What are the five guiding principles of lean manufacturing?

How Is Lean Manufacturing Implemented?

Eliminating waste is the fundamental tenet of lean manufacturing, which aims to continuously improve processes. Lean manufacturing provides value to the client in a sustainable way by cutting waste to enhance processes.

Read More: lean management in manufacturing

Processes, activities, goods, or services that demand resources like time, money, or expertise yet don’t add value for the client are examples of waste. These may include underutilized skill, surplus inventory, or inefficient or wasteful practices.

Eliminating these inefficiencies should simplify services, lower expenses, and eventually give customers discounts on a particular good or service by way of the supply chain.

How Can Lean Manufacturing Help and Why Is It Important?

Lean manufacturing seeks to remove waste from the industrial sector, which includes underutilized materials, inefficient processes, and idle labor. Waste reduces productivity. Depending on your point of view, there might be a variety of reasons for this, such as boosting revenue or benefiting clients. But regardless of the main goals, lean manufacturing offers four main advantages:

Get Rid of Waste: Waste affects costs, schedules, and available resources negatively. It adds nothing to the value of goods or services.

Boost Quality: Businesses may maintain their competitiveness and satisfy the evolving demands of their clientele by offering improved quality. By creating procedures that satisfy these demands, you may stay one step ahead of the competition and prioritize quality improvement.

Cutting Costs: Improper manufacturing or possessing excess materials results in storage expenses, which may be minimized by optimizing procedures and materials handling.

Reducing Time: Time lost due to inefficient working methods also costs money; on the other hand, shorter lead times result in quicker delivery of goods and services.

Who and when did Lean Manufacturing have its start?

Although the fundamental principles of lean manufacturing have probably been there for centuries, they were truly cemented when Benjamin Franklin wrote in his “Poor Richard’s Almanack” about decreasing waste and how cutting expenses may be more profitable than raising sales.

This and other ideas were outlined by Benjamin Franklin in his essay “The Way to Wealth,” and mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor built on them in his 1911 book “Principles of Scientific Management.” “Whenever a workman proposes an improvement, it should be the policy of the management to make a careful analysis of the new method, and if necessary conduct a series of experiments to determine accurately the relative merit of the new suggestion and of the old standard,” wrote Taylor, codifying the procedure and referring to it as scientific management. Additionally, the new procedure ought to be implemented as the industry standard for the entire organization if it is proven to be noticeably better than the previous one.”

Lean manufacturing was viewed by American manufacturers of the era, such as Henry Ford, as a countermeasure against the flood of inexpensive labor from overseas. In Frederick Winslow Taylor’s 1911 book “Shop Management,” American Society of Engineers President Henry Towne wrote in the foreword, “We are justly proud of the high wage rates which prevail throughout our country, and jealous of any interference with them by the products of the cheaper labor of other countries.” We should welcome and support any influence that tends to boost the productivity of our production processes in order to uphold this condition, expand our opportunities in foreign markets where we must compete with the goods of other industrialized nations, and, most importantly, strengthen our control over home markets.”

But it was Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo of Toyota Motor Corporation who actually advanced these ideas into what was eventually called lean manufacturing. Following his reading of Frederick Taylor’s “Principles of Scientific Management” in 1931, Shingo stated that he was “greatly impressed to make the study and practice of scientific management his life’s work”.