The Basics of Self-Balancing Processes: True Lean Continuous Flow

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The creators of Lean and TPS actually don't define either of those as a methodology. The strategy optimizes organizations not just manufacturing for reduced waste and a balance between flow and resource efficiency by identifying 7 types of waste muda as well as returning management to the place where the work is happening the gemba. The main identifying trait of a lean shop is the ability to identify what aspect of the business has been improved from yesterday or las week or last month.

Lean is bigger than ever in all sorts of industries today. As the above article indicates, there are many great results of implementing Lean but it isn't always as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of commitment and continuous development. To read more, visit this site: www. Search Oracle Oracle OpenWorld coverage: Oracle seeks loftier cloud perch This guide covers technology developments and other news from the Oracle OpenWorld conference, plus key trends for Oracle The roots of Oracle's cloud evolution: A year review Oracle, like other prominent on-premises software vendors, has traced a long path into the cloud.

Sometimes also called strategy deployment. In contrast, see Nichijou Kanri for daily management. The three words stand for a report by a subordinate, which should include all relevant information. Next, all stakeholders are informed about the current status. The third word refers to discuss with others on the next steps, decisions, and actions.

The idea is to do it frequently. The method does not originate from Toyota but from a financial firm around The opinion on this is divided. Some believe the frequent communication will improve business processes, others believe that this has a too high demand for the work time of both employees and managers.

Stolen Child

See also Yokoten and Nemawashi. The kanji shown here are used by Toyota, but other companies as for example Nissan use slightly different kanji. The idea is that the visible problems or statements only make up a small part of the entire set of problems and that there are many more problems, issues, feelings, and other things hidden beneath.

Can be based on Monitoring KPI. This expression is rarely used. In my view using just KPI is good enough for most cases. Industry 4. Exact content is a bit fuzzy but includes especially the internet of things and cyber-physical systems. A major buzzword in Germany since , but often with little to show for. See also my posts A Critical Look at Industry 4.

Information Flow : Flow of the information through the Value Stream. One of the key points to optimize in Lean Manufacturing , for example, to achieve the goal of Pull production. Often combined with Material Flow. Note that the material flow can also overlap with the information flow, as for example in a FIFO the material is also the information on what to produce next.

Interrelationship Digraph ID : Variant of cause and effect diagrams. See 4 M for details. In my view like similar ISO norms e. ISO for quality it seems to be mostly a money making thing by selling certificates without really changing the quality of the underlying Lean or Six Sigma. Luckily, so far this is not yet accepted by the Lean community, and hopefully never will be. Item Specific Dunnage : Dunnage, in general, is inexpensive filler material for packaging.

Item-specific dunnage is cut to fit exactly one type of part. This could be blisters similar to the plastic trays for pralines where each praline has an indent fitting this praline or cut out foam to match the shape of the parts. With this item specific dunnage, it is easy to get exactly the right number of parts in a box.

The Basics of Self Balancing Processes True Lean Continuous Flow

Hence it is also a way for Visual Management. See also my posts What Exactly Is Jidoka? This represents the level of trust subordinates have in their manager, and how much trust a manager is able to win from its subordinates. By its nature, this aspect is hard to quantify. See Toyota Manager Evaluation for more. The goal is to make the best out of its employees. One of the five aspects of the Toyota Manager Evaluation. Managers identify the areas of improvement. Job Enrichment : Approach to motivate employees by giving them higher-level responsibilities in order to increase satisfaction and to reduce the feeling of being an unimportant cog in the machine driven by other forces.

Originally developed by American psychologist Frederick Herzberg around Job Shop : General name for a type of manufacturing where the production processes are not arranged in a sequence that is needed for the production of the parts.

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Instead, they are often arranged by their primary function e. Sometimes also called process village layout. Usually involves Kitting. See also SPS. Juran, Joseph M. December 24, — February 28, : Quality management expert. While less known than W.


Edwards Deming , in my view Juran was more influential. Awards the famous Deming prize. Just in Time JIT : Delivery of goods exactly at the time when they are needed, in the quantity they are needed, and in good quality. In proper English grammar this would be just on time , but in Lean just in time is used. Unfortunately all too common with lean manufacturing in the west. See also Kakushin. Part of Kaizen. Sometimes also abbreviated as CPI for continuous process improvement. Kaizen Blitz : Two meanings: 1 Short and fast improvement Kaizen activities to solve easy-to-solve problems.

Introduced by the AME association for manufacturing excellence in While there are some problems in Lean that can be solved quickly, most require more time for analysis, implementation, and especially confirmation that it works. Hence, a Kaizen Blitz or Kaizen Event may work, but most of the time would be insufficient to solve a problem. Kaizen Event : Generally any type of event or activity aimed towards improvement Kaizen of the situation.

Also called Kaizen workshop. Usually applied to events related to Lean. Kaizen Group : Small team focusing on improvement Kaizen. Often translated as revolutionary changes, but in my view, this would be Kaikaku. Generally part of the improvement process, or Kaizen. At Toyota tool for visual management, where cards with audit or problem-related information are on a board.

If a card has been turned over, then it is completed. Not turned over cards indicate that the problem has not been solved yet or the audit has not yet been performed. Sometimes used together with T-Cards.

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Sometimes misspelled as Kamishabi. The key here is not the use of mechanics, but rather an ingenious technical trick or gizmo. Usually uses little or no electronics. A mere gravity slide would be too simple for Karakuri Kaizen , whereas a full-blown automated system with sensors and actuators would be too complex. See also my post series starting with Introduction to Karakuri Kaizen. This approach should be used for every problem; its repeated usage is the equivalent of the martial arts Kata.

A set of questions have been developed to reinforce this approach. The method is loosely based on TWI. See also Shuhari. See also my post Toyota Kata. For example, Toyota has an alphanumeric code called Katashiki that details exactly what model and options make up the vehicle. See also the Katashiki Card. The Katashiki card may indicate if it is a two-door or four-door vehicle, if it has a sunroof, the type of entertainment system, the color, etc. Based on the Katashiki.

Originated from Zaibatsu , but rather than a controlling family at the top has mutual relationships. These systems are rare outside of Japan. Keiretsu reduce the risk of hostile takeovers and limits the influence of stock market fluctuations. Very handy if you need to estimate the waiting times e. The system has to be steady state, but there are no limitations on the type of distribution for arrival or cycle time. Please be aware that the output is only an approximation, not an exact result.

Developed by John Kingman in Kitting : Providing material to the assembly line in kits. The kitting is the actual process of picking different parts in a larger supermarket often near the assembly line in order to provide a set of needed parts to the assembly line. Often used if there are many different part types and space around the assembly line is an issue.

See also Chalk Circle. Little used outside of Nissan. See also Monozukuri and Hitozukuri. Furthermore, see OKR for a slightly different approach. See also my posts on KPI. Problems are issues that are not yet resolved but have to be addressed, and Try are ideas and approaches to resolve these problems. It is longer than a YWT , and can easily take 30 minutes.

It is often done in writing on a flipchart or whiteboard. They also coordinate improvements activities. An important difference to western suppliers is that the major customer is not in charge of the group. Instead, these groups are organized by the suppliers. This requires the major customer to give more control to the suppliers. It is claimed that Kyoryokukai outperforms traditional western supply chains. While there are different approaches, 4 steps seem to be popular: 1 Understand the current situation: Point out potential health and safety issues; 2 Understand the causes of the danger.

Lead Time : Total time a part is in the system, also the time a part needs to pass from the beginning to the end. Significant as this is usually also the minimum time needed to produce a product for the customer. Usually, the average value is used. Leader Standard Work : Aims to improve leadership behavior to foster a culture of Kaizen. Also known as or similar to kaizen for management, lean management, or lean leadership. In my view, the Toyota Production System is not excellent because of its methods but because of the excellent management at Toyota.

See also Kata. Also applies outside of manufacturing, e. Lean 2. While lean has been around for decades, it is still in my view the best approach to organize and improve manufacturing and related systems. In my view, this term is not needed and luckily seems to be little used by real practitioners. Lean consumption : Opposite of Lean Manufacturing or lean production. Sort of Lean for retailing or service providers.

Tries to provide the customer exactly what he wants, when he wants it, where he wants it, in good quality, and without wasting the resources of the customer. Possibly a buzzword. Lean Enterprise : Attempt at a re-branding of lean with the goal to provide lean not only in manufacturing but for the entire enterprise.

Usually used synonymous with Lean Production , although lean manufacturing is more common. The term was coined by John Krafcik. Sometimes also called lean production, and also often abbreviated to Lean. Lean Production : Same as Lean Manufacturing , which is more common. Lean Religion : Implementation of the methods of the Toyota Production System lean manufacturing without understanding the causes or reasons.

Usually leads to waste due to lots of improvement effort with little results; or even worsening the situation. An example would be management requiring the use of Kanban ; hence the shop floor calls every piece of paper Kanban without any resemblance to a Pull system. This is a type of material flow with a defined upper limit. The sequence, however, is last in first out, i. This approach is rarely used since it has a high risk of parts staying in the system for a long time.

Usually only used if storage conditions force this system. Another example: A pile of material coal, stones, etc. Hence the material at the very bottom was the first to be added but will be the last to be removed. Lights out Factory : Vision of a factory that is so highly automated that there are normally no workers present at all. Hence, you can turn off the light and the factory keeps on working. Japanese Robot maker FANUC runs lights out factories for up to 30 days at a time, turning off not only the light but also the heating and air conditioning. Liker, Jeffrey : Jeffrey K. Overall speed the System Takt should match the Customer Takt.

See also Yamazumi-chart if you prefer a fancy Japanese name. The lead time is the WIP multiplied by the average time between parts.

Setting Performance Goals

Named after John Little, and also used in many instances of probability theory outside of manufacturing. Valid over a wide range of assumptions, and not influenced by the arrival process distribution, the service distribution, or the service order. The most relevant limitation is that the system has to be steady state and should not change over time. Opposite of High Mix Low Volume. Often for High Mix Low Volume production. Often produced in a Job Shop , but Flow Shop production is also sometimes possible.

Opposite of Make to Stock. Since you do not have finished goods stock, you cannot decouple fluctuation through finished goods stock, hence the customer usually has to wait until the product is completed, hence decoupling through time. Make to Stock MTS : General term of products that are produced for an inventory rather than a customer order, and the customer satisfies his demand by taking a part out of the inventory.

Possible only for products where a customer demand for this product can be expected, mostly Low Mix High Volume production. Usually produced in a Flow Shop. Opposite of Make to Order. The Advantage of MTS products is that you can decouple fluctuations through your inventory your stock. Mass Customization : The vision to create individually customized products at mass production cost and prices. Usually still requires large quantities to have some efficiencies of scale. See also my post Strategies for Mass Customization. Mass Production : Production of a large number of identical parts. Through the large quantity, it is possible to benefit from the Economies of Scale.

Started in the late 19th century in the USA, for example with matches, cigarettes, and canned food. Often uses an Assembly Line.

Toyota Production System (TPS) Terminology

Material Flow : Flow of the material through the Value Stream. One of the key points to optimize in Lean Manufacturing , for example, to achieve the goal of One Piece Flow. Often combined with Information Flow. Matrix Diagram : Matrix that shows the relationship between items. Not to be confused with the Prioritization Matrix.

MBO Management by Objectives : Leadership by giving numerical targets to the subordinates, giving the subordinates the means to achieve this target, and then let the subordinate work to achieve the target results. A method developed by management guru Peter Drucker. MBWA Management by Walking Around : Leadership approach that involves walking around through the supervised area for random checks and suggestions.

It is the percentage of the time of the lead time that a part is really worked on. Loosely related to the OEE. The company takes care of their workers and does not fire them. In turn, the company expects a lot of loyalty and commitment. MES Manufacturing Execution System : Generic name for a set of software to track the material flow in a production system, although it is also used in different contexts related to manufacturing. The idea is to make the process or system easier to understand and observe. In contrast to Minomi. Rarely used outside of Japan.

Milk Run : Material provider that delivers material to different stations in sequence and has a fixed schedule similar to a bus timetable. Mind Map : Diagram to visualize information. The core theme is usually drawn in the middle, with different branches extending, splitting, and connecting again to visualize the connections in between. In my view sometimes quite a useful tool to grasp a problem with many complex interactions. There are no unimportant people or employees. You are in charge of your own work. The delivery could be e. This approach reduces handling of packaging material.

See also Mikara. Both often incorrectly translated to water spider. Different from a milk run , the point of use provider does not have a fixed schedule and route but provides material for a small area e. The area covered must be small enough so that the point of use provider can still track all needs, respond quickly, and keep everything in sight.

Depending on who you ask it is a subset of, same as, or different from a MES. The expression is rarely used. A fundamental part of Japanese values and ethics. See also Hitozukuri and less commonly Kotozukuri. See also my post Monozukuri — Japanese Work Ethics. Monument : Two possible and related uses: A monument could be a machine that is too big to be moved, and hence the material flow and organization has to work around this monument.

It is sort of a rigid constraint for layout or production planning. It can also be a project that for some reasons cannot be changed. Cancelling this project may damage the reputation or career of an important player, and hence the project is pushed forward even if it no longer makes economic sense. Both measure times in TMU. See also Muda. Moving Assembly Line : Type of Assembly Line that is constantly moving while the processes are running. Often also called a continuously moving assembly line. Suited for shorter cycle times, otherwise, a Pulse Line may be better. See also TNGA.

MRP Material requirements planning : Production planning and scheduling software to keep track of the mass of data in manufacturing. A later version that tracks all manufacturing data was called Manufacturing resource planning. The term is still used but superseded by ERP , although many use these terms as synonyms.

However, there are different definitions, and sometimes it is defined as the average time between breakdowns including repair time MTTR , which would actually make more sense based on the abbreviation MTBF. In this case, a different abbreviation MTTF is used for the time between breakdown and repair. Usually, the underlying statistical distributed is right-tailed, meaning that you will have a lot of short times between failures and a few very long times. There are nowadays different flavors, e.

It measures times not in seconds, but in TMU. Used if MTBF is defined as the time between failures. Usually, the underlying statistical distributed is right-tailed, meaning that you will have a lot of short repair times and a few very long times. One of the 3 M. See also Waste Walk and Mottainai. Multi Machine Handling : System where one operator handles more than one machine.

Ideally, the operator loads and sometimes also unloads parts and starts the machine. While the machine processes the parts, the operator proceeds to the next machine. After handling two or more machines, the operator comes back to the first machine to repeat the cycle. It is important that if possible the machines wait for the operator, not the other way round. For a variant with loading only see Chaku-Chaku. It is usually a Low Mix High Volume type of production. While somewhat similar, working at different machines in a Job Shop does not include a cycle, as the next machine or process may be different depending on the required products in a High Mix Low Volume production.

Often done through Buffer. This fixture moves along with the assembly line while the worker is working. When the task is completed the nagara fixture moves against the direction of the assembly line to the next part automobile. These nagara fixtures are often either trolleys that are pulled along the assembly line often nicknamed pirate ships , or tool racks hanging from above the line often nicknamed space-ships. See also Nagara-Switch. Can be used easily and quickly while walking past the switch without stopping.

See also Nagara Fixture. A further improvement is a machine that starts automatically of the door is closed or a light curtain is no longer sensing a hand. Process must be safe both for the worker and the product in case of accidental start. See also Tatakidai. Sometimes also spelled Nichijo Kanri. In contrast, see Hoshin Kanri for longer-term policy deployment.

This helps bond the group, but also takes away even more personal time from the workers, reducing their work-life balance. May involve larger quantities of alcohol. More common in large cities like Tokyo, where the employees go home using public transport, less common in smaller towns where the employees have to drive home. Also seems to be more common with office workers, less common with shop floor workers. Over time the room usually fills with data and charts on the wall. The OEE is the ratio of the number of good parts produced to the theoretical maximum number of parts, which is identical to the ratio of the Cycle Time to the average time between parts.

See also my series of posts starting with What is OEE? The sometimes oversold method is basic: The objectives are the big picture of what you want to achieve. From these you develop specific goals. For the implementation of the goals you need a strategy , and then measures to actually implement it. For me as a lean guy I am sorely missing the Check and Act from the PDCA to make sure you actually achieved your goals … OHSA Occupational Health and Safety : Abbreviation often used for the large issue of workplace safety, with the goal to reduce accidents and injuries.

The World Health Organization WHO defines this as follows: Occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. See also KYT. First used at Intel. OLE Overall Line Efficiency : Rarely used variant of the OEE with the goal to represent not only one process but the relationship of the processes of an entire factory.

One Piece Flow : Production in its ideal state according to lean. The lot size is one, there is little or no Change Over Time , and sometimes also defined as no inventory whatsoever between the processes. Closely related and sometimes used similarly to continuous flow or single piece flow. One Piece Flow is commonly misunderstood as continuously moving of parts. However, the parts may as well pause and wait. The focus is more on small lot sizes and small inventories. On its own often not optimal, should be enhanced with off the job training. But both are needed to train an employee. Very loosely related to the PDCA.

It was initially named Overall People Effectiveness, but this ruffled some feathers with workers and unions. Hence, it is now more generally called Overall Process Effectiveness. For more details on the method see OEE. Operational Excellence : New term promoted to replace the older term Lean Manufacturing , although the meaning is pretty much identical. Order Penetration Point : Point along the value stream where a generic product becomes assigned to a specific customer order. For Make to Stock , this happens only in the finished goods warehouse when the customer orders an item.

For Make to Order products, this may be already under construction before a single part is made. In the automotive industry, it is often the paint shop where a generic car body is painted in the color choice of the customer. A late order penetration point gives more flexibility in reacting to the customer demand, but an earlier one may reduce buffer inventories. OTE Overall Throughput Efficiency : Rarely used variant of the OEE with the goal to represent not only one process but the relationship of the processes of an entire factory.

P Pacemaker : In manufacturing, this has two different meanings which are often confused. For one, the pacemaker is the process that defines the production sequence. Another meaning of pacemaker is not based on the type of product but the quantity, where the pacemaker is somewhat synonymous with a non-shifting Bottleneck. Pack by Light : Similar to Pick by Light , but for the packing process.

The box or container to be packed is put on top of a monitor, and the operator can see the monitor through holes in the bottom of the box. Alternatively, a projector projects an image down onto the box. The place where the item is to be put in the box is marked in color often red after the item is scanned by the operator. This allows the computer to optimize packing of multiple items in one box, and also reduced packing errors. Not yet common, but used sometimes in Japan. The sorting and grouping of data by a quantity. For example, part numbers are ordered by quantity or value sold, errors are ordered by the number of occurrences.

Frequently, the Pareto Principle holds true for the resulting graph. This holds true surprisingly often. Named after Cyril Northcote Parkinson in an essay in the Economist. For simplicity, the processing time is often used as the value-added time, even though the process may not always be value adding. If for example, the operation takes 30 seconds, but the part was waiting for minutes before being processed, the PCE would be 0. The latter two are more difficult and often neglected, resulting in nice presentations but actual little improvements.

In practice pretty much identical. While the underlying idea is not bad, PEC is also often thrown around like a buzzword. Each slide has very little content think like one bullet point of traditional western slides. This allows a fast communication of the key points. In Japan, such presentations are often with multiple speakers in sequence in a Pechakucha-Night. A similar concept in the western world would be an elevator speech, where you have around 30 seconds to give an update.

I call it pseudo-Japanese, since it was invented in by two western architecture consultants in Japan, and they also own the trademark. For me, any approach to cut out clutter from presentations and shorten the overall time has my vote, but I prefer the non-trademarked versions. In my view, this makes it worse than a simple and plain OEE. Also known as Activity Network Diagram. The principle is named after Laurence J. Peter, who observed it. The way I know it is a usually Excel list with every part number, including data relevant for pull production, i.

As such, it is actually NOT a production plan as the name would indicate. I have also seen other definitions that vaguely claim the PFEP is a detailed plan for everything relevant to managing the production process. The items are stored in a shelf by part number. A computer analyzes the packing list and turns on a light at the shelve slots where parts have to be picked. This reduces the searching of the operator. The confirmation of the pick is either by pressing a button or through a light barrier detecting a hand going into the shelve slot.

When all items are picked another light may turn on or blink to indicate completion of the picking process. This is common in industry to reduce picking errors. See also Pack by Light. Pitch : Sometimes used term for the time between the completion or delivery of batches, boxes, or packages of material.

It is a variant of the Takt Time. For example, if your process makes in average one part every minute, and your box contains 20 parts, you get one box every 20 minutes. Hence, the pitch would be 20 minutes, which you could also call the takt time for a box. In the spirit of One Piece Flow , smaller boxes and shorter pitches reduce Mura unevenness. PLM Product Lifecycle Management : Idea to manage the product over its entire lifecycle, from design over production use, and disposal or recycling. Offers a wide range of certificates and training, e. Includes concepts from Critical Path part of TOC , communication, risk, stakeholders, and budget management.

In my view, however, classroom theory can take you only so far, and for both lean and project management , practical experience is the key here. Point Kaizen : Small and local improvement Kaizen. This solves a small problem without much effort, although the benefits may still be significant. May be for example a 5 S related activity. Slightly different from a Kaizen Blitz or Kaizen Event , although the exact difference is probably more about semantics.

Point of Use : Operation or process that consumes and actually uses the material. Sort of the end-point for the logistics or Supply Chain of a part type. Pointing and Calling : Method requiring pointing with the finger or hand and calling out the observation to reduce observation errors. Used extensively in Japanese railroads, and sometimes also in construction and production.

Termed by Shigeo Shingo based on baka yoke. Sometimes misspelled as Poke Yoke. Also known as error-proofing, or mistake proofing. See also my post on Poka Yoke. The idea originated from the automotive industry and hence is especially used there. This may, for example, include a checklist with 19 required points, including e. PPM Part per million : A measurement of defect rates as the number of defects per million parts. Pretty much synonymous with DPM. Standardized tables are used to look up the times required for these movements.

The sum of these times then constitutes the total time needed to work the process. Often, percentages are added for rest, other functional tasks e. This approach has the advantage that there is a neutral way to set the target times, hence avoiding many labor conflicts on how fast the worker should work. It has the additional benefit of being able to determine times theoretically before the process is established.

It is also excellent in providing ideas how to make the work easier and hence faster and more ergonomically. Probably the first such method was the Therbligs by Frank Gilbreth, although they have fallen out of use. Prioritization Matrix : Useful management tool to prioritize possible actions or projects on a two-axis diagram. These two axes are often but not always cost and benefit. Not to be confused with the Matrix Diagram. Problem Solving : Fundamental part of every lean operation: You have problems, you solve them.

Sometimes abbreviated as PSP. Common sense dictates to start with the most urgent problem first and to make sure the solution addresses the problem, not only the symptoms see Root Cause Analysis. In my view, VSM is more useful. Production Kanban : Kanban used to reproduce goods. Most frequently used type of Kanban, the main other variant would be a Transport Kanban. Project Shop : Manufacturing system where the product does not move, and machines, material, and workers come to the product to add value.

Common for large projects as for example oil tankers, and other large products. Usually more expensive than a Flow Shop or a Job Shop , and many large products like commercial jets are now also produced on an assembly line. Sometimes also called fabrication shop or simply project. Pull : A type of production system where the total WIP is limited. This approach is usually much better than its opposite push. The definition of pull is disputed. Often, it is claimed that a Pull system is a system where the signal to produce comes from the customer.

Pulse Line : Type of Assembly Line where the pars are not continuously moving but are moved one slot after each interval. Common for assembly lines with larger cycle times as for example machine tool making, where all parts move every few hours one slot down the line. The alternative would be a continuously Moving Assembly Line or a line without any synchronized timing at all. The ordered item may or may not be manufactured into a larger Make to Order item. Purchase to Stock PTS : Term for items that are purchased for inventory rather than a specific customer order.

What is lean manufacturing (lean production)? - Definition from

The ordered item may or may not be manufactured into a larger Make to Order or Make to Stock item. See also Purchase to Order and Engineer to Order. Push : A type of production system where the signal to produce comes from the outside, e. The opposite of pull. A regular meeting of workers to identify, understand and improve quality related issues.

First established in Japan , most popular in the west around , but still used occasionally. Some research claims QC works, other stated it does not. Usually, you cannot optimize one alone, but you have to find a trade-off between these three. An alternative sequence DQC is also sometimes used. Known in the west as SMED. QFD Quality Function Deployment : Quality management approach aiming to determine the true customer requirements in order to maximize the Value Add and minimize over-processing see Muda.

As such somewhat similar to elements of TOC , but focused more on low volume high variety products. Quite a bit of overlap with Lean Manufacturing. Developed in the late s by Rajan Suri at the University of Wisconsin. The most significant method used is POLCA , a system to control job shops with high mix and low volume production. Quad of Aims : Strategic planning tool to consider for starting a new project based on a matrix with four fields Purpose, Stakeholder, Deliverables, Measurables.

Qualification Matrix : Simple matrix with the workers in the area on one axis and the necessary skills in the area on the other axis. Shows quickly which worker is trained for which skill or process to assign workers to different tasks. In a variation it may also include the level of the skill, i. Quality Assurance Matrix QA Matrix : Structured approach to identify causes of quality issues and prevent their occurrence.

Used at Toyota. At the end of the line, he starts again at the beginning. Requires not too many operators in the U-line to avoid traffic jams. The columns are usually the different people involved, and the rows are the tasks or steps needed for the project. The fields of the matrix are filled with R, A, C, or I or kept blank to show who is responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed. In the many variants of the approach, P is added for perform, S for support or signatory, C for control or contributor, Q for quality review, V for verifier, O for out of the loop or omitted, D for driver.

For sake of clarity usually only terms are used in a matrix. It is commonly used for assembly work inside of the car e. Otherwise, this would require the worker to crouch and bend over for the work. See also TVAL. RCM Reliability Centered Maintenance : Maintenance approach originating in the airline industry United Airlines with a strong focus on controlled redundancies. Different from TPM as it focuses on the technical side rather than the organizational side. Makes frequent use of the FMEA. Reach : Also known as inventory reach.

With average production speed, how long does your inventory last? This can be calculated for an individual part number, or for the entire inventory. If calculated for the entire inventory it is usually done based not on pieces but on the value of the goods. In my experience, many western plants have a raw material reach of two weeks or more, whereas at Toyota it is more likely to be two hours.

The inventory reach in years is the inverse of the Turnover. Reconfigurable Manufacturing System : Reconfigurable manufacturing systems are able to adjust rapidly to changing circumstances. In Lean , this would be called the Root Cause , although Shainin uses more statistical tools to determine the result, somewhat akin to DOE. Resident Engineer : Also known as guest engineer. An engineer from the supplier sent to the customer for a longer period of time to work on projects or help in fixing problems.

A common approach at Toyota that requires mutual trust and close cooperation between supplier and customer. This includes e. Since it is respect for all of humanity, it includes all people, no matter if they work at your company, are a supplier, customer, or anybody else. Includes the Respect for People. People include not only your own employees, but also your customers, your suppliers, and pretty much everybody else. At Toyota , the larger idea of Respect for Humanity is more commonly used and includes respect for people.

Robust Manufacturing System : Robust manufacturing systems are insensitive to problems. Root Cause Analysis RCA : Another word for Problem Solving with the requirement to get to the ultimate cause root cause of a problem so as not to merely fix the symptoms. Popular methods that have this goal are for example 5 Why and Ishikawa Diagram. The root cause analysis is often part of an A3. S Sankey diagram : A type of flow diagram where the width of the connecting arrows represent the quantity flowing through material, cost, energy. These arrows can merge into larger ones or split into smaller ones.

Due to the high demand for graphical accuracy, it is difficult to make by hand and usually requires software support. Named after an Irish engineer with the impressive name of Captain Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey , who used it to show the energy flow in a steam engine. However, it was used already earlier, e. Scrum : Framework for project management, often part of the Agile philosophy. Used often but not only in software development. Not part of the original Lean toolset. Sequential Pull System : Production system for high mix low volume production, where a scheduling department defines the sequence of the production.

Also known as b-type pull system. Often presented as a Pull system, but I strongly disagree. For me, a Pull system requires an upper limit on the WIP. Hence a sequential pull system is not necessarily a pull system, even though the name describes it as a pull system. Makes for an easy assessment of what tools are currently missing. A common tool for Visual Management. You could call it smart design. Promoted many of the techniques of the Toyota Production System. There are claims that he invented large parts of the Toyota production system, but I believe this is a wild exaggeration.

Ship to Line : Material flow approach where the incoming goods are no longer brought into a warehouse, but directly from the truck to the point of consumption the line, or the manufacturing process. A cross dock may be in between to re-arrange the items. This reduces handling of material, as it no longer has to be stored in a warehouse and taken out again. However, for this to work it needs smaller lot sizes, otherwise, there would be too much material at the line.

See also my post on Ship to Line. Shooter Also: Flow Rack Shooter : Type of a flow rack where through the press of a lever or button an empty box is moved to the return flow rack and replaced with a full box in the incoming flow rack. Overall, the exchange of empty boxes with full boxes in a flow rack is mechanized sometimes also automated. Japanese term at Toyota for a flexible manpower line. Sometimes also called Shojinka line. The number of workers in the production line can be adjusted to match the demand. If there is high demand, additional workers join the line and production goes up, if there is low demand the workers are reduced again.

Related but different from Shoninka and Shoryokuka. Japanese term at Toyota for manpower or labor saving where the improvement is large enough to reduce at least one worker. General reductions are called Shoryokuka and may also apply to improvements equivalent to less than a full worker. Originated at Toyota, where e. Reducing a partial worker would still require the worker to be present and paid. Japanese term for manpower or labor saving, i. Effectively you can do more with the same number of people or the same quantity with fewer work hours.

Reducing the work in the equivalent to an entire worker would be Shoryokuka. Related but different from Shojinka. Sometimes also called the Shu Ha Ri cycle of learning. Started his career at Isuzu, eventually responsible for change management. Very influential, helped to shape the ideas of lean for many successful European companies. Please note that there is also an 8 Step Problem Solving by Toyota. Skills Matrix : Table with an overview of the employees and their respective skills or training. Makes it easy to find out which operator is qualified to operate which machine.

A good target has to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. Used for example for MBO. Due to the cool mnemonic acronym, this abbreviation also has lots of other definitions. SOP Start of Production : Time during the product life cycle at which production of goods for the customer starts.

Used mostly for mass-produced parts. Spaghetti Diagram : Chart where the path of a worker or material is followed on the shop floor. The result usually looks like spaghetti on a map, hence the name. Used to optimize walking distances. Sometimes also called Spaghetti Chart. SPC Statistical Process Control : Quality control method using statistical methods in monitoring and controlling processes. In effect, it is what we would call Kitting in the west. Closely related to Jundate. Often summarized in an SQDC board reporting the status of all four variables. Standard Work : Set of three standard sheets used at Toyota to define a work sequence.

Used to define the work sequence and design of the manufacturing line, not the individual tasks or work instructions as the similar sounding Standardized Work. See also my series of posts on Toyota Standard Work! Standard Work Type 1 is the most repetitive, where the work repeats itself pretty much identically every cycle. Standard Work Type 2 has short cycle times, but the work content varies from product to product, as for example a mixed model assembly line. Standard Work Type 3 is similar to standard work type 2 but with longer cycle times and hence more additional tasks like changing a pallet or so.

Personally, I never had the need to use this distinction in type 1, 2, or 3; but if it helps you, go ahead. Standardized Work : Idea that the work is described in precise detail so that the worker merely follows the instructions to create good parts. In my view, you have to find a trade-off between the rigidity of the standard and worker flexibility. Workers can follow high-quality standards, but following low quality or not regularly updated standards to the letter is usually a mess. Unfortunately, many western standards are low quality and not regularly updated.

There is a finer grading called Standard Work Type , distinguishing three types of work standards based on the repeatability of the work. One method used at Toyota is confusingly called Standard Work. Statistical Process control SPC : Selection of statistical tools and methods to monitor and control a process. See also Statistical quality control. Statistical quality control SQC : Selection of statistical tools and methods to monitor and maintain quality.

It is more than just statistical sampling to measure quality, but also aims to improve overall quality. See also Statistical Process control. Suggestion System : System that collects improvement ideas from the employees. Good suggestion systems also encourage idea generation. Excellent suggestion systems are also fast in implementation. The latter two are usually lacking in the western world, where often ideas are treated more as a nuisance and are implemented slowly or not-at-all.