What is Lean Manufacturing? What is Automation?

January 25, 2024

What is Lean Manufacturing? What is Automation?


joydeep | Senior Engineer - PMI Corps

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is a value-driven approach that aims to eliminate waste, improve efficiency, and maximize productivity within production processes. It focuses on principles like continuous improvement, waste reduction, and optimizing productivity by eliminating non-value-added elements, including time.

What is automation?

Automation refers to the utilization of technology and machinery to execute tasks with minimal human involvement. In manufacturing, this can include robotic systems, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, automated conveyor systems, and similar technologies.


These Japanese concepts were pioneered by Toyota and top engineering experts to conduct Lean activities such as value-added analyses, non-value-added analyses, production time studies, and loss identification.

Muda is the Japanese word for waste.

There are 8 types of waste:

  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Processing
  • Overproduction
  • Defects
  • Underutilized Workers

Mura denotes unevenness and irregularities, signifying inconsistencies and inefficiencies that may result in production variations.

Recognizing Muda, Mura, and Muri is crucial for waste elimination in business processes. The identification of Mura and Muri contributes to the eradication of Muda, ultimately enhancing efficiency and production.

What is 5S?

5S is a lean methodology employing five fundamental steps: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. It's a straightforward yet highly effective approach for establishing an organized, clean, and safe work environment. Integral to Lean manufacturing, 5S minimizes waste, enhances efficiency, and boosts productivity by eliminating the time spent searching for tools and equipment.

  1. Sort: Eliminate unnecessary items and arrange the remaining ones logically for easy access.
  2. Set in Order: Structure items to facilitate efficient retrieval and support a smooth workflow.
  3. Shine: Regularly clean the workspace and equipment to uphold hygiene standards and detect potential issues.
  4. Standardize: Define procedures and guidelines for maintaining workspace order, cleanliness, and equipment usage.
  5. Sustain: Consistently supervise the workspace to ensure it remains organized, clean, and safe, and make necessary adjustments to sustain these conditions.

Goals of Lean Automation Manufacturing and Consulting

  • Minimize Waste: Identify and eliminate various forms of waste, such as overproduction, excess inventory, and unnecessary motion, to streamline processes and cut costs.
  • Enhance Efficiency: Incorporate automation technologies to boost speed and precision, leading to increased throughput and reduced lead times.
  • Elevate Quality: Employ automation systems and processes to support increased product quality and fewer defects.
  • Optimize Resource Use: Maximize the utilization of labor, machinery, and materials, to improve overall productivity.

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Lean manufacturing is a value-driven approach that aims to eliminate waste, improve efficiency, and maximize productivity within production processes.


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