The Principles of Lean Manufacturing

The Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is something that is very well known these days as more and more companies seek to follow a tradition started by Toyota Production system. The Toyota Production System created lean manufacturing, which is a management philosophy that helps the company focus on the reduction of Toyota’s seven wastes, which improves the overall customer value.

The terms lean manufacturing and Six Sigma are often used interchangeably because both processes focus on a reduction of process variation. Toyota’s lean manufacturing philosophy has helped them grow into one of the biggest car companies in the world because they are able to create a high quality product at the most affordable price to the customer. The management style found in Toyota has been all about running a lean, or efficient, business.

Limit the Wastes

The whole basis of the philosophy is that there are tools that help the company to identify and then limit the waste that they are creating. When this is done, the quality of the end product is improved, and production time and costs are reduced greatly. Waste is a byproduct of all manufacturing, so it is impossible to do away with it altogether. The philosophy uses tools to help make waste minimal and these include

  • Continuous process improvement
  • The 5 why’s, and
  • Mistake proofing

This allows for the company to continuously review their production and management process and look for areas of opportunities. While many companies continue to go on making the same mistakes over and over, this system allows for the company to see where it can better its processes, and therefore better the business overall.

A Different Approach

Toyota didn’t stop at just one approach to lean manufacturing; they kept the ball rolling with a second and separate approach. This approach focuses on implementing the flow, or smoothness of work through the system, and this doesn’t technically include waste reduction. The philosophy works create production leveling and more to make sure that the business is not only reducing waste, but producing as efficiently as possible.

Waste refers to actual waste of products as well as a waste of time and energy

It’s important to limit all of these forms of waste to run the best company possible, whether the company is very large or very small. The fact that this philosophy can be used in big or small business is part of what makes it appealing to many.

The Goal of Lean Management

Many don’t understand that lean manufacturing is not the goal of a business; rather it is the means of reaching a goal. When a company implements lean manufacturing philosophies they are able to implement a smooth flow process, which will actually uncover quality problems that have already existed within the business or production model.

The use of lean manufacturing works well for many companies today because it doesn’t focus on just one aspect of the business; instead it looks at the whole business globally and helps to uncover areas of opportunity in waste reduction as well as business efficiency. To know more about Lean Manufacturing, visit this website –

While there are many methodologies that are similar to lean manufacturing, there are none that are exactly like it. This philosophy is very tool based, meaning when something isn’t flowing right the management has specific tools in place that, when implemented, can fix a whole host of problems because of a simple chain reaction. When everything is flowing and implemented properly, then waste is eliminated as a byproduct of more efficient flow. It sounds almost too simple to really work, but as Toyota has showed, it doesn’t take a very complicated philosophy to build what was a small company into a worldwide manufacturing giant.

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