Lean Manufacturing

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Pursuing Perfection:

Case Studies Examining Lean Manufacturing Strategies, Pollution Prevention, and Environmental Regulatory Management Implications

August 20, 2000

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This report was prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd. under contract to Industrial Economics, Inc. (U.S. EPA Contract # 68­ W50012).

DISCLAIMER
The Boeing Company has conducted a thorough review of, and submitted approval on, the content of the Everett and Auburn case studies included in Attachment A and Attachment B of this report, respectively. However, the findings articulated in the main body of this report represent Ross & Associates’ interpretation of the Boeing case studies and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Boeing Company.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Case Study Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C. What is Lean Manufacturing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D. Why Lean Manufacturing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E. How Do Companies Engage in Lean Manufacturing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1

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II. Introduction to the Boeing Case Study Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 III. Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding 1: Lean Manufacturing is Mainstream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding 2: Lean Produces Significant Resource Productivity Improvements with Important Environmental Improvement and Sustainability Implications . . . . . . . Finding 3: Lean Produces a Robust Waste Elimination Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding 4: Lean Thinking Brings Powerful Financial Incentives to Resource Conservation and Pollution Prevention Improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding 5: Environmentally Sensitive Processes are Difficult to Lean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 10

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IV. Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Appendix A: Boeing Everett Appendix B: Boeing Auburn Machine Fabrication Appendix C: Lean Terms and Definitions

Executive Summary

Background In working with regulated industries over the past eight years, many EPA regulatory reinvention initiatives have recognized an emerging and very real redefinition of the manufacturing landscape. Largely, this movement has arisen in the context of today’s increasingly competitive “immediate” global market, requiring companies to conceive and deliver products faster, at lower cost, and of better quality than their competitors. Lean manufacturing is a leading manufacturing paradigm of this fast-paced market economy, with a fundamental focus on the systematic elimination of waste that holds the potential to produce meaningful environmental results. Realizing that this waste-focused paradigm shift held the potential to create positive environmental outcomes, EPA authorized this study of Corporate Environmental Management and Compliance, designed to analyze corporate business strategies and environmental management approaches and to assess the presence of waste elimination patterns similar to those observed in previous reinvention efforts. This...
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