Lean manufacturing helps to improve the value-added processes and strives to reduce the non-value-added processes. The lean manufacturing tools & techniques are used by organizations to increase productivity, improve product quality and manufacturing cycle time, reduce inventory, reduce lead time and eliminate manufacturing waste.

Brief History of Lean Manufacturing


The lean manufacturing system is a thinking and philosophy developed by Toyota Company in the 1950s for competing the US auto-motives giants.

The lean concept was originated by Japanese manufacturers after World War II. After World War II, the Japanese faced many problems such as shortage of things, less human resources, and issues of finance. Lean concept aroused due to the above problems and worst condition.

Taiichi Ohno was the creator of the Toyota Production System (TPS) latterly TPS named as lean manufacturing system. He is the father of the Kanban system which is one of the lean tools. At the beginning of a career, he extended JIT idea.

JIT concepts were established by Kiichito Toyoda as a result reduction in wastes. During the era of World War II, the Loom Works was converted into Motor Work. He also performed the main role to establish JIT principles and systems.

Shigeo Shingo & Edward Deming were also contributing in Toyota Production System (TPS).  Shigeo Shingo was the quality specialist appointed by Toyota. He supported to implement quality.

Lean manufacturing was introduced by Womack et al. in the book named “The Machine that Changed the World”. The results of 5 years of research were compiled by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985.  It was the idea in which wastes or non-added values were eliminated.

In the concept of lean, wastes and value-added things were separated after analysis of the whole system. Womack and Jones explained waste as human activities that cannot add value and importance. Value-added described as the ability of things for which customer will pay.

Lean principles and practices are basic and developed above a 90year era. For the duration of the mid-1990s, Value stream mapping idea progresses and was made an essential part of the companies and product developed on customer demands right back to raw materials. The relationship was provided between lean and supply chain due to introducing first time “pull” system.

Components of the “Lean Idea” includes; operations concepts, such as zero inventories, Just-in-Time (JIT) and small lot size; the supporting of robust quality procedures exemplified by Total Quality Management (TQM) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM); and, a method of working that encourages empowered employee participation which challenges the over-bureaucratic top-down, function orientated organizational structures that had traditionally dominated many “Western” organizations.