lean manufacturing concepts explained

Lean manufacturing - JIT (Just In Time)

Just In Time(JIT) is the backbone of the lean manufacturing system. Initially Toyota production system is known as the JIT system due to this reason. All the basic concepts which lately became lean manufacturing developed in Toyota for this system. For an example, concept of producing things when they need, pull scheduling, kanban are few things developed here.

Initially JIT aimed at manufacturing process improvement. Therefore even today people call JIT as JIT manufacturing. But actually JIT consist of three main parts. They are known as JIT purchasing, JIT manufacturing and JIT distribution.

JIT purchasing aims in making sure all the required raw materials in house when they are just required. This functionality is supported with limited supplier bases and agreements with them. Quality is assured in the purchased raw materials.

Manufacturing the goods when they need is the aim of JIT manufacturing. The need to manufacture is created by the customer demand for the organization, and by the next activity in the manufacturing floor. Production is carried out with no interruptions and with no work in progress. This enables the smooth manufacturing process and flexibility. Many techniques and tools are used in achieving this. Some of them are kanban cards, 5S techniques etc.

Just in time process distribute the goods in small batches. Several batches may be sent to the same place even within a day. Goal of this is facilitating the no working progress and large storage concept. This enables the JIT manufacturers to compete on the lead-time and on time delivery. This also cuts down the cost of carrying inventory. In the bigger picture JIT distribution helps the organization.

JIT, lean manufacturing and Toyota are attached to each other and can not be broken apart.

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