Top Lean Tools | Top 26 Lean Manufacturing Tools

Top Lean Tools | Top 26 Lean Manufacturing Tools

→ Top Lean Tools are the systematic and scientific approach for problem-solving.
→ Lean Tools are also used for identifying and eliminating waste from system or process.
→ These tools are very important to implement Lean Manufacturing culture in the factory.


01) Kaizen or Continuous Improvement - Lean Tools:

Kaizen or Continuous Improvement - Lean Tools

What is Kaizen?

→ Kaizen stands for “continuous improvement” or “small incremental improvements” of all areas of a company.
 Kaizen word comes from the Japanese words “kai” which means “change or improvement” & “zen” which means “for betterment.”
 The Lean tool Kaizen includes the involvement of all employees, from top management to bottom personnel.
 Kaizen is one of the top lean tools.

Benefits of Kaizen:

→ It Improves processes by eliminating waste.
→ Promotes personal growth of employees and the company.
→ Kaizen Improves quality, safety, cost structures, delivery, environments and 
→ Kaizen Improves customer service/satisfaction.


➤ How to implement Kaizen at our workplace:

→ The Kaizen method is generally implemented in 5 different steps:
     1. Identify an area having a problem.
     2. Analyze the data and method for current process.method.
     3. Testing and evaluating of improvement possibility.
     4. Implement improvements.
     5. Analyze results and present to top management for feedback.


02) Single-Piece Flow - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Single-Piece Flow - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

What is Single-Piece Flow?

 Single-Piece Flow is the sequence of a product or service through a process that is the single unit is processed at a time.
 Single-Piece Flow is the opposite of batch processing.
 In batch processing, there is a large number of products are processed at once.
 Single-Piece Flow is focused on the manufacturing of the product itself rather than the waiting, transportation, and storage of the product.
 One piece or single piece flow is a top lean tool.

Benefits of Single Piece Flow:

 Single Piece Flow detects defects earlier and more accurately.
 In Single Piece flow, we can get more flexibility for customization and meeting customer demands.
 It reduces costs by eliminating various lean wastes.
 In Single Piece Flow we can easily predict the shipment times.


03) Jidoka - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Jidoka - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing



➤ What is Jidoka (Autonomation)?

 Jidoka means Autonomation
 Autonomation described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human touch"
 Jidoka (Autonomation) refers to partially automate manufacturing.
 Partial automation is typically much less expensive than full automation.
 Jidoka implements some supervisory functions rather than production functions.
 In this concept, Machine or Line is automatically stopped when defects are detected.
 Jidoka is one of the most important lean tools.

➤ Principles of Jidoka:

    1. Detect the abnormality in process or product.
    2. Stop the process or product.
    3. Fix or correct the immediate condition of the process or product.
    4. Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure in process or product.


➤ Benefits of Jidoka(Autonomation):

 Jidoka helps employees fix problems as they occur.
 It improves productivity.
 Jidoka reduces downtime and breakdowns.
 Jidoka empowers employees and machines.


04) Poka Yoke - Lean Tools| Lean Manufacturing:

Poka Yoke - Lean Tools| Lean Manufacturing

What is Poka-Yoke?

 Poka-Yoke means Mistake Proofing or Error Prevention.
 Poka-Yoke prevents defects from being made or it highlights a defect so that it is not passed to the next operation.

Benefits of Poka-Yoke:

 Poka-Yoke saves time and money by preventing defect or being made defective products.
 It is difficult to find all defects through inspection so we can use Poka-Yoke for effective and efficient operation.
→ Poka-Yoke prevents human error.
→ Poka-Yoke is an important lean tool.


05) Visual Management - Lean Tools:

Visual Management - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Visual Management?

 Visual Management is a communication technique that uses visual aids to pass messages more effectively, more efficiently and very fast.
 Visual Management is the ability to manage everything in your factory or areas by visually.




➤ Benefits of Visual Management:

 Visual Management can display problems in a simpler way and very effective.
 Clearly indicates our targets and goals.
 Visual Management can increase the effectiveness of communication.
 Work instructions can be simplified by using the Visual Management Concept.
→ Visual management is one of the top lean tools.


06) Kanban - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Kanban - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Kanban?

 Kanban means Signboard or Billboard.
 Kanban is a scheduling system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing (JIT).
 It takes its name from the cards that track production within a factory.
 Kanban controls the inventory level at any stage of production.
 Kanban is one of the top lean tools.


➤ Benefits of Kanban:

 Kanban improves manufacturing efficiency
 One of the main benefits of kanban is to establish an upper limit to work in process inventory to avoid overcapacity
 Kanban is an effective tool to support the running production system
 Kanban reduces wastes.


07) 8 Lean Wastes - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

8 Lean Wastes - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

    1. Transportation waste:
→ Do you move materials efficiently? Are you working with optimum transportation?
     2. Inventory waste:
→ Are you have work in progress inventories too high? Do you buy too the much raw material that needs to be stored for a while before it’s used?
     3. Motion waste:
→ Are people and equipment moving between tasks efficiently?
     4. Waiting waste:
→ How much time is consuming between your production steps?
     5. Over Production waste:
→ Are you producing the right amount of product to meet your consumers' demand?
     6. Over Processing waste:
→ Do you work on the product too many times?
     7. Defects waste:
→ Generation of defects in production or how much time require to rework or repair the defective product?
     8. Skills sets (non-utilized talent) waste:
→ Do you use workers efficiently?

→ It increases productivity
→ It creates a safer working environment
→ Reduce downtime
→ Improve efficiency and effectiveness

08) Six Big Losses - Lean Tools| Lean Manufacturing:

Six Big Losses - Lean Tools| Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Six Big Losses?

→ The six big losses are the six common categories of productivity loss in the production process.
 Six big losses is a very helpful top lean tool.

➤ The six big losses are:

    1. Breakdowns or Unplanned Stops:
→ It refers to mechanical failure and the need for maintenance or stoppage due to an unplanned activity like manpower are not available.
    2. Planned Stops or Setup/Adjustment:
→ Machines are stopped due to planned events, such as planned maintenance, safety inspections, or employee breaks and Setup/Adjustment refers to changeover and machine warm-up.
    3. Small Stops or Idling:
→ Small stops or Idling refers to machine stops for a short duration of time to correct settings, unclog jams, and routine cleaning activity.
    4. Speed or Slow Cycles:
→ Speed or Slow Cycles are referred to machine runs slower than designed, low efficiency of operator and machine wear down.
    5. Production Rejects or Defects in the process:
→ Production Rejects or Defects in the process are defective parts produced in the regular production, this is due to operator error or incorrect settings.
    6. Startup Rejects or Startup losses:
→ Startup Rejects or Startup losses are defective parts produced at the time of machine startups or during the process or product changeovers



➤ Benefits of analysis of Six Big Losses.

→ Six Big Losses provides us with a framework for eliminating the most common causes of waste in manufacturing.

09) SMART Goals - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

SMART Goals - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is SMART Goals?

→ The SMART goal is the method to set the goal or target in an effective manner.
The goals should be clearly defined and communicated.
 A SMART goal is one of the important top lean tools.

➤ The acronym SMART stands for:

→ Specific
→ Measurable
→ Attainable or Achievable
→ Realistic or Results-Focused
→ Time-based or Time-bound or Time Specific


10) Heijunka - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Heijunka - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Heijunka?

 Heijunka means Leveling or Balancing.
 It is used to minimize batching and create a more efficient manufacturing process.
 It is a type of production scheduling and it supports a predictable and steady flow of small-batch manufacturing, instead of larger production processes used for goods and components.

➤ Example of Heijunka:

→ Say a car manufacturer receives 1000 orders for cars every week. 200 on Monday, 100 on Tuesday, 100 on Wednesday, and 600 on Thursday. Instead of manufacturing 1000 cars at the beginning of the week or the exact amount needed each day, the company would produce exactly 200 cars per day. By producing the same amount every day, the factory can optimize the manufacturing process for 200 cars and therefore create a more efficient process. 


➤ Benefits of Heijunka:

→ Heijunka (Leveling or Balancing) improves efficiency at all levels of the manufacturing process.
→ It improves productivity and reduces the defects
→ Heijunka reduces inventories, working capital costs, manpower, and production time.
→ Also, it reduces lead time.


11) Just in Time - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Just in Time - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Just in Time?

→ Just in Time is focused on the production of customer's requirement like when they want it, how many quantities they want it, and where they want it?
→ In Just In Time, we produce the only customer's ordered quantity Instead of creating a large stock of a product.

➤ Benefits of Just In Time:

→ Just In Time reduces unnecessary inventory.
→ Minimize the storage need.
 Just In Time gives companies flexibility in their manufacturing processes.
→ Save unnecessary expenses.


12) Takt Time - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Takt Time - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Takt Time?

 Takt time is the maximum amount of time requires to produce the product and satisfy the customer's demand.
→ It is in other words: Net time available to work per unit of customer's demand or
→ Takt time (T) = Net time available to work (Ta)/Demand (customer demand) (D)
→ Where,
     T   = Takt time,
     Ta = Net time available to work, e.g. [work time per period like 8 hours per day]
     D  = Demand (customer demand), e.g. [units required per period like 1000 qty per day] 

➤ Example of Takt Time: 

→ If there are a total of 8 hours (or 480 minutes) in a shift (gross time) less 30 minutes lunch, 20 minutes of tea breaks (2 × 10 mins), 10 minutes for a meeting with team, then the net Available Time to Work = 480 - 30 - 20 - 10 = 420 minutes.
→ If customer demand were 840 units per day and one shift was being run, then the line would be required to output at a minimum rate of two parts per minute in order to satisfy the customer's demand.



➤ Benefits of Takt Time:

→ Takt time Keeps track of production rates
→ It helps us to set real-time targets for production
→ Takt time reduces unnecessary wastes.
→ We can achieve a consistent flow of production by using takt time
→ It Manages overtime
→ We can eliminate the waste of overproduction by producing to meet actual customer demand.


13) Bottleneck Analysis - Lean Tools:

Bottleneck Analysis - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Bottleneck?

→ A Bottleneck means "constraint".
→ The bottleneck in operation or process is understood by "The stage of operation or process that takes the longest time in the whole operation or process"
→ The bottleneck refers to the slowest member of the whole operation or process.
→ This bottleneck member can determine the speed of the entire group.
→ If one part of the whole operation or process is slow, then it can reduce the speed of the whole operation or process.
→ Also, it reduces the efficiency of the entire manufacturing process.

➤ Benefits of Bottleneck Analysis:

→ By removing bottleneck we can increase efficiency and profits.
→ We can optimize the cycle time.
→ Increase productivity and plant capacity.

14) Andon - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Andon - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Andon?

→ Andon is a visual signaling system for the shop floor that indicates production status and alerts when assistance is needed
 → Andon empowers operators to stop the production process if any abnormity found in product or process.
 → Usually, Andon uses a combination of lights and sounds to communicate any problem, production status updates, highlight the issues, and any achievements.


➤ Benefits of Andon:

 → Andon brings an immediate response to problems as they occur
 → It empowers operators
 → Andon keeps the shop floor person engaged with their tasks


15) Gemba - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Gemba - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Gemba?

→ Gemba is a Japanese word.
→ Gemba means "The Real Place".
→ It means the actual place where the problem was found or an incident has happened.
→ As per Gemba theory, we must have to go at the Gemba for investigation of any problem or incident.
→ So problem solver's or Cross function Team's presence is necessary at Gemba.
→ The actual place may be referred:  In manufacturing, it is shop floor or it can be a construction site, assembly line, any lab, office, etc....


➤ Basic Principles of Gemba Walk:

    1. Have a specific purpose of Gemba Walk.
    2. Be familiar with the area that you are visiting.
    3. Understand the overall process.
    4. Correctly understand what you are seeing.
    5. Know what to ask.

➤ Benefits of Gemba:

→ By Gemba walk, we can get easily knowledge of the plant's productivity.
→ Gemba gives a deep, thorough, and effective understanding of the manufacturing process and problems by observation and discussions with shop floor employees.


16) Hoshin Kanri - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Hoshin Kanri - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturin

➤ What is Hoshin Kanri?

→ Hoshin Kanri is a Japanese Word it means Policy Deployment
→ The word "hoshin" means direction.
→ And The word "kanri" means administration.
→ In Hoshin Kanri, the strategic goals of the company are communicated throughout the company and then put into action with the help of middle management.
→ The top-down approach focus on steady communication for explaining visions, developing and implementing policy from top to bottom management, and receiving feedback from bottom to top management.


➤ Benefits of Hoshin Kanri:

→ The Hoshin Kanri practice helps us to ensure that all employees within an organization are able to understand the organization’s vision.
→ And all employee work toward a common goal of an organization.
→ It eliminates the waste that comes from poor communication and unorganized direction.

17) Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - Lean Tools:

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

What is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)?

→ OEE is a method used to measure manufacturing efficiency by using Performance Rate, Availability of Machine and Quality Rate.
→ It measures the efficiency of Productivity in %.
→ With 0 % means zero productivity it means an inefficient production.
→ 100% OEE means perfect production (produced only good parts, as fast as possible, with no downtime).
→ OEE is calculated with the formula,
→ OEE= (Availability)*(Performance)*(Quality)


Benefits of OEE:

→ Knowing OEE helps us to find inefficiencies in the production cycle.
→ It helps us to set goals for improvement, and track the progress.
→ OEE Provides benchmark data for the new process setup.
→ OEE helps to track progress in eliminating waste from a manufacturing process.

18) Cellular Manufacturing - Lean Tools:

Cellular Manufacturing - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Cellular Manufacturing?

→ Cellular Manufacturing is creating process flow by dividing the full process into small sub-processes or steps.
→ This small sub-processes or steps are called cells.
→ By combining these cells are called cellular manufacturing.
→ In Cellular Manufacturing the similar products are produced in the same cell.
→ The product moves through the whole process without any stoppage or any interruptions.
→ Commonly the cells are arranged in a "U-shape" design, this design allows a supervisor to move less and have more watch over the entire process.



➤ Benefits of Cellular Manufacturing:

→ Cellular Manufacturing improves productivity and output
→ Cellular Manufacturing reduces rejection and optimizes the floor space.
→ Quick change over possible
→ We can make a wide range of similar products in a single line.
→ Reduce lead time.
→ Enhance teamwork and communication between employees.

19) Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) - Lean Tools:

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) - Lean Tools

What is Total Productive Maintenance?

→ TPM is a well-defined system of maintaining and improving the production system and quality systems between the processes, machines, employees, equipment, and processes.
→ TPM adds business value to an organization.
→ Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) focuses on proactive and preventative maintenance to maximize the operational time of equipment and reduce downtime as much as possible in order to increase production efficiency.
→  TPM completely removes the difference between production and maintenance by strong focuses on empowering operators to maintain their own equipment.

➤ The Eight Pillars of TPM:

  1. Autonomous Maintenance
  2. Focused Improvement
  3. Planned Maintenance
  4. Quality management
  5. Early/equipment management
  6. Education and Training
  7. Administrative & office TPM
  8. Safety Health Environment

➤ Benefits of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM):

→ TPM Reduces the downtime
→ TPM Increase Productivity
→ It Improves Quality
→ It creates a safer working environment
→ TPM Enhance teamwork and communication between employees
→ TPM empowers the operators

20) Total Quality Management (TQM) - Lean Tools:

Total Quality Management (TQM) - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is Total Quality Management?

→ Total Quality Management is a customer-oriented process and it focuses on continuous improvement of Product, Process or Service of an organization.
→ The goal of Total Quality Management (TQM) is to increase the quality at every single step in an organization.

➤ The Principles of Total Quality Management:

  1. Focus on customer
  2. Employee involvement
  3. Process-centered
  4. Integrated system
  5. A strategic and systematic approach
  6. Decision-making based on facts
  7. Communication
  8. Continuous improvement

➤ Benefits of Total Quality Management:

→ Total Quality Management (TQM) will increase the awareness of quality within the organization.
→ TQM establishes a quality-oriented culture within the organization
→ TQM emphasis on teamwork.
→ It will increase commitment towards continuous improvement within the organization.

21) Value Stream Mapping:

Value Stream Mapping - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

What is Value Stream Mapping?

→ Value Stream Mapping is a method of analyzing the current state of a process and designs the future state of the process and it focuses on the opportunity for improvement by eliminating different wastes from processes.
→ Value Stream Mapping includes the process, from the supplier end to reach at the customer end.
→ The process flow diagram is used to identify the waste and inefficiencies from the process in Value Stream Mapping.

➤ Main Three Parts of Value Stream Mapping are:

  1. Map Current State (Identify Waste)
  2. Design Future State
  3. Create a Transformation Plan

➤ Some common data collection points for Value Stream Mapping are:

→ The time is taken by one product or to pass one product from one station to the next station
→ How much time the factory can run?
→ Level of Inventory
→ Number of operators
→ A number of shifts worked
→ Batch size
→ Change over time
→ Delivery time
→ Productivity etc...

➤ Benefits of Value Stream Mapping:

→ Value Stream Mapping addresses underlying issues.
→ It helps to identify wastes and eliminate the wastes.
→ Value Stream Mapping helps to identify inefficiencies in the process.

22) Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) - Lean Tools:

Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) - Lean Tools

➤ What is the Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)?

→ Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is a method for reducing setup or change over time in a manufacturing process to less than 10 minutes.
→ The efficiency of the operation or process can improve by reducing the setup or change over time in the factory.
→ The concept of SMED was given by Frederick Taylor in 1911 and it was used by Ford Motors in 1915.

➤ Principles of the Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)?

→ Identify changeover tasks.
→ Analyze each task to determine the purpose.
→ Determine low-cost solutions.
→ Implement that solution to reduce the changeover time.



➤ Benefits of Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED):

→ SMED improves efficiency
→ SMED improves productivity
→ It gives more flexibility to production.
→ With the help of SMED,  we can reduce inventory and enable a higher rate of production.

23) KPIs - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

KPIs - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What are KPIs?

→ KPI is Key Performance Indicators.
→ KPIs are essential metrics set by the management in order to check the success of lean manufacturing goals or performance of any process.
→ Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are important for measuring efficiency, waste, and productivity.

➤ Examples of common manufacturing KPIs are:

→ Speed
→ Count
→ Cost of Poor Quality
→ Reject ratio
→ Customer Satisfaction Index or rating
→ Takt time
→ Cycle time
→ MTBF, MTTR
→ Downtime etc...

➤ Benefits of KPIs:

→ It helps to improve efficiency and productivity
→ It helps management to define the roles and responsibility of employees
→ Create a vision, mission, and goals of an organization
→ It helps to set objectives and targets

24) 5S Methodology - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

5S Methodology - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

What is 5S Methodology?

→ 5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed effectively & efficiently with safely.

5S Meaning:

→ The meaning of 5S is:
→ [S1] Seiri → Sort
→ [S2] Seiton → Set In Order
→ [S3] Seiso → Shine or Clean
→ [S4] Seiketsu → Standardize
→ [S5] Shitsuke → Sustain

➤ Benefits of 5S Methodology:

→ Increase productivity through effectiveness
→ Reduction in delays
→ Improved Quality
→ Improve in Safety
→ Set-up times reduced
→ Morale & Motivation Increase
→ Less stress for operators
→ Safer work environment

25) Standardized Work - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing:

Standardized Work - Lean Tools | Lean Manufacturing

➤ What is the Standardized Work?

➝ The standardized work is documented procedures for any process.
➝ It must be a live document so that it can be easily changed as per the modification of process.

➤ Benefits of Standardized Work:

➝ Better documentation of current processes.
➝ Standardized Work helps to train the operator.
➝ Improvement in productivity and profits.
➝ Reduces variation in the process.
➝ It adds discipline towards a work.
➝ Standardized Work promotes problem-solving.
➝ Standardize Work Increases teamwork across the organization.

→ The PDCA Cycle is the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle.
→ PDCA is a well-defined method for problem-solving and continuous improvement.
→ The steps in the PDCA cycle are:
    1. Plan:
→ Problem is identified and all employees work together to develop a plan for making improvements or solving the identified problem.
    2. Do:
→ The plan is implemented as per the defined solution by a cross-functional team.
    3. Check:
→ Check the implemented solution and also discuss the further improvements can be possible or not?
    4. Act:
→ The implemented solution is documented if it has successfully solved the initial problem.
→ And If the solution is not satisfactory then again the cycle starts over at the Plan phase for finding out other factors.


➝ It helps to implement Kaizen and other continuous improvement activities.
➝ PDCA method Improves the brainstorming skills of your team