The lean manufacturing or lean production is a management methodology that considers wasteful spending those resources used for any other purpose other than the creation of value for the customer. The term was coined by John Krafcik, former engineer of Toyota, in an article in the autumn of 1988: “The Triumph of the Lean Production System” to indicate how to create more value for customers with fewer resources. Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota and its Toyota Production System (TPS). The lean manufacturing is a variation on the theme of efficiency based on the optimization of the flows, the reduction of waste and the use of empirical methods to decide what really matters, without accepting uncritically existing ideas. The lean manufacturing is a variation on the theme of efficiency based on the optimization of the flows, the reduction of waste and the use of empirical methods classifying all process activities such as those that add value and those that do not. The classification of all process activities in these two categories then makes it possible to start the actions to improve first and eliminate the second.
Lean production is now a production process that, compared to mass production, use:
–Less Human work: less personnel exclusively controls, operational staff more qualified monitors directly processes and involved directly in the small maintenance.
– Less hours of design: changes less and less time to develop new products
design takes place in a planned, systematic and integrated, with extensive use of groups, made up of representatives of all business functions. The group follows the development of the project, from the first sketches and initial ideas, to the analysis and inspections following the first marketing.
Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Just in Time, identifies 7 waste commonly found in all production environments:
- raw materials, semi-finished still waiting for the next job
- handling of materials
- process the material more than they should
- staff travel
Also, there are 5 guiding principles that outline the theoretical model of lean production:
- define the value from the point of view of the customer;
- eliminate waste, said, in Japanese “Muda“;
- to flow all the activities (everything must be done to the processes and not by function, without stops or breaks);
- set tasks based on the “pull” and “push” (create a task only when the downstream process requires it);
- pursue perfection through continuous improvement (Kaizen = Continuous Improvement).Header