October 31, 2023

Lean Methodologies Explained


joydeep | Senior Engineer - PMI Corps

Lean Manufacturing Explained

The concept of lean manufacturing aims to maximize productivity while eliminating waste, including non-value-added time. By reducing waste and optimizing processes, lean production helps increase efficiency and productivity.

Production Time Studies in Lean Manufacturing

Identifying a manufacturing process and analyzing its steps can help identify areas of waste. Conducting production time studies can collect data on inventory, processing, transport, motion, and other factors that can be optimized to reduce waste, leading to better production efficiency through the use of lean manufacturing tools.

5S Explained

The 5S methodology is a lean approach that comprises five steps, which are sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Its main objective is to create a safer, cleaner, and more efficient work environment by organizing the workplace. The 5S methodology is a fundamental aspect of Lean manufacturing, as it reduces waste and increases productivity by eliminating the time spent searching for tools and equipment.

1. Sort: Remove any unnecessary items from the work area and organize the remaining items in a logical and easy-to-find location.

2. Set in Order: Organize items in a manner that promotes efficient use and easy access, as well as facilitate a streamlined workflow.

Shine: Regularly clean and maintain the work area and equipment to ensure they are functioning properly and to identify any potential problems.

3. Standardize: Create standard procedures and guidelines to maintain the order and cleanliness of the work area, and to ensure consistent use of equipment and tools.

4. Sustain: Regularly monitor the work area to ensure that it continues to be organized, clean, and safe, and make any required changes to sustain these conditions.

MUDA - Waste  |  MURA - Irregularity  |  MURI - Overburden

Toyota pioneered the concepts of muda, mura, and muri in Lean Manufacturing. These concepts have led engineering experts to conduct activities such as production time studies, loss identification, value-added analyses, and non-value-added analyses in order to improve manufacturing processes.


The Japanese term for waste is "Muda.” Within the context of businesses, manufacturing, and production, there exist 8 distinct types of waste:

  1. Transportation
  2. Inventory
  3. Motion
  4. Waiting
  5. Processing
  6. Overproduction
  7. Defects
  8. Underutilized Workers

Mura and Muri

Mura refers to the lack of consistency and inefficiencies that can cause variations in production, while Muri, or overburden, is the excessive strain put on production, including people and machines.

Identifying Muda, Mura, and Muri is crucial for waste elimination in business processes. By identifying and eliminating Mura, which refers to variations and inconsistencies, and Muri, which involves overburdening people and machines, Muda or waste can be eliminated. This approach can improve efficiency and production in the business processes.

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