5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing

These are 5 principles of lean manufacturing.

  1. Principle number 1 is identifying value. Lean manufacturing is about creating value for people, your customers. Or adding value to what they already have. No matter what you do, each and every activity that is involved, should be something that creates value for customers. In lean manufacturing, value is defined by customers based on their needs and wants. Customers are willing to pay only for value-added activities or items. Therefore, all non-value-added activities or items that can be avoided are considered as waste and should be eliminated or minimized.
  2. Principle number 2 is creating (a) value stream. That means you need to create a diagram that includes all of the activities and processes involved to make a product. Then, you need to identify the activities and processes that do not create value for customers. And then eliminate or minimize these nonvalue-added items.
  3. Principle number 3 is developing flow in the value stream. That means make the operations smooth, even, and productive. Eliminate or minimize bottlenecks, waiting times and delays.
  4. Principle number 4 is implementing pull system. That means avoid over production. Instead of overproducing products and pushing them to the market, produce products based on the orders coming in from the customers. It is about creating a fine balance between taking orders and producing products. Use the just-in-time methodology for this. Achieving a high level of success in using pull system, requires built-in quality, high reliability and stability in the production system.
  5. Principle number 5 is striving for perfection. This is not about being perfect. So, don’t confuse this with about being perfect. In fact, this principle is about continuous improvement. That means you can always make things better. The ideal of lean manufacturing is creating pure value for people. Therefore, continuously make improvements to create a greater and greater value for them.