Lean – a methodology or an approach?


Well-proven tools and methods both at strategic and operative levels, the main aim of which is to identify and eliminate wastes in the processes: to replace the „paradigms” of classic mass production.
Lean a gyártásban

Implementing these methods can improve material flow, production, logistics and administrative processes, while stock levels can be reduced. With lean thinking you can reach better quality, faster flow and production that is more conform to real customer demands. Full involvement and continuous vocational training of human resources is essential to a successful implementation.

The flexibility and the ability for reacting to customer demands is crucial for any company in any branch. Lean helps to gain competitive advantage not only in the manufacturing sector but for merchandising and service companies as well.

The five principle of lean:

  • Identifying the value from the customer point of view – what does not create value, is pure waste;
  • Understanding the value stream, mapping and making it waste-free;
  • Assuring continuous flow by eliminating in-process stock;
  • Introducing control of the real customer: realising pull;
  • Kaizen: pursue perfection, everything can be made even better.
Types of waste* Main lean tools
Scrap Poka Yoke, 4-eye principle, Visual workplace, 6S, Standard Work, SMED,
TPM, Jidoka, Andon
Waiting 6S, Pull, SMED, Cell building, Standard WorkAndon
Overproduction Takt time, Kanban, JIT, OPF, SMED, Heijunka, Visual workplace, 6S, Pull, Standard Work
Inventory Kanban, Milkrun, JIT, Ship to Line, 6S, Pull
Movement OPF, Pull, 6S, Cell building, Milkrun, SMED
Transportation Kanban, Cell building, OPF, Milkrun, 6S
Unnecessary processing SMED, DFMA, VSA, RCA

* Taiichi Ohno, The Toyota Production System: Beyond Large Scale Production [Portland, Oregon: Productivity Press, 1998], pp 19-20.


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