Lean Manufacturing Tools

The most important - and most used - tools in Lean Manufacturing

Download an introduction to Lean Manufacturing and the most common tools >

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping gives an overview of the whole value stream in a structured way. The mapping identifies the flow and the amount of waste in the value stream. Based on this information a new future state is drawn.

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Read more about the 8 types of waste >

5S - System and order

5S is about creating organized work places where you will only find tools and parts that are often used. All other tools and parts are either placed near the workplace or removed. It may sound easy - but unfortunately it is not! The advantages are reduced change over times, reduced time for searching, reduced process times etc.

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OEE - Maximized utilization of bottlenecks

OEE stands for Overall Equipment Efficiency. OEE gives an overview of the utilization on the measured machines. OEE does not solve problems but shows the loss factors for each machine. In this way the utilization on the bottlenecks can be improved and the overall capacity increased.

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SMED - Reduction of changeover times

SMED stands for Single Minute Exchange of Dies. SMED is a simple tool to get an overview of the changeover time on a machine and thus reduce the changeover time.

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Flow - Create flow in a production

It is crucial to create flow as flow is the most efficient tools to eliminate waste in a production. However it is difficult to implement flow because the machines become more dependent on each other. Before flow is created, fluctuation in the machines performance is solved with inventories. If physical flow is created without stabilizing the machines beforehand, there will be many stops and a lot of frustrations. Therefore start with OEE, SMED, 5S etc. - and then create flow!

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Pull - Create order based flow

Once flow has been created, it is time to produce based on real customer orders. The saying is that orders are pulled through the production - instead of being pushed.

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Kanban - Simple stock control

Kanban is a good solution where flow cannot be created. Kanban is a simple and visible reorder system. There are some requirements to create successful Kanban, but where Kanban is possible it is often implemented with great success.

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Visual Control

Lean gives a more visible control of the production when it comes to work places, flow, planning, problem solving etc.

Read more about Kaizen improvement boards >

Kaizen - Continuous improvements

The key element in Lean is to create a culture of continuous improvements. The organization should constantly strive for perfection - reduce waste and produce more value to customers.

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