Courtesy of the Lean Learning Center

Lean tools are proven practices that help us move closer to our ideal state, help us apply lean rules, and are consistent with lean principles.

5S: 5S's are adapted from five Japanese words that start with 's' but have been rewritten as Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. It helps us organize what we need and eliminate what we don't allowing us to identify problems quickly.

Error Proofing: Error proofing is also known as poka-yoke or mistake proofing. It involves the redesign of equipment or processes to prevent problems from occurring or moving on to the next step.

Kaizen: Kaizen is a structured process to engage those closest to the process to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. Its goals are often to remove waste and add standardization.

Preventive Maintenance: Simplifying and structuring maintenance activities to prevent problems rather than react to them can increase capacity and improve continuous flow.

Setup Reduction: The time it takes to changeover equipment from one product to the next is a major barrier to continuous flow, and setup reduction seeks the reduction or elimination of that time. This is also known as SMED, or Single-Minute Exchange of Dies.

Six Sigma: Six Sigma is a method and a set of tools to reduce variation in processes, particularly quality, using mostly statistical tools. Its primary method is DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Value Stream Mapping: This structured process helps managers understand the flow of both material and information through their operation and develop plans to move them closer to the ideal state.

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