Andon: A production area visual control
device, such as a lighted overhead display. It communicates the status of the production system and alerts team
members to emerging
problems (from andon, a Japanese word meaning “light”).
Board: A visual control device in a work area, typically a
lighted overhead display giving the current status (green, yellow, red) of each step in the production system
and alerting team leaders and supervisors to existing or emerging production problems.
Automation: Employing machines to do the
work of people. The steam engine and the automation that it enabled was the backbone of the Industrial
(Jikoka): Autonomation describes a feature of machine design
to effect the principle of jidoka used in the Toyota Production
System (TPS) and Lean manufacturing. It may be described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human
Time: The time when a machine is running on an automatic
cycle and a person is not needed to operate the equipment.
Production: Batch Production is a technique used in
manufacturing, in which the object in question is created stage by stage over a series of
(Kaikaku): Breakthrough Improvement is a major, significant
improvement that occurs after many small, incremental improvements (kaizen).
Chaku-Chaku: Chaku Chaku is a Japanese Lean
term that translates to load-load. This is in reference to process the operator follows-loading machine after
machine in a chaku-chaku line with no need to unload. Because of the rapid nature of the chaku-chaku cell, it
will often be comprised of a number of single-function, right-sized machines.
Time: Changeover is the time it takes to go from the last good part of one product run to the
first good part of the next product run. Quick changeover is critical to Lean. It provides the flexibility to
match the product mix to actual demand.
Flow: Continuous flow is the act of moving a product through
the production process from start to finish without stopping. In pure continuous flow, the cycle time equals the
lead time, as the product never sits in a queue waiting to be worked on.
Head: Concrete Head is a Japanese term for someone who
resists and will not accept change. and customer satisfaction
and other concpets inherent to a lean production system.
Time: Cycle Time is the time it takes to do a process.Cycle time is measured, usually with a
stop watch. The actual time it takes to complete a process from start to finish to produce one
Elimination of Waste: All activities
undertaken need to be evaluated to determine if they are necessary or unnecessary as defined by the customer.
The philosophy of waste elimination is the backbone of the Toyota Production System.
Involvement: Continuous Improvement will be based on Employee
Involvement. Employees who do the job
every day have vital information for eliminating waste and adding value and solving real
Proofing: Developing a system so that it is impossible to
make a mistake or produce a defect.
The 5 Whys is a questions-asking method used to
explore the cause and effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying the
5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem. By asking “why” five times. The purpose is to
get to the root cause of the problems instead of addressing the symptoms. By asking and answering why five
times, the root cause becomes evident and the proper corrective action can be taken.
Production: Flow Production is the act of moving a product
through the production process from start to finish without stopping. In pure flow production, the cycle time
equals the lead time, as the product never sits in a queue waiting to be worked on.
Gemba: Japanese translation and
define gemba as meaning
the real place. The real place can be in an engineering cubicle, at a cash register in a retail store, or in
front of a computer where orders are entered.
Gembutsu: Gembutsu is a Japanese word
meaning ‘real thing’. It is one of the components of the ‘Three Reals‘ meaning go to the real place (gemba) to
see the real thing (gembutsu) and collect the real facts (genjitsu).
Genjitsu: In Japanese, it refers to the
“real facts” or reliable and observed data required to understand what the real situation or problem
Hanedashi: A hanedashi device is an
automatic part ejector. It reduces waste when an operator approaches a machine to load the next part. In a
machine without a hanedashi device, the operator would have to set down the new part that he would be carrying
to the machine, pull out the completed part and set it down, pick up the new part, load it, and then pick up the
completed part again.
With hanedashi, the operator will walk up to an empty
machine, and would be able to immediately load the new part, pick up the completed part, and move on.
Kanri: Hoshin Kanri is a Japanese term meaning policy
deployment or strategic planning .
Just In Time
(JIT): Just in Time manufacturing is the method of producing
products with only a minimal amount of raw material and component parts on hand.
The concept of Just in Time manufacturing is nothing
new. Henry Ford saw value in having a minimal amount of stock on hand—a concept which Taiichi Ohno took to heart
as he developed the Toyota Production System. In fact, Just in Time manufacturing is one of the central pillars
Just in Time manufacturing uses many Lean tools to
achieve dramatic reductions in inventory, with kanban cards and setup reduction having the biggest
In its most extreme application, Just in Time
manufacturing can result in producers getting paid long before they pay their suppliers.
Consider a make-to-order computer producer that
collects payment when the order is placed, but has only a few days of inventory on hand. As orders come in, they
use their small amount of inventory, and re-order offsetting quantities every day, often with 30-day terms or
Just in Time manufacturing creates a very
advantageous cash flow position, freeing up working capital for growth or other projects.
Improvement): An organizational attitude, approach and
philosophy to doing business. It is the key thrust to maintaining or achieving competitive advantage through a
well managed, dynamic change process. It is customer focused, ever changing, and maximized when all associates
use kaizen to achieve the primary quality, cost , delivery, safety, and morale goals. The key to kaizen is to
use it as a tool to accomplish the policy deployment breakthrough objectives.
(signboard): Designates a pull production means of
communicating need for product or service. Originally developed as a means to communicate between operations in
different locations, it was intended to communicate a change in demand or supply. In application, it is
generally used to trigger the movement of material to or though a process.
(Heijunka): The creation of a level schedule by sequencing
orders in a repetitive pattern and smoothing the day to day variations in total orders to correspond to
longer-term demand. In other words, crating a production schedule based on a constant volume needed within a
given time and variety of product called “mixed lot” production. The goal is to average both the volume and the
mix of products.
Ugly: Kaizen and TPS does not fix everything right now.
Instead, it exposes problems that need to be fixed. Instead of covering up the problems, make it “ugly” as
possible so it gets attention. What gets our attention gets resolved. This is a very difficult concept for
Western managers to embrace.
Run: A routing of a supply or delivery vehicle to make
multiple pickups or drop-offs at different locations on a regularly scheduled basis.
(Poke-Yoke): Developing a system so that it is impossible to
make a mistake or produce a defect.
Monument: Any design, scheduling, or
production technology with scale requirements necessitating that designs, order and products be brought to a
machine to wait in a queue for processing. Contrast with right-sized tool. A piece of equipment (usually large
and expensive) that cannot easily/inexpensively be moved, even if it would be good to so do in terms of TPS
principles. Also, continuous improvement requires continuous re-arrangement; therefore monuments are
Muda and the 7 wastes: Waste.
Any activity that consumes resources but creates no value.
They are waste from 1. over
production, 2. waiting or idle time, 3. transportation, 4. inefficiency of the process itself, 5. inventory, 6.
unnecessary motion and effort and 7. defects.
Mura: Overloading an area or asking for
otherwise unreasonable work.
Muri: Uneven flow of
Kanri: Daily fundamental management. This is the opposite of
Hoshin Kanii or Policy Deployment, which is the direction setting management or strategic planning
System: A production method in which the production of an item
starts only when there is actual demand from a customer (as opposed to anticipated from a forecast). The demand
of that customer starts (pulls) the next downstream operation into the production process, etc. The opposite of
pull production is push production.
Push Production: The typical
method of “pushing” large lots of material through the system, usually managed by a complicated (often
computerized) process to track where items are and how to connect these items into a customer satisfaction unit.
Inevitability this leads to other wasteful processes, such as expediting. The production of items based on a
predetermined schedule or forecast. The result is inventory – manufactured items for which there is not yet a
customer. A push system is the exact opposite of a pull system.
Q,C,S,D,M: These are the basic drivers of every
business and are Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety and Morale.
Right Sized Tool: A design,
scheduling, or production device/tool that can be fitted directly into the flow of products within a product
family so that production no longer requires unnecessary transport and waiting. Contrast with
Chart: A map (floor plan) of the path taken by a specific
product/part/material/person as it or they travel through the value stream in a mass-production organization,
so-called because the product’s route typically looks as disorganized as a plate of spaghetti.
Work: Standard work lists the normal tasks done with the
least amount of waste possible at the current time (of course, it will continually be improved.) Standard work
includes the amount of time needed for each task. Standard work focuses on the employee, not the equipment or
the materials. Standard work is completed by the actual operator performing the task since they know best the
details of the process. Standard work is often confused with work standards and/or work instructions. They are
not the same thing. Standard work reduces variation an increases consistency that is necessary for first-time
Combination Sheet: A form that visually charts the
information from a time sheet observation form in terms of an employees activity, machine time and moving time.
It separates time between: man, machine and movement (walking).
Sheet: A form to visually describe the standard operation,
including inspection steps, safety issues, and standard work in process. It is a layout of the cell area with
all the movement/steps in process noted like a spaghetti diagram.
Taiichi Ohno: Taiichi Ohno (February 29, 1912-May 28,1990) is considered by many to be the father of
the Toyota Production System. He eventually rose to the rank of executive vice president in the
While Ohno had many innovative
ideas and published several landmark books, perhaps his biggest creative leap was integrating the American
supermarket system of resupply into the automotive industry. He was able to lay the foundation for kanban
systems, pull, and one-piece flow by changing the way components were supplied to production
Taiichi Ohno was also known for
his approach to problems. He looked at problems as opportunities for improvement, and relentlessly attacked
Time: Takt time is a calculated value. The formula for takt
time is AVAILABLE PRODUCTION TIME / CUSTOMER DEMAND. Since takt time is defined by the customer (denominator),
it becomes a very important number in a lean environment and drives all shop floor decisions.
Time: The time required for a product to go thought a
process. Usually, throughput time is measured from the receipt of raw material until that raw material is
shipped to the customer. Some companies begin the process with the receipt of a customer’s
Maintenance (TPM): Preventative maintenance carried out by
all employees. It is equipment maintenance performed on a company wide basis. TPS has five goals:
1. Maximize equipment effectiveness.
2. Develop a system of productive maintenance for the life
of the equipment, 3.Involve all departments
that plan, design, use, or maintain equipment in implementing TPM. 4.Actively involve all employees. 5. Promote TPM through motivational management.
Toyota Production System
(TPS) The Toyota Production System began in post World War II
Japan as a way of managing operations in a challenging economic time. The Toyota Production System really began
as a synthesis of Henry Ford’s operations and those of the U.S. supermarket system. The Toyota Production System
is the first example of modern Lean. (One of the earliest uses of the term ‘Lean’ comes in The Machine That
Changed the World.)
Taiichi Ohno, often credited as the founder of the
Toyota Production System saw the value in using supermarket-like inventory management to make production systems
Among other things, the Toyota Production System
introduced the ability to be more flexible in car manufacturing. In the early years, Ford’s production lines
were very static. The early Model-T’s in fact, had very few options, and those that were available were
installed toward the end of the production process.
The Toyota Production System, with lower inventory,
better signals, and short changeovers, made providing multiple product options a real possibility.
The Toyota Production System is really a management
system that uses Lean tools to do problem solving.
Mapping: Identification of all the specific activities
occurring along a value stream for a product or product family. This is part of creating a lean enterprise. The
output should be a list of action items to be done to improve the process.
X, Y and Z
(Mizusumashi): Water-beetle or Water-spider. A term used to
describe the activities of the person responsible for maintaining correct inventories on the production
Deploying Lean Principles to ERP
Implementation Projects, Alexander Hankewicz
The Machine That Changed The
World, James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos, ISBN: 978-1847370556
Taiichi Ohno’s Toyota Production
System (TPS), ISBN: 978-0915299140
5 Pillars of the Visual
Workplace, Hiroyuki Hirano, ISBN 978-1563270475
The New Lean Toolbox, John
Bicheno, ISBN 978-0954124410
5S - The Housekeeping Approach
Within Lean, Ian Henderson