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Lean Manufacturing Definitions

Lean: Lean manufacturing is the process of analyzing the flow of information and materials in a manufacturing environment and continuously improving the process to achieve enhanced value for the customer.

Waste: Anything that uses resources, but does not add real value to the product or service.

Value Stream Mapping: A tool used to identify the current flow of material and information for a product or process, highlighting the opportunities for improvement that will most significantly improve the production system.

Cellular/Flow Manufacturing: Organizing people and machines into the most efficient combinations to maximize value while minimizing waste.

Set-up Reduction and Quick Changeover: A process used to help companies design no/low-cost solutions to reduce the time lost to changeover.

Pull/Kanban System: A visually driven method for controlling the flow of resources in a production process by replacing only what has been consumed. Production schedules are customer order-driven based on actual demand rather than forecasting.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): A method to proactively maintain machines and equipment at their peak productivity and reduce equipment downtime to zero.

5S (Sort/Straighten/Shine/Spread/ Standardize): A method used by front-line workers to organize the workplace and thereby improve workplace safety, reduce waste, simplify work processes, improve equipment maintenance and trouble-shooting, and ensure product quality.

The Eight Wastes of Lean

Overproduction: Produce only the exact amount the customer wants, when they want it.

Inventory: Make sure there's a steady flow to the customer.

Transportation: Eliminate movement of materials and information that doesn't add value to the products.

Extra processing: Do as little as required in each step to the product as possible to add the most value to it.

Motion: Eliminate unnecessary movement of people.

Waiting: Eliminate delays, long setups and unplanned downtime of machines, processes or people.

Underutilized people: Use people efficiently as possible

Defects: Strive to avoid rework

Copyright 2003 by WMEP.org

WMEP provides technical expertise and hands-on implementation assistance to small and midsize manufacturing firms on advanced manufacturing technologies and business practices includinglean manufacturing, ISO, value chain management, and strategic repositioning services for manufacturers and manufacturing facilities located in Wisconsin.

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