Basic Facts About Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing became popular after W. Edwards Deming coordinated with Japanese leaders while teaching statistical process control. The Kaizen lean manufacturing process focuses on identifying problems within a process. When the problems are identified, the process can be modified, maintained, and improved. The entire concept of lean manufacturing is based upon the foundation of continual improvement. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

  1. By Focusing on Five Principles
  2. Facts About Lean Manufacturing
    The five principles of Kaizen lean manufacturing focuses on the identification of problems and the solutions to correct the problems. The five principles consist of:

    • Seiri – refers to sorting materials according to how often they are needed.
    • Seiton – refers to the practice of setting in order or the efficient placement of tools and materials to reduce any wasted effort.
    • Seison – refers to the need to keep your workplace clean.
    • Seiketsu – refers to the standardization of good manufacturing practices.
    • Shitsuke – refers to each worker’s self-discipline and management necessary to make a continuing improvement.

    With these five principles, any workplace can be improved. Try incorporating these five principles for a more efficient and productive workplace with minimal waste.

  3. By Taking Suggestions from Employees
  4. The Kaizen process requires the help of employees to identify the problems and make suggestions about how to rectify the situation. Small informal groups, called quality circles, are often employed to ensure that high standards are maintained. Toyota was successful because they involved each and every one of their employees in the problem solving process. This allowed them to maintain high standards in the organization and also make products “faster, cheaper, and safer.”

  5. Organize and Clean
  6. Waste is reduced when there is continuous and rapid improvement of the manufacturing process. Poor workplace organization will cost the organization time and money. Tools should be placed where employees can reach them easily and cleaning should be a part of an organization’s daily tasks. Clean and organized areas can also reduce mistakes and accidents.

Lean manufacturing standards must not only be identified and standardized, but they must also be maintained. This requires continuous improvement to make companies stronger and more efficient. Workplaces are most efficient when they are eliminating waste, while producing high quality, and maximizing profits. Though its effectiveness has been proven, many companies are still reluctant to implement these strategies. Review the strategies and hire a professional to assist with implementation.

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