A discussion on Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen in the context of manufacturing

Posted: 1 year ago

Lean manufacturing is a synchronized method with which a supply chain can
eradicate waste from its production process. According to customer needs,
production process is required to develop, so that produced goods become
more valuable product in quality. In contemporary manufacturing many
supply chains are taking help of lean manufacturing method, so that
production become less defective, machinery and raw materials are used in
a proper way, eliminating waste as much as possible. It is an approach of
identifying and eliminating waste through continued improvement. It
emphasizes process waste also, so that they achieve success in the shortest
possible cycle time. And makes the operation efficient enough consisting only
value added steps.

Lean manufacturing and TPS
Lean The popular definition of Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota
Production System conventionally consists of the following: To solve the
quandary of waste, Lean Manufacturing has The TPS is often used
interchangeably with the terms Lean Manufacturing and Lean Even more
importantly, a Lean process, be it the TPS or another, is characterized by
Lean and the Toyota Production System To further explore the depth of what
a Lean Manufacturing system authentically is, we will not because the TPS
is the best Lean system around. The main reason of Lean Manufacturing or
TPS is every step of manufacturing should be improved. It is required to be
highly responsible to the consumer requirements, using possible less time
and highest quality.


Lean manufacturing involves never ending efforts to eliminate or reduce
“muda”( Japanese term used to reduce waste, which does not add value to
Supply Chain) while make design, manufacturing, distribution and customer
service processes in the respective Supply Chain.

Lean Six Sigma:

A management approach used for solving problems and improving
processes, combining SixSigmaand Lean Manufacturing tools.


Kaizen is a Japanese term, which mention about gradually approaching
higher standards in enhancing quality and reducing waste, while involving
all levels of staff in a company or a Supply Chain. Lean manufacturing tools
usually used in an apparel supply chain are as follows:


Sorting things in a Supply Chain workplace and facilities. Cleanliness
arrangements and keeping things well arranged are emphasized.

Things are visuallydisplayed:

For communicating with all sorts of people in the factory /supply chain unit
visual displays are used as a great tool in the lean manufacturing process.
Necessary information, production board at the end of production
line, mocks of sewing operation, quality procedure, exit signs are openly
displayed; so that errors are minimized in manufacturing and even in the
whole supply chain.

Standardization of the workprocess:

Factory and supply chain as a whole has to set standardized working method,
so that manufacturing related wastes and non-value added tasks can be
eliminated. While one follows standardized methods errors are minimized.

Quick Changeover:

One of the Lean tools is using “quick changeover” methods, so that change
in the manufacturing line can be done more quickly, saving time. In
a garment industry manufacturing facility, when a new style is
started production, there is considerable set up time losses. Lean methods
could be used to reduce set up time loss.

Error Proofing Techniques:

Some techniques used in Lean Manufacturing to eliminate errors of the
equipment operator. The purpose of the techniques are preventing,
correcting or drawing attention to humanly errors as they occur. This can
even include information generation, reporting etc.


Kanban is used as a workplace system tool, which improves visibility and
helps to eliminate building excess work in process (WIP) in production lines
and facilities.

Problem Solving Tools:

Ishikawa’s Fish Bone Program and Five Why’s are widely used in problem
solving. Such manufacturing areas, which are widely changing over time,
such as making clothing products, garments manufacturers, need to work
with latest products, new machine and materials. To meet our business goal,
we need to use them as a team.

Workload balancing tools:

In a sewing line meant for mass production, department to department,
process to process work load balance is necessary. Lean manufacturing gives
emphasis on workload balance, which is very positive for a manufacturing
facility in apparel supply chain.


The accepted architect of the TPS is Taiichi Ohno, the Chief Engineer of
Toyota for many years. Others contributed greatly, including Shigeo Shingo
and the members of the Toyota family, but Ohno gets most of the credit for
its engenderment, development, and implementation. Ohno may withal get
most of the credit because he indicated the most about it, or maybe just did
the most about it. Neither is consequential. What is paramount is that the
TPS categorically, and Lean Manufacturing in general, is a tremendous
contribution to society and manufacturing in particular and we owe an
immensely colossal debt of gratitude to those individuals who engendered it
and caused it to mature even further. [1] Lean production system was first
introduced in Toyota, Japan. This is not only a set of production methods,
but a philosophy also. A good number of Apparel factories are introducing
Lean Manufacturing techniques to enhance productivity and business.

1. 1.Lonnie,Wilson.(2018). “ How To Implement Lean Manufacturing”. New
York: Mc Graw Hill

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