Lean manufacturing provides a systematic method for eliminating waste from the manufacturing system and improving the margins of control such as productivity and quality. This allows the companies to attain their operational efficiencies they require to get well ahead of the competition Six Sigma.
Since the history of lean manufacturing is very long and a lot of techniques and methodologies have evolved since it was first introduced, it gets a bit difficult to summarize it in a single article. Also, there is no hard and fast set of lean rules to apply, the methods vary from one business model to another. In this article, we will try to give you a bird’s view of how lean practices are applied in a system by elaborating on one of the biggest examples of lean success.
The best and biggest example of the success of lean manufacturing is Toyota. This automobile giant was the first major company to adopt lean ideology in its manufacturing processes, that is the reason this method was initially called the method of Toyota Production System. By adopting these methods, they eliminated wastes from their production systems and mastered the techniques needed to minimize faulty or sub-grade products that do not meet customer requirements.
Toyota initially divided the whole lean concepts into two primary processes to work to reach their goals. The first of it was a process called Jidoka, which translates to “mechanization with the help of humans.” This means that humans will continually make sure the quality standards are met with the help of routine checks, despite the atomization of a lot of aspects of the job. Programs are built and installed in the machines that shut the machines off automatically when a problem is spotted. The second part of the process is called the JIT model, which means Just in Time. This part of the process emphasizes on completion of one step of the production before the start of the next step. This will ensure no unnecessary work is performed in the process.
These methods proved so fruitful for Toyota Production System that they were soon adopted by several other multi-national companies and is still paving its way to the top.