Lean Tool Manufacturing

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The objective of this project is to:

Reduce the Inventory levels by 10-20%.

Achieve on-time delivery performance of 95% or better.

Reduce manufacturing lead-time.

Improve space utilization.

Improve responsiveness through flexibility.

Tools and Techniques to be used:

Cellular manufacturing, Kaizen Event, SMED, Kanban, Total Preventive Maintenance, takt time, OEE, JIT, Process mapping, 5s housekeeping, seven deadly waste and six big losses.


The Bombay Bicycle Club is known as the best Indian Cuisine in London and with both restaurants and delivery kitchens throughout London. [URL 1] The project scope is to improve in-house manufacturing and material flow by unique approach of Lean principles and using lean tools and techniques.

In my work with Bombay Bicycle Club, I have seen many problems existing in delivery shop, which can be eliminated by employing lean manufacturing tools and techniques. In the next following pages we will discuss about this tools and techniques that can be implemented in a sort of literature survey.

Literature Survey:

Cellular manufacturing facilitates the concept of 'just in time'.Under this philosophy, products are made to specify order levels in small lot sizes. This is possible due to short setup times and dynamic work environments that drive the system. According to Richard T. Lubben, this production strategy assumes that:

Each worker or work unit is both a customer and a supplier.

Customers and suppliers are an extension of the manufacturing process.

Continually seek the path of simplicity.

It is more important to prevent problems that to fix them.

Obtain or produce something only when it is needed. [1]

The crux of cellular manufacturing is to exploit similarities to achieve manufacturing and design efficiencies. By developing an efficient cellular production system, companies can provided better cost estimation and verification, reduce potential proliferation of parts, eliminate repetitious tools and fixtures, minimize changeover and wait times and decrease the required levels of inventory for improved production planning and control. [2]

One of the important strategy in employment of lean manufacturing is implementing Kaizen event based focused technique. Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning change for the better of continuous improvement. It is fundamental to lean manufacturing that we must continuously strive to get better. [3]

Few of the Kaizen event outline are to identify the area (bite size), identify focus (changeover, one piece flow, kanban, quality), identify suitable times, gain management commitment, select team, establish TAKT time, preparation, training, general mapping, establish sub-teams, mapping & data collection, initial analysis, initial changes & testing, further changes and standardisation. [4]

Sometimes long set-up times force companies to manufacture in large batches. It is very important to manufacture in small lots, ensuring customers can be supplied in required quantities without holding large stocks. Thus the concept of SMED is utilised.

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is key to reducing production lot sizes and thereby improving flow which is a 'Lean' aim. It is also often referred to as Quick Changeover (QCO). Performing faster change-overs is important in manufacturing, or any process, because they make low cost flexible operations possible. [URL 2]

In March 1999, Bel-Ron a manufacturer of engineered chain products, hosted SMED program to sustain the gains and keep progress moving forward. These mini-Kaizen projects were used to continually reinforce the principles of lean and demonstrate to the workforce that Bel-Ron was serious about utilizing this approach to improve the business. The benefits achieved after the implementation of SMED in the inventory levels were remarkable. [5]

Kanban is a signaling system to trigger action. As its name suggests, kanban historically uses cards to signal the need for an item. However, other devices such as plastic markers (kanban squares) or balls (often golf balls) or an empty part-transport trolley or floor location can also be used to trigger the movement, production, or supply of a unit in a factory. [URL 3]

Setting kanban sizes is one of the first decisions that users of kanban system must address; yet researchers have largely assumed kanban sizes to be given. This paper investigates the effect of varying kanban size on the performance of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing systems. Two types of JIT production systems, the Pull-type and the Hybrid-type are analysed using computer simulation models. The performance measures considered simultaneously are the fill rate, in-process inventory, and manufacturing lead-time. Parameters such as demand rate, processing time, and kanban size are taken into consideration, thereby finding the possible solutions of the kanban size that can be employed to achieve the most favourable conditions for production. A favourable condition usually refers to the ability of the system to produce finished goods at a shortest possible lead-time, which the customers are always demanding for. Both the single product and multi-products manufacturing environments are investigated. [6]

With reference to the analysis, for a single product, as the kanban size increased, the fill rate decreased, whilst with both the in-process inventory and the manufacturing lead-time increased. Generally, for multi-products manufacture, it was observed that as the kanban size increased, the fill rate increased with a decrease in the manufacturing lead-time. However, for multi-products the interaction between the manufacturing lead-time and the fill rate is discussed in depth in this paper. [6]

TPM is a synergistic relationship among all organizational functions, particularly between production and maintenance. This aims for continuous improvement of product quality, as well as operational efficiency and capacity assurance. An efficient TPM depends on both production and maintenance activities. Also, Yamashina (1995) stated that no matter how well plants are equipped with advanced manufacturing techniques, it is always the operators, not managers or systems, who affect the plant's performance. In this connection, operators should participate in the maintenance function by becoming responsible for the prevention of deterioration. The central role of operators in equipment operation, condition, and maintenance must be acknowledged. The co-operative effort allows maintenance personnel to focus their energies on tasks requiring their technical expertise and to learn about and use more sophisticated techniques for advanced manufacturing. Operators and maintenance personnel must reach mutual understanding and share responsibility for equipment (Jostes and Helms, 1994; Lawrence, 1999; Ben-Daya and Duffuaa, 1995). In fact, everyone concerned with equipment must co-operate with and understand the role of everyone else (Co et al., 1998).

Operators should do the following:

Maintain basic equipment conditions (cleaning, lubrication, bolting);

Maintain operating conditions (proper operation and visual inspection);

Discover deterioration, mainly through visual inspection and early identification of signs of abnormalities during operation;

Enhance skills such as equipment operation, set-up, and adjustment, as well as visual inspection. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

A value stream is a collection of all actions (value added as well as non-value-added) that are required to bring a product (or a group of products that use the same resources) through the main flows, starting with raw material and ending with the customer (Rother and Shook, 1999). These actions consider the flow of both information and materials within the overall supply chain. The ultimate goal of VSM is to identify all types of waste in the value stream and to take steps to try and eliminate these (Rother and Shook, 1999). While researchers have developed a number of tools to optimise individual operations within a supply chain, most of these tools fall short in linking and visualizing the nature of the material and information flow throughout the company's entire supply chain. Taking the value stream viewpoint means working on the big picture and not individual processes. VSM creates a common basis for the production process, thus facilitating more thoughtful decisions to improve the value stream (McDonald et al., 2002). [12] [13] [14]

After World War II, the Japanese incrementally applied new management practices to improve their global competitiveness. With refinement and systematic integration of these new practices the Japanese achieved a new manufacturing paradigm and, by the 1970s, a competitive superiority in the marketplace. In an effort to emulate the success achieved by Japanese manufacturers, US managers began to apply these new management practices in their organizations. These management practices were introduced as just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. US managers have progressed through a series of trial and error efforts to apply these new management practices and still do not understand many of the issues associated with JIT implementations. This study attempts to address some of the misunderstandings associated with JIT implementations. A systems approach is utilized for collecting data and analyzing pertinent relationships associated with JIT implementations in US manufacturers. Findings from the study suggest that an association exists between implemented JIT practices and type of production system. In addition, this is the first study to show that the benefits attributed to JIT implementation as a function of implementation status of specific JIT management practices and type of production system. [15]

Everything has a place and everything in its place! If it does not warrant a label, it does a not warrant a place in the area! These are words to live by in a lean manufacturing environment. So, what is so important about housekeeping? According to authors Henderson and Larco (Lean Transformation: How To Change Your Business into a Lean Enterprise), it is very important: Most people underestimate the importance of safety, order, and cleanliness in the workplace. Our former colleagues at Toyota and Honda will tell you that 25 to 30% of all quality defects are directly related to this issue. [16]

One of the major goals of OEE and TPM programs is to reduce and/or eliminate what are called the Six Big Lossesthe most common causes of efficiency loss in manufacturing. The following table lists the Six Big Losses, and shows how they relate to OEE Loss categories. [URL 4]


Implication of Lean manufacturing is quite easy and very common in the manufacturing sector, in part because of a perception that this sector is very amenable to many lean techniques, and in part because of solid documented applications: this has set off many companies and managers to employ lean principles. This Project takes an approach which is quite feasible to adapt lean techniques in the Bombay Bicycle Club. Starting the project by pinpointing all the major sources of waste, and then using tools such as JIT, Cellular Manufacturing, Kanban, TPM, Process Mapping and others. In this project I will employ many lean tools and techniques mentioned above to obtain desired objectives.

Finally, the usage of Cell manufacturing can give result of cycle-time reduction and productivity increase, SMED usage can yield changeover reduction, Kanban usage can decrease the inventory used. Process Mapping can reduce the manufacturing lead-time, 5S housekeeping can help identify required items easily, free up floor space, which can improve the flow of materials and improve the ability to perform line-of-site management.


1. Lubben, Richard T. (1988). 'Just In Time Manufacturing'. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

2. Kanton T. Reynolds. 'Cellular Manufacturing and the concept of Total Quality'. Computers and Industrial Engineering, Volume 35, Issues 1-2, October 1998, pages 89-92.

3. Moore, Ron. 'Selecting the Right Manufacturing Improvement Tools'. What Tool? When?, 2007, Pages 159-172.

4. Baker, G.. 'Lecture Notes - Advance principles of lean manufacturing', University of Greenwich, 2007-08.

5. William M. Feld. 'Lean Manufacturing: Tools, Techniques and How to use Them'. New York: CRC press, 2001, Pages 175-183.

6. Chan, F. T. S. 'Effect of Kanban size on just in time manufacturing systems'. Journal of Materials Processing Technology,Volume 116, Issues 2-3,24 October 2001, Pages 146-160.

7. Yamashina, H., 1995. 'Japanese manufacturing strategy and the role of total productive maintenance'. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering 1 (1), 27-38.

8. Jostes, R.S., Helms, M.M., 1994. 'Total productive maintenance and its link to total quality management'. Work Study 43 (7), Pages18-20.

9. Lawrence, J.J., 1999. 'Use mathematical modeling to give your TPM implementation effort an extra boost'. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering 5 (1), 62-69.

10. Ben-Daya, M., Duffuaa, S.O., 1995. 'Maintenance and quality: The missing link'. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering 1 (1), 20-26.

11. Chan F. T. S., Lau H. C. W., R. W. L. Ip, H. K. Chan, S. Kong. 'Implementation of total productive maintenance: A case study'. International Journal of Production Economics,Volume 95, Issue 1,28 January 2005, Pages 71-94.

12. Rother, M., Shook, J., 1999. Learning to See: 'Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda'. The lean Enterprise Institute, Inc., Brookline, MA.

13. McDonald, T., Van Aken, E.M., Rentes, A.F., 2002. 'Utilizing simulation to enhance value stream mapping: a manufacturing case application'. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications 5 (2), 213-232.

14. Fawaz A. Abdulmalek, Jayant Rajgopal. 'Analyzing the benefits of lean manufacturing and value stream mapping via simulation: A process sector case study'. International Journal of Production Economics,Volume 107, Issue 1,May 2007, Pages 223-236.

15. Richard E. White, Victor Prybutok. 'The relationship between JIT practices and type of production system'. Omega,Volume 29, Issue 2,April 2001, Pages 113-124.

16. Henderson, Bruce A., and Larco, Jorge L. 'Lean Transformation: How To Chande Your Business into a Lean Enterprise'. Richmond, VA: The Oaklea Predd, 1999.

[URL 1] http://www.thebombaybicycleclub.co.uk/story.html

[URL 2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMED

[URL 3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban

[URL 4] http://www.oee.com/pdf/fast-guide-to-oee.pdf