LEAN is a production management philosophy, originated from Toyota production system back in the middle of XX century. When Japanese manufacturers started bypassing producers of the Western world, the methodology took off with a newly branded name. LEAN divides all activities into value-adding and non-value-adding activities (jpn. muda). There are seven types of waste:

  • Transportation (moving products that are not actually required to perform the processing)
  • Inventory (all components, work in progress, and finished products not being processed)
  • Motion (people or equipment moving or walking more than is required to perform the processing)
  • Waiting (waiting for the next production step, interruptions of production during shift change)
  • Overproduction (producing more than needed or ahead of demand)
  • Over Processing (resulting from poor tool or product design creating activity)
  • Defects (the effort involved in inspecting for and fixing defects)

LEAN uses a lot of different tools – 5S, Value stream mapping, Kanban cards, Spaghetti diagrams, SMED, Poka-yoke, 5 Whys and process of continuous improvement Kaizen.