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Improve Production, Build a Lean Production System

Mass Production is Yesterdays Production Methodology

Firstly Mass Production was invented over a hundred years ago. It was enabled by technology. The technology was the ability to produce parts with consistent specifications. Prior to Mass Production parts were so varied, that it took skilled craftsmen to shape and mold every part so it would fit into the automobile. Mass production is based on every department producing their part or service as fast as possible. Time moved on and consequently, Lean production has changed all of that. Subsequently, this Comparison of Mass and Lean Production is based on a river ecosystem analogy:

Mass vs Lean Production

Average Lean Production Advantages

  • Waste reduction by 80%
  • Production cost reduction by 50%
  • Manufacturing cycle times decreased by 50%
  • Labor reduction by 50% while maintaining or increasing throughput
  • Inventory reduction by 80% while increasing customer service levels
  • Capacity in current facilities increase by 50%
  • Higher quality
  • Higher profits
  • Higher system flexibility in reacting to changes in requirements improved
  • More strategic focus
  • Improved cash flow through increasing shipping and billing frequencies

Mária Mičietová, University of Žilina, The Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and
Communications, Department of Road and Urban Transport, Univerzitná 1, 010 26 Žilina, Slovakia

Taiichi Ohno

Taiichi Ohno, the great Japanese engineer, Built the first Lean Production System by determining a way to aggressively remove defects from a product. He would have everyone on the assembly line inspect the products and then halt the assembly line, by an andon call, if a defect was found to determine the source cause of the defect and rectify it.

Of course, this was very painful as it caused a lot of stoppages. In fact, Toyota’s Lean Production system still averages about 800 stops a year in their assembly lines. Above all, the rapid directional change from their Continuous Improvement program can cause stops to increase while less change causes stops to decrease. Toyota uses the number of stops a year as a metric of balance between change and no change. When you Build Your Lean Production System you will determine the right rate of change for your system. For Toyota, it is about 800 andon calls a year that represents a healthy number, balancing with the impact of change.

Lean Production Methodology

Lean Production removes the heavy cost of excess inventory seen in Mass Production. It creates a product quality control responsibility on the operator of every process and, above all. results in the elimination of buried defects.

Lean Production builds a product based on a customer order. Build to order, rather than, build to stock, decreases the cost of overproduction, a Lean Six Sigma Waste. Consequently, facilitate rapid problem resolution. Firstly it gives a holistic look at the assembly line. It allows determination of the critical path process and, points you to where performance improvement is most needed. For example, Lean Production facilitates Just-In-Time. Toyota’s suppliers make deliveries every two hours. Subsequently, that means that Toyota is only paying for two hours’ worth of inventory. Use a pull methodology, that is faster than a push methodology. With Lean Production, flow is the goal. That means that when one process just finishes the next process is just available to start work.

Transform From Mass Production to Lean Production

Finally, this video shows how you can move from a Mass Production system to Building Your Lean Production System. How fast you build your new System is just based upon your capacity to change. Review the video and march into the future:

Build Your Lean Production System

Lean Production Requirements

Lean Production has some special requirements also. It’s important to level production to smooth customer orders. You also design your assembly line to minimize the impact of stoppages to rectify problems.

Other Capabilities Lean Production Allows:

-Continually Improve the Assembly Line

The Lean Production System is Continuously Improved. This means your assembly line is constantly increasing capability. Consequently, this means you continuously leave your competitors behind. This leads to a competitive advantage. Continually improving is what Toyota uses to stay ahead of their competitors. This webpage explains the most powerful Continuous Improvement Program:

-Stress Your Assembly Line

In addition, Lean Production enables a constantly stressed assembly line. This means that you are operating at very close to the assembly line’s maximum velocity. For example, this video reviews how Toyota stresses their assembly line:

-And Finally, Production Metrics

Manage your system with metrics. Value Streams have built-in metrics. This presentation overviews The Toyota Production System metrics:

Performance Metrics

In Conclusion

That is to say, move away from the hundred-year-old methodology into the future. It will give you a competitive advantage by increasing performance, decreasing costs, giving you a profound knowledge of your manufacturing system, and leap you ahead of your competition.

Finally, Build Your System Using the Tools of Toyota

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