When we think of manufacturing Lean we think about work cells, kanban cards, TQM and so on. But many people make a basic mistake. That’s the mistake by not understanding the concepts built by Manufacturing Lean. Many people who copy Manufacturing Lean failed because they did not understand the concept behind Manufacturing Lean.
We will provide a simple definition to make Lean Manufacturing before we go further. Manufacturing Lean can be defined as a systematic approach to continuing to identify and eliminate waste from the system. All tools and techniques are based on the fulfillment of this simple requirement.
To identify conceptual differences between manufacturing Lean and conventional manufacturing, we will see the definition given above. There are very important words to note. It’s “delete”. Removing waste from the system may not sound very different from minimizing waste in the system, what we are talking about in conventional manufacturing. But think carefully. Both these words are very different in manufacturing contexts (or even services).
When you think about minimizing waste, you think about the current system where you have waste. You think about minimizing the waste by adjusting the system. When you think about removing or removing waste from the system, you must find the cause of waste and delete it from the system. This means that you have to redefine the process in a way that is not produced. So in the first case you live in a system where there is waste, and struggle to get some improvements. Later, you change the system so that the system itself will not have waste. Aren’t they really different?