September 14, 2009
Lean Manufacturing is an operating philosophy and system focused on the improvement of operational and financial performance through the reduction of waste. Lean Manufacturing has it’s origins in the Toyota Production System where it has been used to decrease time from customer order to shipment, while improving profitability, customer satisfaction, throughput time and employee morale (Rockford, 2009). Lean processes involve identifying and enhancing value for the customer by identifying and eliminating waste throughout the entire system. Processes used in Lean Manufacturing include Heijunka, level sequential flow, Takt time, the heartbeat or pace of the production system, continuous flow manufacturing, and pull production scheduling techniques such as Kanban.
Muda is a Japanese term for wasteful activity. Waste in the Lean system is anything other than the minimum amount of time, material, people, space, energy, etc. needed to add value to the service or product you are providing (Varela, 2009) Any process that does not add value from a consumer perspective and that can be removed, should be removed as part of a Lean reconfiguration. Muda is generally divided into seven types: defects, motion, overproduction, transportation, inventory, overprocessing and waiting.
Defects in the work product have a direct financial impact to the organization. The cost of rework, product loss, quarantining inventory, re-inspection and capacity loss are directly related to amount of product defect. Use of the Continuous Improvement Process (C.P.I.) and increased employee involvement can lead to reduction in product defects and an increase in profitability. The muda of motion involves any motion of people that does not contribute added value to the product or service, examples include; walking extra steps, excess reaching or bending or having to look for something....