WHAT IS LEAN MANUFACTURING?
FOCUS ON WASTE
SOME BASIC ELEMENTS OF LEAN MANUFACTURING
KEYS TO LEAN SUCCESS
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LEAN MANUFACTURING
U.S. manufacturers have always searched for efficiency strategies that help reduce costs, improve output, establish competitive position, and increase market share. Early process oriented, mass production manufacturing methods common before World War II shifted afterwards to the results-oriented, output-focused, production systems that control most of today's manufacturing businesses.
Japanese manufacturers re-building after the Second World War were facing declining human, material, and financial resources. The problems they faced in manufacturing were vastly different from their Western counterparts. These circumstances led to the development of new, lower cost, manufacturing practices. Early Japanese leaders such as the Toyota Motor Company's Eiji Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno, and Shingeo Shingo developed a disciplined, process-focused production system now known as the "Toyota Production System", or "lean production." The objective of this system was to minimize the consumption of resources that added no value to a product.
The "lean manufacturing" concept was popularized in American factories in large part by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology study of the movement from mass production toward production as described in The Machine That Changed the World, (Womack, Jones & Roos, 1990), which discussed the significant performance gap between Western and Japanese automotive industries. This book described the important elements accounting for superior performance as lean production. The term "lean" was used because Japanese business methods used less human effort, capital investment, floor space, materials, and time in all aspects of operations. The resulting competition among U.S. and Japanese... [continues]
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(2011, 05). Lean Manufacturing. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Lean-Manufacturing-706892.html
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"Lean Manufacturing." StudyMode.com. 05, 2011. Accessed 05, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Lean-Manufacturing-706892.html.