TXM Lean Glossary

In the next couple of articles I will cover the meanings of the core Lean terms and how they can used to improve manufacturing processes. Knowing the definitions of Lean terms is important to leaning how to apply them when building a lean manufacturing system.  Also these terms are not just to be talked about, they need experience from in implementing them.  Indeed, lean principles are the foundation for a great production system and will always work best when combined with respect, humility, flow and fix. My suggestion is start with learning these terms, and consider:

1) Learning the lean principles, and
2) Then get your hands dirty by implementing them where needed.

So let’s get started on explaining some of these Lean terms and later we can compile them into a downloadable pdf file.

Muda (Waste)
Anything in the process that does not add value from the customer’s perspective.

How does it help?
Removing Muda or waste is the primary focus of a lean production system. There are actually three levels of waste in the Toyota Production System:
muda – non value added activities
mura – evenness in production or work activities
muri – excessive burden or over worked

As Lean practitioners, we need to be mindful that we are not creating muda by ignoring mura and muri, which is controlled through management of a process by checking there are sufficient resources to properly complete every task.

Heijunka (Level Scheduling).
A form of scheduling that is designed to manufacturing smaller bathed by sequencing or mix of product variants into the same process.

How to use it?
Great tool for reducing lead times as each product variant is manufactured more frequently and therefore can hold low inventory due to smaller batches.

What is it?
Housekeeping tool for work areas by,
Sorting – Leave only what is needed for the process
Setting – Arrange in the way you need it.
Shine – Keep it clean and simple
Standardise – Write the standards and share them
Sustain – Audit, inspect and improve the current standard – repeat

How doe it help?
Eliminates wastes from the work area by improving poorly organised work areas such as eliminating the need to search for tools.

Robert Chittenden

Author: Robert Chittenden

Robert Chittenden is a Senior Lean Consultant at TXM Lean Solutions