Five Lean Principles | Lean Manufacturing

Five Lean Principles | Lean Manufacturing

→ Five Lean Principles in Lean Manufacturing are: Identify Value, Value Stream Map, Create Flow, Establish Pull, Seek Perfection.

1) Five Lean Principles:

    1. Identify Value (from the customer's perspective)
    2. Map Value Stream (map the steps in the value stream)
    3. Create Flow (create a smooth flow)
    4. Establish Pull (the right amount pulled at the right time, no more, no less)
    5. Seek Perfection (elimination of all waste in the value stream)

Five Lean Principles | Lean Manufacturing

➤ Lean Principle 1: Identify Value

  • The Lean approach begins with a detailed understanding of the value assigned to product or services by the customer.
  • This determines what the customer will pay. 
  • Establishing value allows organizations to create a top to the bottom target price. 
  • The cost to produce the products and services is then determined. 
  • The organization focuses on eliminating waste so that they can deliver the value as per the customer's expectation.
  • Value is always defined by the customer’s needs for a specific product.
→ For example, 
  • what is the timeline for manufacturing and delivery? 
  • What is the price point? 
  • What are other important requirements or expectations that must be met? 
  • This information is vital for defining value
Identify Value Lean Principle


➤ Lean Principle 2: Value Stream Map

  • The Value stream is the product’s entire life-cycle from the raw materials to the customer’s use and also disposal of the product. 
  • In order to eliminate waste, there must be an accurate and complete understanding of the value stream. 
  • Processes are examined to determine what value is added by steps, materials, features, and movement.
  • Steps, materials, features, and movement that do not add value are eliminated.
  • Once the value (end goal) has been determined, the next step is mapping the “value-stream,” or all the steps and processes involved in taking a specific product from raw materials and delivering the final product to the customer. 
  • Value-stream mapping is a simple but eye-opening experience that identifies all the actions that take a product or service through any process.
  • The idea is to draw, on one page, a "map" of the flow of material/product through the process.
  • The goal is to identify every step that does not create value and then find ways to eliminate those wasteful steps.
  • Value-stream mapping is sometimes referred to as process re-engineering. Ultimately this exercise also results in a better understanding of the entire business operation. 


Value Stream Map Lean Principle

➤ Lean Principle 3: Create Flow

  • Understanding flow is essential to the elimination of waste. 
  • If the value stream stops moving forward at any point then the waste is a necessary by-product. 
  • The lean manufacturing principle of flow is about creating a value chain with no interruption in the production process.
  • After the waste has been removed from the value stream, the next step is to be sure the remaining steps flow smoothly with no interruptions, delays, or bottlenecks.
  • Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so that the product or service will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  • However, studies show that this will also lead to huge gains in productivity and efficiency, sometimes as high as 50-percent improvement or more
Create Flow Lean Principle


➤ Lean Principle 4: Establish Pull

  • The lean principle of pull helps ensure flow by making sure that nothing is made ahead of time, building up work-in-process inventory.
  • Rather than using the traditional American manufacturing approach of pushing work through based on a forecast and schedule, the pull approach that nothing is made until the customer orders it. 
  • This requires a great deal of flexibility and short design to delivery cycle times. 
  • It also requires an efficient way of communicating what is needed for each step in the value chain.
  • The Pull system makes easier to deliver products as needed, as in “just in time” manufacturing or delivery.
  • This means the customer can “pull” the product from you as needed (often in weeks, instead of months).
  • As a result, products don’t need to be built in advance or materials stockpiled, creating an expensive inventory that needs to be managed, saving money for both the manufacturer/provider and the customer.


Establish Pull Lean Principle

➤ Lean Principle 5: Seek Perfection

  • The march toward perfect process happens step by step as continuous improvements and implementing preventive actions on root causes of quality problems and production waste.
  • Lean experts often say that a process is not truly lean until it has been through value-stream mapping at least half a dozen times. 
  • Continuously dig deeper, measure more, and change more in the process for achieving the perfect lean process.
  • Accomplishing Steps 1-4 is a great start, but the fifth step Perfection is the most important
  • Making lean thinking and process improvement as a part of your corporate culture. 
  • It is important to remember that the lean is not a static system it requires constant effort and vigilance to perfect. 
  • Every employee shall be involved in implementing lean.
Seek Perfection Lean Principle


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See Also: Lean Manufacturing
➨ 5S Methodology - A Lean Manufacturing Tool
➨ Traditional thinking Vs Lean thinking? - Lean Manufacturing
➨ Kaizen (Continous Improvement) - A Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Tool
➨ The 8 Wastes in Lean Manufacturing - Lean Manufacturing
➨ PDCA Cycle - A Lean Manufacturing Tool