Lean production – an idea that took the world by storm

In this blog post, we take a look back at the origins and development of lean production. The lean production methods we use today can be traced back to the Toyota Production System (TPS). Contrary to what some might believe, lean production is not a term the car manufacturer Toyota actually uses. The expression was first popularised by a book written by James Womack, Daniel Jones and Daniel Roos (more on that later). In the early 20th century, a Japanese businessman named Sakichi Toyoda had already laid the foundations for the TPS, founding the Toyoda Spinning and Weaving Company in 1918. He developed an automated loom capable of detecting when one of the threads had torn and subsequently bringing the system to a halt. This basic idea later gave rise to Jidoka – a principle for detecting errors and one of the pillars underpinning the TPS. Creativity and innovative prowess would also go on to play a key role in shaping the development of this concept. The world of lean prod ...

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