What is the Definition of Lean Manufacturing?

There is no set definition of lean manufacturing as different books, websites, and people describe it slightly differently. Everyone can agree, however, that it is a production method that is used to help minimize waste and cut down the amount of time that it takes for things to go from the supplier to the customer. 

The strategies used in lean manufacturing have been around in various forms for as long as manufacturing has existed. They have evolved over time and become more formalized. This was done to a significant extent in the mid-1900s when the Toyota Production System was developed and then emulated by companies around the world. Today, many of the concepts used within the Toyota Production System are used in lean manufacturing. 

Any manufacturing facility that wants to remain competitive will want to have a good understanding of what lean manufacturing is and how it works. It is also important to note that there are a variety of different strategies and methodologies that companies use in order to accomplish lean manufacturing goals. For example, companies may use Kanban boards to help organize specific projects and get them done efficiently. 

Anything that a company is doing to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and deliver a more streamlined product or service can be said to be included within lean manufacturing concepts. Companies will also want to make sure that they do not think that lean manufacturing is a single set of things that can be implemented and then they are done. Lean manufacturing requires continuous improvement to get the best results. 

 

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