Lean manufacturing is a philosophy, method of efficient production where no unnecessary losses. The aim is to produce in the shortest time and at minimum cost, of course, meet customer requirements. The method devised in the company Toyota. It is a systematic methodology for eliminating waste, increasing quality, efficiency and productivity in production.

Lean Manufacturing Principles

  • Less inventory - to list really needed inventory in the manufacturing, storage
  • Elimination of waiting - to set optimal flows (materials, tools..) by elimination of waiting and idle times
  • Optimum manufacturing - to eliminate redundant manufacturing of products without their factual customer, no manufacturing purely for stocks
  • Quality control - minimum quality control, the objective is to manufacture for the first time and correctly
  • Minimization of repairs and re-working 
  • Effective movements and handling - to minimize unnecessary and long movements for the work on the product
  • Optimum material handling- to eliminate unnecessary movement of material among storages and processes
  • Unused creativity of people - to employ ideas of people for improvement
The first signs of production optimization can be found in Italy around 1500, when there was a change in ship production and a "production line" was created on which ships were assembled directly at sea. However, the history of lean manufacturing dates back to 1793, when Eli Whitney successfully tried to increase the efficiency of the cotton processing machine. Other milestones in the lean manufacturing era were:
1890: Frederik W. Taylor - Time studies and elimination of waste
1900: The Gilbreths - Time Studies of Human Labor
1910: Henry Ford - Production line for the Ford T
After World War II, lean principles developed in Japan, where the Toyota production system, the so-called TPS (Toyota Production System), developed. Thus, methods such as JIDOKA, SMED, KANBAN, KAIZEN, TPM, JIT and others were created.