The 8 Essential LEAN Techniques That You Must Know
Lean management is a powerful tool that reduces waste in any process. Lean techniques are most commonly used in a production environment. Most Lean training courses will cover how to apply Lean techniques in such environments. Lean techniques can be applied in any environment that uses process. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification trainings are available for free. Lean and Six Sigma go hand in hand. Lean is part the Six Sigma approach to problem-solving. Eliminating waste can go a long way in solving any process’s problems. Learn more about Lean Project Management.
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This article will cover 8 different Lean Techniques.
Lean Techniques #1 Kaizen
KAIZEN’s purpose is to improve work processes in a variety ways. Kaizen, a Japanese word that means improvement or making things better, is the generic definition of Kaizen. KAIZEN was developed in Japan after World War II. Kaizen is Japanese for “Continuous Improvement.” It derives its name from “kai”, which means “change” or to correct, and “zen”, which means “good.”
Lean Techniques #2 Poka-Yoke
Poka-Yoke is the second Lean technique. It prevents mistakes and defects from happening. It employs a variety of clever devices to prevent mistakes. An attachment prevents the cap being lost in an automobile gasoline tank cap is one example. Poka-Yoke, also known as Mistake Proofing, is a Japanese method of “Mistake Proofing”. It can be used in all aspects manufacturing and customer service. It uses visual signals to make mistakes stand out from others. It is also known as baka-yoke, which means foolproofing. Poka-Yoke, one of the most important Lean techniques, is also known as “fool proofing”.
Lean Techniques #3 5S
Five-S is the most focused Lean Technique on organizing. 5S is a micro-level approach to organizing that reduces wasteful time and motion. It is a systematic approach to housekeeping that ensures tools, spare parts, and other items are in the most optimal locations. It is a framework for creating and maintaining your workplace. 5S Stands for: Sort, Set-in- order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain. The act of sorting is the removal of all unnecessary tools and other items from the workplace. Set-in-order refers to the placement of all necessary items in a way that minimizes movement waste. Tools that are frequently used are placed near the workstation, while less-used tools are stored further away. Shine is a way to ensure that your work area is clean and organized. Standardize refers to standardizing all processes within a workstation. Sustain is the last of the four S’s. It means that workers who use the workstation maintain the same standard as the previous S’s.
Lean Technique #4 KANBAN
KANBAN is the fourth Lean technique. It schedules production and minimizes work-in-process. It also encourages improvement in many areas. KANBAN creates a small stock point, usually at the producing WorkCentre, that sends a signal when items have been withdrawn by a downstream processing. The items are replaced by the producing WorkCentre. Kanban is Japanese for signboard or billboard. Kanban uses visual display cards to indicate movement of material between product steps. It is a scheduling system that can be used for Just-in-Time and Lean production. Toyota developed KANBAN to improve and maintain high production levels.
Lean Techniques #5: Just In Time
The fifth Lean technique is a production strategy that aims to increase a business’ Return on Investment (RoI). It reduces in-process inventory and associated costs. The process relies on JIT to meet its objectives.