What does Lean Manufacturing mean?
Lean manufacturing, or lean production, involves designing the production process in such a way that you maximise customer value while reducing waste, i.e. all parts that do not create any value for the end customer.
The aim is to reduce costs, improve the quality of the final product, increase productivity, reduce lead times between the various processes and keep inventory levels as low as possible. Companies that choose to implement lean do so primarily to improve results, increase their competitiveness, create additional value for the end customer or to create a better workplace.
The term “lean” was first used in this context in 1979 in an American study where MIT compared different car manufacturers around the world. However, the mindset has existed since the 1940s when the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota developed a philosophy with a focus on eliminating factors in a process that adds no value.
Lean manufacturing consists of a number of different principles where, among other things, Just-In-Time (JIT) is a central concept. JIT means substances, materials, parts and products being in the right place at the right time.
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