The term lean manufacturing wasborn in the Eighties by Womack and Jones, two experts who have decided to compare the production method developed by Henry Ford with the Japanese Toyota.
According to the two experts, the lean manufacturing is absolutely superior to the oldFordist mass production for some basic points which are the following:
– Extreme cleaning of the workplace;
– Presence in priority locations;
– Order and meticulous arrangement of what it takes to do the work;
– Use of standard procedures;
– Continued tension to produce with greater quality.
According to lean manufacturing, therefore, the design has an operating time of fundamental importance to consider immediately what could be any hitches so anticipate them and thus avoid having to “fail” and then redesign the product. The result to be obtained is considered in its totality, taking account of the strengths and weaknesses with the aim to avoid the latter.
But how could we summarize the basic rule of lean manufacturing? Simply with the phrase “use less to produce more”.
To do this you must know perfectly what the customer wants to obtain and produce what avoiding wasting raw materials, inventory, products that are defective and costly and unnecessary transport. In doing so the production costs will drop and the space required to produce will decrease.
The production process is streamlined and nothing is produced as long as the customer does not ask. At that point, the production starts and must be fast and efficient and try to pursue perfection constantly improving itself.
This innovative production process can be applied not only to large industrial companies such as, for example, Toyota but also to small and medium-sized companies seeking to improve their productive model.