What is Lean Manufacturing? It is the elimination of waste. Taiichi Ohno's seven wastes, plus Jon Sutter's two—of Space and Energy.
While Toyota is the master developer of Lean Manufacturing principles, practices, standard methods and tools, it actually began with Henry Ford and continuous flow production lines. Toyota added Just in Time and Jidoka, (do not pass a defect forward), a technique developed on Toyoda weaving machines at the same time Henry was building the Model T and Pull of Materials (Kanban) based on the American supermarket of the 1950's. Toyota went on to develop the process measurement tools of Standard Work and the techniques of Leveled Production.
The practice of 5S and Total Productive Maintenance are part of the Lean culture. The mature implementation of Lean in manufacturing, health care, insurance, service and distribution industries results in one-half the space, inventory, people, time, capital, and zero defects of a traditional batch and queue production system.
To learn more, browse Jon Sutter's recommended reading list and begin your journey toward