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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lean Glossary

Here's an excellent glossary of lean terminology, thanks to 



5 Why's A simple but effective method of analyzing and solving problems by asking 'why?' five times (or as many times as needed to find the root cause).

5S The principle of waste elimination through workplace organization. Derived from the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. In English the 5S are sort, straighten, sweep, standardize, and self-discipline.

7 Wastes There are 7 types of waste that describe all wasteful activity in a production environment. Elimination of the 7 wastes leads to improved profits. The 7 wastes are 1) Overproduction, 2) Transportation, 3) Motion, 4) Waiting, 5) Processing, 6) Inventory, and 7) Defects.

A3 Report This "A3" sized (11 inches x 17 inches) form is used at Toyota as a one-sheet problem evaluation, root cause analysis, and corrective action planning tool.

Abnormality Management Being able to see and quickly take action to correct abnormalities (any straying from Standard Work). This is the goal of standardization and visual management.

Activity Based Costing ABC) A management accounting system that assigns cost to products based on the resources used to perform a process.

Agile Manufacturing Agile manufacturers must recognize the volatility of change, and put mechanisms in place to deal with it.

Andon A tool of visual management, originating from the Japanese word for 'lamp'. Most commonly, andons are lights placed on machines or on production lines to indicate operation status.

Assembly Buffer The time buffer placed before an assembly operation on non drum parts where Drum components are assembled with non drum components.

Automatic Time The time when a machine is running on auto cycle and a person does not needed to be there to operate the machine.

Autonomation Stopping a line automatically when a defective part is detected.

Back Flushing A method of recording accounting transactions for labor and materials based on what was shipped rather than by using material issues or cards. The aim of back flushing is to reduce the number of non value-added transactions.

Balance on Hand (BOH) Inventory levels between component parts.

Balanced Plant A plant where capacity of all resources are balanced exactly with market demand.

Balanced production All operations or cells produce at the same cycle time. In a balanced system, the cell cycle time is less than takt time.

Batch Manufacturing A production strategy that moves significant quantities of subassemblies from operation to operation in a batch.

Batch-and-Queue Producing more than one piece of an item and then moving those items forward to the next operation before that are all actually needed there.

Benchmarking Comparing key performance metrics with other organization in similar or relevant industries.

Best-in-Class A best-known example of performance in a particular operation. One needs to define both the class and the operation to avoid using the term loosely.

Bill of Activities A hierarchical, indexed listing of all the activities required to build a product or provide a service.

Bill of Materials (BoM) A hierarchical, indexed listing of all the materials required to build a product or provide a service.

Black Belt Six Sigma team leaders responsible for implementing process improvement projects within the business

Blitz A fast and focused process for improving some component of business ¬ a product line, a machine, or a process. It utilizes a cross-functional team of employees for a quick problem-solving exercise, where they focus on designing solutions to meet some well-defined goals.

Bottleneck Any resource whose capacity is equal to, or less than the demand placed on it.

Breakthrough Objectives Objectives that are 'stretch goals' for the organization, representing a significant change for the organization.

Brown Field An existing and operating production facility.

Capacity Buffer The time buffer placed between the drums in multiple project. This buffer protects the later project from the knock on effect of delays in earlier projects.

Capacity Constraint Resources (CCR) Where a series of non-bottlenecks, based on the sequence in which they perform their jobs can act as a constraint.

Catch-Ball A series of discussion between managers and their employees during which data, ideas, and analysis are thrown like a ball. This opens productive dialogue throughout the entire company.

Cause and Effect Diagram A problem solving tool used to identify relationships between effects and multiple causes (also Fishbone Diagram, Ishikawa Diagram).

Cellular manufacturing The layout of machines of different types performing different operations in a tight sequence, typically in a U-shape, to permit single piece flow and flexible deployment of human effort.

Chaku-Chaku A method of conducting single-piece flow, where the operator proceeds from machine to machine, taking the part from one machine and loading it into the next.

Change Agent The catalytic force moving firms and value streams out of the world of inward-looking batch-and-queue.

Change Management The process of planning, preparing, educating, resource allocating, and implementing of a cultural change in an organization.

Changeover The time from when the last good piece comes off of a machine or process until the first good piece of the next product is made.

Cloud This is the thinking process used to precisely define a problem, to surface the underlying assumptions and to enable the identification of the direction of a solution that will remove this problem.

Concurrent Engineering Designing a product (or service), its production process, the supporting information flow, and its delivery mechanism at the same time.

Constraint Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance, or throughput.

Continuous flow A concept where items are processed and moved directly from one processing step to the next, one piece at a time. Also referred to as "one piece flow" and "single piece flow."

Continuous Improvement The never-ending pursuit of waste elimination by creating a better workplace, better products, and greater value to society.

Control Chart A statistical problem solving tool that indicates control of a process within established limits.

Control Element Any specific process variable that must be controlled. The measurement of a control element indicates whether the process is operating under stable conditions.

Core Problem (CP) The constraint of a system where it is not a physical resource, it may be: a policy, or the belief in a false assumption, out dated measures or ineffective behaviours.

Cost of Quality Costs associated with supplying a quality product. Categories of cost include prevention, appraisal, and failure.

Counterclockwise Flow A basic principle of Lean manufacturing cell layout is that the flow of material and the motion of people should be from right to left, or counterclockwise. The origin of this idea came from the design of lathes and machine tools with the chucks on the left side, making it easier for right-handed people to load from right to left.

Critical Capacity Resource (CCR) A CCR is a resource that may prevent the system moving closer towards its goal.

Critical Chain This is the longest dependent chain of events in a project plan when both resource dependency and task dependency are taken into account.

Critical Chain Completion Buffer (CCCB) See Project Buffer.

Critical Chain Feeder Buffer (CCFB) See Feeder Buffer.

Critical Path A Critical Path is the longest path of dependent tasks in a project network not taking resource dependency into account. (From Goldratt

Current Reality Tree (CRT) The TOC Thinking Process diagram that shows through solid logic how the UnDesirable Effects are linked together. The CRT is used to pin point where improvement actions can have the greatest leverage.

Current State Map Helps visualize the current production process and identify sources of waste.

Cycle time The time required to complete one cycle of an operation. If cycle time for every operation in a complete process can be reduced to equal takt time, products can be made in single-piece flow.

Days Supply of Inventory (DSI) Total number of days (if the production level equals zero) that it would take to deplete finished goods inventory for the specified product line.

Demand Flow The concept of demand flow is to pull raw materials and products through the process strictly according to the dictates of customer demand.

Dependency Unable to do without. In TOC it is usually referring to two tasks or actions where one is a prerequisite for the other.

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Design for Manufacturing is an approach to design that fosters simultaneous involvement of product design, process design, and manufacturing.

Design of Experiments (DOE) Planning and conducting experiments and evaluating the results. The outcome of a design of experiment includes a mathematical equation predicting the interaction of the factors influencing a process and the relevant output characteristics of the process.

Disruption An event that was not predicted that delays tasks, resources or materials or reveals extra work that was not expected.

Drum The Drum refers to the CCR that is used to build the schedule around in an operation.

Economies of Scale Applying the principles of mass production, large batch sizes, and consolidated control strategies to achieve minimum unit processing costs.

Elements of Work The elements of work are 1) value-added work, 2) non value-added work, and 3) waste.

Empowerment A series of actions designed to give employees greater control over their working lives.

Error proofing A process used to prevent errors from occurring or to immediately point out a defect as it occurs. See "poka-yoke."

Evaporating Clouds A method used in Theory of Constraints. Same as Conflict Resolution.

External Set Up All set-up tasks that can be done while the machine is still running.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) A structured approach to determining the seriousness of potential failures and for identifying the sources of each potential failure.

Feeder Buffer The time buffer that is placed on the end of non critical chains that feed into the critical chain. Sometimes referred to as Critical Chain Feeder Buffer (CCFB).

Feeder lines A series of special assembly lines that allow assemblers to perform preassembly tasks off the main production line.

First In First Out (FIFO) Processing orders in a pure sequential flow.

Flexible Manufacturing System An integrated manufacturing capability to produce small numbers of a great variety of items at low unit cost; an FMS is also characterized by low changeover time and rapid response time

Flow A main objective of the lean production effort, and one of the important concepts that passed directly from Henry Ford to Toyota. Ford recognized that, ideally, production should flow continuously all the way from raw material to the customer and envisioned realizing that ideal through a production system that acted as one long conveyor.

Flow Chart A problem solving tool that maps out the steps in a process visually. The flow (or lack thereof) becomes evident and the wastes and redundancies are identified.

Flow Production A way of doing things in small quantities in sequential steps, rather than in large batches, lots or mass processing.

Functional Layout The practice of grouping machines or activities by type of operation performed.

Future Reality Tree (FRT) The TOC Thinking Process diagram that describes how the the agreed direction for a solution unavoidable through solid logic leads to the desired results or benefits.

Future State Map The vision of a future optimal process, which forms the basis of your implementation plan by helping to design how the process should operate.

Gemba A Japanese word meaning "actual place," or the place where you work to create value.

Gembutsu Japanese for 'actual thing' or 'actual product'.

Genjitsu Japanese for 'the facts' or 'the reality'.

Green Belt Someone who has been trained on the improvement methodology of Six Sigma who will lead a process improvement or quality improvement team.

Green Field A new production facility where lean principles are designed into manufacturing and management systems from the beginning.

Hanedashi Auto-eject devices that unload the part from the machine once the cycle is complete.

Heijunka A method of leveling production at the final assembly line that makes just-in-time production possible.

Histogram A problem solving tool that displays data graphically in distribution.

Horizontal Handling When tasks are assigned to a person in such a way that the focus is on maximizing a certain skill set or use of certain types equipment.

Hoshin Kanri A strategic planning approach that integrates the practices of leadership with the practices of management.

Hoshin Planning (HP) A means by which goals are established and measures are created to ensure progress toward those goals.

Informative Inspection A form of inspection used to determine non-conforming product.

Integration Point Common term in a project to describe where two or more tasks join together.

Intermediate Objective (IO) The milestone that must be reached in order to overcome an obstacle to an ambitious target or injection.

Internal Setup (IED) Set-up tasks that can only be done when the machine is stopped.

Inventory All raw materials, purchased parts, work-in-process components, and finished goods that are not yet sold to a customer.

Jidoka Stopping a line automatically when a defective part is detected. [Same as Autonomation] (From

Jishu Kanri Self

Judgment Inspection A form of inspection used to determine non-conforming product.

Just in Time (JIT) Making what the customer needs when the customer needs it in the quantity the customer needs, using minimal resources of manpower, material, and machinery.

Jutsu To talk, or 'the art of' (i.e., 'leanjutsu: the art of lean production').

Kai-aku The opposite of kaizen. Change for the worse.

Kaikaku Radical improvements or reform that affect the future value stream.

Kaizen Japanese for 'change for the better' or 'improvement'.

Kaizen Event Any action whose output is intended to be an improvement to an existing process.

Kaizen Newspaper A tool for visually managing continuous improvement suggestions.

Kanban Japanese term which means card signal. Kanban is the information signal used to indicate the need for material replenishment in a pull production process.

Kano Methods A model using three types of product requirements which influence customer satisfaction in different ways.

Karoshi Death from overwork.

Kitting A process in which assemblers are supplied with kits of parts, fittings and tools.

Knowledge Management The management of knowledge, especially innovative knowledge, that is critical to business sustainability.

Last In First Out (LIFO) The result of a typical material or information flow system without FIFO, resulting in earlier orders being perpetually delayed by new orders arriving on top of them.

Lead time The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order.

Lean A business practice characterized by the endless pursuit of waste elimination.

Lean Transformation Developing a culture that is intolerant to waste in all of its forms.

Leveling Smoothing out the production schedule by averaging out both the volume and mix of products.

Line Balancing The process of evenly distributing both the quantity and variety of work across available work time, avoiding overburden and underuse of resources. This eliminates bottlenecks and downtime, which translates into shorter flow time.

Line Balancing Equalizing cycle times for relatively small units of the manufacturing process.

Load-Load A method of conducting single-piece flow, where the operator proceeds form machine to machine, taking the part form one machine and loading it into the next.

Machine Cycle Time The time it takes for a machine to produce one unit.

Machine Work Work that is done by a machine.

Manual Work Work that is done by people.

Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP II) A second generation MRP system that provides additional control linkages such as automatic purchase order generation, capacity planning, and accounts payable transactions.

Master Black Belt Master Black Belts are Six Sigma Quality experts that are responsible for the strategic implementations within an organization.

Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) A computerized information system that calculates materials requirements based on a master production schedule.

Mistake Proofing Any change to an operation that helps the operator reduce or eliminate mistakes.

Mixed Model Production Capability to produce a variety of models, that in fact differ in labor and material content, on the same production line.

Mokeru Japanese term for industrial engineering.

Monument Any design, scheduling or production technology with scale requirements necessitating that designs, orders and products be brought to the machine to wait in queue for processing. The opposite of a right-sized machine.

Muda Japanese for 'waste'. Any activity that adds cost without adding value to the product.

Multi Machine Handling When a machine operator is running more than one machine of a certain type.

Multi Process Handling When a machine operator is doing tasks for multiple processes sequentially, and this is contributing to the flow of material.

Multi Tasking Breaking into one activity before it is complete to move onto at least one other task before returning complete the original task.

Mura Variations and variability in work method or the output of a process.

Muri Exertion, overworking (a person or machine), unreasonableness.

Nagara Accomplishing more than one task in one motion or function. Japanese for 'while doing something'.

Nagara System A production system where seemingly unrelated tasks can be produced by the same operator simultaneously.

Negative Branch (Nbr) Ideas or solutions greeted with negative responses or concerns.

Ninjutsu The art of invisibility.

Non-Value Added Activities or actions taken that add no real value to the product or service, making such activities or action a form of waste.

Obstacle (Obs) Any significant thing that will block the achievement of an ambitious target or an injection.

One Piece Flow Producing one unit at a time, as opposed to producing in large lots. (From Advanced Manufacturing)

One-Touch Exchange of Dies (OTED) The reduction of die set-up where die setting is reduced to a single step.

Open Room Effect This common practice in Japanese offices involves taking down the walls and cubicles of an office and laying all of the desks out into one big 'open room'.

Operator Cycle Time The time it takes for a worker or machine operator to complete a sequence of operations, including loading and unloading, but not including waiting time.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Calculated as Availability x Performance x Quality to determine how much of the time a piece of equipment is being used while it is actually making good parts at an appropriate speed.

Overproduction Producing more, sooner or faster than is required by the next process or customer.

Pacemaker A device or technique use to set the pace of production and maintain takt time.

Pareto A bar chart that displays by frequency, in descending order, the most important defects.

Path Any series of linked (dependent) tasks in a project plan. (From Goldratt

PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) This is a basic principle followed for effective problem solving during kaizen.

Performance Management Using a set of tools and approaches to measure, improve, monitor and sustain the key indicators of a business.

PERT Project Resource Evaluation Technique

Physical Transformation Task The task of taking a specific product from raw materials to a finished product in the hands of the customer.

Pitch The pace and flow of a product.

Point of Use Keeping all items needed for the job at the location of use in a neat and organized manner.

Poka-yoke Japanese word that refers to a mistake-proofing device or procedure used to prevent a defect during the production process.

Policy Deployment The selection of goals, projects to achieve the goals, designation of people and resources for project completion, and establishment of project metrics.

PQPR Product Quantity Process Routing Analysis. The PQ (Product Quantity) refers to Pareto analysis to determine the 80/20 rule of the top products or services that make up 80% of work volume. The PR (Process Routing) refers to the Parts-Process Matrix analysis to determine product families by grouping of products with similar process flows.

Prerequisite Tree (TrT) The TOC thinking process used to break the injections needed in the solution down into smaller logical steps.

Problem Solving Task The task of taking a specific product from concept through detailed design and engineering to production launch.

Process A series of activities that collectively accomplish a distinct objective.

Process Capacity Table A chart primarily used in machining processes that compares set-up and machine load times to available capacity.

Process Hierarchy A hierarchical decomposition from core business processes to the task level.

Process Kaizen Continuous improvement through incremental improvements.

Process Segment A series of activities that define a subset of a process.

Processing Time The time a product is actually being worked on in a machine or work area.

Product Delivery Process The stream of activities required to produce a product or service.

Production Preparation Process (3P) The production preparation process is a tool used for designing lean manufacturing environments. It is a highly disciplined, standardized model. 3P results in the development of an improved production process where low waste levels are achieved at low capital cost.

Production Smoothing Keeping total manufacturing volume as constant as possible.

Project Buffer The time buffer placed at the end of the critical chain to protect the customer from the fluctuations and disruptions that occur in the Critical Chain. Sometimes called Critical Chain Completion Buffer (CCCB).

Protective Capacity Protective capacity describes the amount of installed capacity that is necessary to overcome disruptions.

Pull production Prroducts are made only when the customer has requested or "pulled" it, and not before.

Push System Product is pushed into a process, regardless of whether it is needed.

QCD (Quality, Cost, and Delivery) Key customer satisfaction metrics that determine if a company is competitive.

QCDSM (Quality, Cost, Delivery - Safety & Morale) A set of performance management measures that includes employee satisfaction (safety & morale) as well as customer satisfaction.

Quality Meeting expectation and requirements, stated and un-stated, of the customer.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Using a cross-functional team to reach consensus that final engineering specification of a product are in accord with the voice of the customer.

Queue Time The time a product spends in a line awaiting the next design, order processing, or fabrication step.

Quick Changeover The ability to change tooling and fixtures rapidly (usually minutes), so multiple products can be run on the same machine.

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) A methodology and system allowing rapid response to changing customer requirements.

Real Value Attributes and features of a product or service that, in the eyes of customers, are worth paying for.

Reengineering Improving fundamental business processes.

Resource Activation Using a resource regardless of whether throughput is increased.

Resource Utilization Using a resource in a way that increases throughput.

Right-size Matching tooling and equipment to the job and space requirements.

Root Cause The most basic underlying reason for an event or condition.

Sanitizing The act of cleaning the work area.

Seiban A Japanese management practice taken from the Japanese words "sei", which means manufacturing, and "ban", which means number. A Seiban number is assigned to all parts, materials, and purchase orders associated with a particular customer job, or with a project, or anything else. This enables a manufacturer to track everything related with a particular product, project, or customer.

Sensi An outside master or teacher that assists in implementing lean practices.

Sequential Changeover When changeover times are within Takt time, changeovers can be performed one after another in a flow line. Sequential changeover assures that the lost time for each process in the line is minimized to one Takt beat.

Set Up Reduction Reducing the amount of time a machine or a process is down during changeover from the last good piece to the first good piece of the next product.

Seven wastes Taiichi Ohno¹s original catalog of the wastes commonly found in physical production. These are overproduction ahead of demand, waiting for the next processing stop, unnecessary transport of materials, overprocessing of parts due to poor tool and product design, inventories more than the absolute minimum, unnecessary movement by employees during the course of their work, and production of defective parts.

Shipping Buffer The time buffer that is placed before the customer to protect them from disruptions.

Shojinka Continually optimizing the number of workers in a work center to meet the type and volume of demand imposed on the work center.

Shusa The leader of the team whose job is to design and engineer a new product and it into production.

Sifting Screening through unnecessary materials and simplifying the work environment.

Simulation 3D technique used to balance the line.

Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) A series of techniques designed for changeovers of production machinery in less than ten minutes.

Single-piece flow A process in which products proceed, one complete product at a time, through various operations in design, order-taking and production without interruptions, backflows or scrap.

Six Sigma A methodology and set of tools used to improve quality to than 3.4 defects per million or better.

Sorting Organizing essential materials.

Standard Work Specifying tasks to the best way to get the job done in the amount of time available while ensuring the job is done right the first time, every time.

Standard Work Combination Sheet (SWCS) A document detailing the sequence of production steps assigned to a single worker performing Standard Work.

Standard Work Sheet (SWS) Shows the work sequence, takt time, standard working process, and layout of the cell or workstation.

Statistical Fluctuations Information that cannot be precisely predicted.

Strategic Planning Developing short and long-term competitive strategies using tools such as SWOT Analysis to assess the current situation, develop missions and goals, and create an implementation plan.

Student Syndrome One of the common behaviours in a project that lead to tasks being later than they need be.

Sub- Optimization A condition where gains made in one activity are offset by losses in another activity or activities, created by the same actions creating gains in the first activity.

Sunk Cost Any expenditure that has already taken place and can not be undone.

Supermarket A tool of the pull system that helps signal demand for the product. In a supermarket, a fixed amount of raw material, work in process, or finished material is kept as a buffer to schedule variability or an incapable process.

Sustaining The continuation of sifting, sweeping, sorting and sanitizing.

Sweeping Collecting nonessential goods and removing them from the work area.

Synchronization The bringing together of materials information and anything else needed in a coordinated manner such that no part is waiting long for another

Takt Time Daily production number required to meet orders in hand divided into the number of working hours in the day.

Target Costing A way of establishing a cost goal for a product or service in the design phase.

Tebanare Japanese for 'hands-free'. The goal of tebanare is to use low cost automation on manual machines to allow people to do work that is more valuable that only a person can do.

Teian A proposal, proposition, or suggestion. A teian system can be likened to a system which allows and encourages workers to actively propose process and product improvements.

Theory of Constraints (TOC) A management philosophy that stresses removal of constraints to increase throughput while decreasing inventory and operating expenses.

Throughput The rate the system generates money through sales.

Throughput Time The time required for a product to proceed from concept to launch, order to delivery, or raw materials into the hands of the customer.

Time Buffer A key part of the TOC applications that protects against disruptions

Time-Based Strategy Driving improvement activity through focus on time and its relation to quality, cost, delivery, safety, and morale.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Maximizing equipment effectiveness and uptime throughout the entire life of the equipment.

Toyota Production System (TPS) A methodology that resulted from over 50 years of Kaizen at Toyota. TPS is built on a foundation of Leveling, with the supporting pillars of Just-in-Time and Jidoka.

Transition Tree (TrT) A TOC process used to construct the actions needed to achieve an intermediate objective.

Tsurube A way to keep product flow continuous even when there are interruptions such as outside processing or batch operations.

Two-Bin System An example of both visual management and the pull system, whereby two bins or containers are used trigger reorder of parts or materials.

UnDesirable Effect (UDE) These are the negative things the problems that are visible and caused by the thing (Core Problem) that must be changed.

Value A capability provided to a customer at the right time at an appropriate price, as defined by the customer.

Value Analysis Analyzing the value stream to identify value added and non-value added activities.

Value Chain Activities outside of your organization that add value to your final product, such as the value adding activities of your suppliers.

Value Engineering Optimizing products or processes to improve value to the customer.

Value Stream A value stream is a series of all actions required to fulfill a customer's request, both value added and not.

Value stream mapping The process of directly observing the flows of information and materials as they now occur, summarizing them visually, and then envisioning a future state with much better performance.

Value-Added Work Work that the customer is willing to pay for. A transformation of the shape or function of the material/information in a way that the customer will pay for.

Vertical Handling When tasks are assigned in such a way that the materials processes are being progressively worked towards completion, this is vertical handling. This in contrast to horizontal handling which only focuses on the output of a specific process.

Visual Control The placement in plain view of all tools, parts, production activities, and indicators of production system performance so everyone involved can understand the status of the system at a glance.

Visual Management Simple visual tools are used to identify the target state, and any deviance is met with corrective action.

Waste Anything that uses resources, but does not add real value to the product or service.

Water Spider A skilled and well-trained person who makes the rounds supplying parts, assisting with changeover, providing tools and materials.

Work Cell A logical and productive grouping of machinery, tooling, and personnel which produces a family of similar products.

Work in Process (WIP) Product or inventory in various stages of completion throughout the plant, from raw material to completed product.

Work Sequence The defined steps and activities that need to be performed in order for the work to be completed.

Yamazumi A bar graph typically showing the balance of workloads as operator cycle times.

Yield Produced product related to scheduled product.

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