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Lean production is a systematic manufacturing method used for eliminating waste within the manufacturing system. It takes into account the waste generated from uneven workloads and overburden and then reduces them in order to increase value and reduce costs. The word ”lean” in the term simply means no excess, so lean production can be translated simply into minimal waste manufacturing.
Lean production is centered on determining what activities or processes add value by reducing other aspects such as lessening the production of a certain kind of product that gives less value and using the resources to produce more of another, while at the same time lessening waste. It is a management philosophy that was adopted from the Toyota Production System (TPS) created by Taiichi Ohno.
Lean production is all about reducing waste, not just material waste, but labor and time waste generated by some processes. When all of these wastes have been removed from the system, only then can it be said that the system is truly lean and optimized. In short, lean production involves constant efforts to reduce or eliminate waste starting from the design process to the manufacturing, distribution and towards the product support and beyond phases. But it is not just about reducing waste and overhead, the principle of lean production is also about increasing speed, efficiency and improving quality on top of waste elimination. This requires work and the development of a lean culture within the workforce, which ultimately leads to added value both for the customer and the company.