Lean Terminology:

Muda – Waste, any activity which uses resources but creates no value.  These are often defined as the 7 wastes:

  • Overproduction – making more product than the customer requires (the customer can be internal – the next work center, or external)
  • Waiting –  This occurs when the activities are not balanced.  Note: not all waiting is bad thing.
  • Transportation – A result of poor layout and often occurs in batch & queue environments where large batch are moved from department to department.
  • Processing Itself – Conducting more operations than a customer requires.  Usually due to poor specifications or in reaction to quality issues.
  • Inventory – This occurs when there are long lead times and batch & queue planning methods are used.
  • Motion – Due to poor work center layout
  • Making Bad Product – Rework or scrap is always a waste, not only of the material but of the processing time, particularly so if defective material is fed to the operations constraint.

Value Stream – All of the actions required to produce a product for a customer. These can be defined into 3 broad categories:

  • Problem-solving task- Everything it takes to create a product for the marketplace from concept to product launch.
  • Information management task- This the order taking to delivery.
  • Physical transformation task- The actual production of the product.

Flow – The goal of Lean Manufacturing is to drive the waste (muda) out of the value-stream then make the remaining value added steps flow.  Ideally, the process would be so lean, that one piece flow could be achieved, meaning that the value stream could produce a “batch of one” where changing between different products would so insignificant that a “batch of one” could be achieved allow and organization to produce exactly what is ordered.

Pull – Not producing a product until one is required.  The customer sets the pace of production.  Sell one; build one.

Kaizen – Incremental continuous improvement.

Kaikaku – This is extremely quick continuous improvement, usually requiring moving processing equipment into cells to create flow.

5 S’s – Applying the 5 S’s create a work environment appropriate for lean.

  • Sort (Seiri) – Eliminate unneeded tools, parts and instruction from the work center
  • Set In Order (Seiton) – Create effective storage for the items that remain.  Often using shadow boards, outlines, etc… for easy identification.
  • Shine (Seiso) – Clean the work center
  • Standardize (Seiketsu) – Going back through the first 3 S’s for all workcenters at specific intervals to ensure they are all standardized
  • Sustain (Shitsuke) – Repeating steps 1 through 4 until it habit

Heijunka – Leveling your scheduling process to better correspond to longer term demand.

SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Dies.  Created by Shigeo Shingo to conduct changeovers (even on very large and complicated equipment) in less than ten minutes.

  • One-Touch Setup refers specifically to setup taking less than a minute.

TPM – Total Productive Maintenance.  Created by Nippondenso to ensure all equipment in a production process is always ready to perform so production is never interrupted.

Poka-yoke – Error proofing a process or procedure to stop the a part from moving on in the process if it is defective. Sometimes called baka-yoke.

Process Villages – Grouping equipment together by similar process.  (i.e., welding department, drilling department, milling department, etc…)

QFD – Quality Functional Deployment.  A tool utilizing the customer requirements to determine the specifications for a product. It utilizes perspectives from multiple areas of expertise (engineering, production, etc…)

Takt time – Sets the production rate equal to the rate at which the customer requires your product.

5 Why’s – Driving down to the root cause of a problem by asking, “Why?” five times.