
processing. The equipment and worktables are arranged in a 'streamlined'
lay-out that keeps production continuous and efficient. Such a
manufacturing set-up is also known as 'cellular
Attention to machine maintenance, up-time, and utilization is also a
lean manufacturing, the following are forms of
and should be eliminated: 1) waiting; 2) staging of inventories; 3)
transport of inventories; 4) overproduction; 5) overprocessing; 6)
unnecessary motion; and 7) defective units. By adopting a production
floor that conforms to continuous product flow, these wastes can be
reduced. Another technique is through the practice of
which means that only products that are immediately needed by the
customer (or the next station) must be produced. Thus, a station needing
inventories to process should be the one to 'pull in' these inventories
from the previous station.
Kaizen, or the
Japanese concept of 'continuous improvement', is a major influence on
lean manufacturing. This is why lean manufacturing promotes teamwork
among multi-skilled, multifunctional individuals at all levels to effect
the continuous achievement of process improvements toward zero
non-moving inventories, zero downtimes, zero paper, zero defects, and
zero delays all throughout the organization.
realized by companies that implemented lean manufacturing include: 1)
waste reduction, and therefore, production cost reduction; 2) shorter
manufacturing cycle times; 3) lower manpower requirements; 4) minimal
inventories; 5) higher equipment utilization and manufacturing capacity;
6) improved cash flow; 7) higher product quality and reliability; and 8)
better customer service. The profits of the company are, as
expected, also increased because of these benefits.
Just-In-Time (JIT); TPM; TQM; Kaizen; 6-Sigma; 5S Process
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