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Lean Manufacturing Simulation

This 2-day course describes the Lean Manufacturing philosophy, its application in various industries, tools and techniques for continues improvement and principles of implementing teamwork based change infrastructure. Participants also take part in Lean Manufacturing Simulation that allows that to experience first hand the effects of eliminating waste from production processes. 

Course participants learn application of Lean tools: Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen, Kanban, SMED, TPM, Poka-Yoke, Six Sigma and others. The training is illustrated by examples of tool application and case studies. 

Training also demonstrates application of teamwork in continuous improvement. Participants take part in specially designed exercises that illustrate teambuilding, competition, motivation to perform and conflict resolution. 


The last part of the course shows the principles of Lean Manufacturing implementation in a company. The participants have the opportunity to design a strategic plan to start implementation in their own organization


5S is a visual management system focusing on cleanliness, orderliness and standardization of the workplace. 5S are the initials of the five Japanese words beginning with an “S”: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. In loose translation the five words mean: Sort, Sequence, Sweep, Standardize and Sustain. 

5S removes all unnecessary items from the workplace (1S), arranges what is left in an orderly fashion (2S), and cleans up the workplace so that anybody can find what is needed without searching or getting dirty (3S). Systematic implementation of these duties (4S), discipline and continuous improvement (5S) creates a lasting system ensuring sound organizational practices. While on the surface 5S is about cleaning up, in reality it is a system that starts a process of continuous improvement and begins to change a company culture to a learning organization. 

5S results in improving work efficiency, reduction in machine breakdowns, increase in quality and upgrading workers' skills. 5S is also a start to continuous improvement and a foundation for implementation of other Lean Manufacturing tools such as Kaizen, SMED and TPM.


1S Sort - Physically separate unneeded from needed items and remove them from the workplace


2S Sequence - Visually identify, label and organize needed items so that anybody can find them and put them away after usage


3S Scrub - Clean up the workplace and uncover hidden problems. Take action


4S Standardize - Develop standards to maintain the first 3S


5S Sustain - Keep raising the bar to improve 5S practices



Implementation of 5S depends on the type of the company, its size and sector. Most of the companies that succeed follow the following scenario:


  1. Create supporting structures: Steering Committee and coordinators.
  2. Divide the entire company into 5S areas and develop a road map showing activities, resources and time. The entire process should not be longer than 2 to 3 years.
  3. Deploy initial training and monitor implementation, based on the road map.
  4. Develop a control system such as monthly 5S audits and daily patrols.
  5. Develop a visual metric system (VPM) illustrating critical areas of the process.
  6. Begin meetings at VPM boards to advance continuous improvement effort


The above simple schematic shows the hard elements of the implementation of change. Successful companies put just as much effort into "soft" elements of implementing change: motivating employees, celebrating achievements and developing real leaders.

Standard Work

A standard is the best, easiest, simplest, most reliable and safe way to perform a taks operation or process. As such, it is only known to those who perform the work. Standards should include information on the requirements of internal and external customers: quality, cost, delivery. It is important to make sure that there is only one standard for each activity.


Standards are used for:

  1. Making sure best practices remain in the company
  2. Training of new employees
  3. Problem solving
  4. Control over execution of work
  5. Continuous improvement


Not all operations require standards. Where activities are repetitive, standards should exist everywhere. However, where the work is creative, standards will be more difficult to implement. Nevertheless, it would be desirable to standardize thinking blocks.


Standard YES Standard NO

• An operation must be performed each time in the same way 
• Work is not performed by experts 
• Quality, cost , productivity must be checked 
• It is desirable to keep the best practices in the company

• Work is creative 
• Work is constantly changing 
• Large amount of experience is required to carry out work




Kaizen is a Japanese word that means Continuous Improvement. It describes a management philosophy that embraces small but continuous changes to the workplace as opposed to infrequent large company reorganizations. In the long run, Kaizen brings better results. 

Kaizen philosophy requires the participation of all employees in the change process. Kaizen breaks down organizational barriers and above all encourages line employees to have a say on how their work is performed. The most commonly found forms of Kaizen are structured problem solving meetings of workplace teams. 

A Kaizen Blitz Workshop is a practical and effective way to introduce a Kaizen culture to a company. During the workshop, which typically lasts from 3 to 5 days, a team analyzes the current process, brainstorms improvements and immediately implements them in the work place. The effects of such action include increased productivity, reduced inventory, improved quality and many other key process indicators. 

Plan-Do-Check-Act is the most popular problem solving methodology associated with Kaizen. It is usually identified as a Deming's circle and divides into four steps:


Plan - set targets, analyze the problem, suggest solution

Do - implement solution as a pilot

Check - determine if the solution brought desired results

Act - improve the solution based on Check, standardize and expand horizontally

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