Lean is a term used to describe a continuous commitment to improve a manufacturing or business process by preserving value with less effort. Lean Manufacturing is the most familiar name given to Lean Methodology. Lean is also referenced as: Lean Product Development, Lean Operations or Lean Enterprise. The constant in any Lean activity is the discovery of, and removal of waste. Wasted Material, Motion, Time and Space are categories where opportunities for waste removal exist. Quality-One is committed to the discovery and removal of waste. Our ConsultingTraining and Project Support / Kaizen activities are designed to transfer the necessary knowledge and skills for your organization’s Lean success.

What is Waste?

Waste comes in the following basic forms:

  • Muda – Nonproductive or non-value added
  • Mura – Unevenness
  • Muri – Over-burdened

Although Muda is the most understood and used, Mura and Muri are equally valuable when improving processes. Waste adds inefficiency and excess cost to a process. The scientific discovery of waste requires planning, specialized tools and skill to highlight where the greatest opportunity exists. The Seven Deadly Wastes illustrate Lean effort focus topics. Discovering and quantifying waste is necessary to permanently remove it.

What is the Origin of Lean?

Lean principles have existed since the inception of organized manufacturing. Henry Ford is credited with many of the principles of Lean. The Ford Rouge Plant was an excellent example of assembly line technology and single piece flow. Henry Ford always looked for ways to increase efficiency, resulting in an affordable automobile for the average worker. Toyota is credited for the present iteration of Lean. Current practices and methods used in Lean are taken from the Toyota Production System. Methods and techniques associated with Lean include:

  • Value Stream Mapping – Visual representation of current and future state.
  • KANBAN – Just-in-Time or Pull System
  • 5S – Organization & Standardization of the Work Area
  • SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Dies
  • Cellular Manufacturing
  • Total Preventive Maintenance – Equipment Efficiency and Reliability

What Is The Path To Lean?

Many organizations attempt to “Go Lean” without a strategic plan which likely results in failure. Successful Lean implementation requires commitment to good change or Kaizen. Initial changes from Lean are initially disruptive and resistance makes Lean difficult to accept unless the organization is fully engaged. Lack of management commitment and resolve is the primary reason for failure. It is challenging to see future improvement if the current state of operations seems to be working just fine.

Our Q-1 Lean approach produces measurable results. Our process can be implemented strategically company-wide or by project. Steps Quality-One follows when training or facilitating Lean are listed below:

  1. Commitment to Lean Operating Systems
  2. Choosing the Value Stream
  3. Learning About Lean Operating Systems
  4. Mapping the Current State
  5. Identifying Lean Metrics
  6. Mapping the Future State: Customer Demand, Continuous Flow, Leveling
  7. Creating Continuous Improvement Plans
  8. Implementing Continuous Improvement

Q-1 is committed to your Lean journey, working to develop a unique strategy to fit your specific needs.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean Manufacturing is the application of Lean tools to identify and eliminate non-value added tasks in a manufacturing process. The typical Lean event may change: equipment location, distance product travels, workload balancing and removal of excess stock, number of operators, tools and manufacturing aids. This is aimed at improving and incorporating value added tasks in a manufacturing process.

What is Lean Enterprise?

Lean Enterprise is an organization that has geared up, adopted or incorporated Lean philosophy implementing processes focused toward continuous improvement.

What is Lean Product Development?

Lean Product Development (Lean PD) is a term describing the removal of wasteful steps that may exist within the PD process. Success of Lean PD is translated into two measures:

  • Speed to Market
  • Improved Reliability

Muri is specific waste that exists in Product Development. Muri, or Over-burdening, in Product Development comes from two of the Seven Deadly Wastes:

  • Over Processing
    • Packing too much into a limited or reduced time to market.
  • Waiting
    • The delay between failure creation and counter measure development.