Lean Manufacturing is essentially a continuous, or repetitive improvement system, whereby one continuously improves, or tries to improve, ways of doing a particular task or job. It is a system of continuous improvements in quality, processes, technology, productivity, safety, company culture, work force attributes and attitudes, as well as leadership. Lean Manufacturing, as a system, was developed in Japan after World War II, and is now used all over the world
The basis of Lean involves making every area of your business better by continuously striving to do things more efficiently and without defect.
There are several basic tenants of Lean Manufacturing:
- Kaizen is one of the main philosophies in Lean Manufacturing. In Japanese, "Kai" means to fix, correct, improve or change, and the word "zen" means good. This is the basis of the continuous improvement philosophy. It is not a "process" that is done at regular intervals-- instead, it is done on a continuous basis. For more information on Kaizen, we offer a Free Kaizen Guide for your convenience.
- 5S is a systematic approach to workplace organization. It is a 5-step process which instills efficiency, competitiveness, and survival for your company. Learn more about 5S here, or sign up to receive our FREE 5S Guide.
- 6S takes the 5S system and goes one step further. All the steps in 5S are important, but there is another imporant "S": Safety.
- Six Sigma is a process used to improve overall quality of production output. It is designed to reduce causes of variation and defects in manufactured products, and it relies on several other quality management processes to function.
- Zero Defects is another Lean Manufacturing philosophy that focuses on improving quality, which is a major ingredient to success in any business or manufacturing organization. Learn more about zero defects.
There are many other lean manufacturing techniques and philosophies practiced across the world today. For more information on Lean Manufacturing, we stock a variety of Lean Training Videos and Lean Manufacturing Tools as well as other 5S products that you may find useful.