The Lean Manufacturing House

by Andrew Guytingco on May 05, 2017

There are three main problems in any production system:

  1. Waste (Muda)
  2. Instability
  3. Variability (Mura)

The problems negatively affect your company's efficiency by reducing quality, raising costs and increasing delivery times. The result is a lower Return on Investment (ROI) for your business. The Lean Manufacturing House was established by the founders of Lean as a symbolic representation of the lean principles and how they coexist.

(1) Waste (2) Continuous improvement (3) Sequencing (4) Stop and notify errors

The foundation of the Lean Manufacturing House is stability.

When applied to a production system, this refers to team stability, standardized work methods, continuously monitored strategy, etc. At the base of the house are two elements on which the remainder of the house is built; (1) Reduction of muda (wastes) and (2) Kaizen - continuous improvement. The 2 pillars of the Lean Manufacturing house (JIT and JIDOKA) are based on:

  • Heijunka: sequenced and linear production.
  • Standardized Work: reduced variability of work processes: A system designed to manage sudden demand fluctuations as they occur.

The tools used in the walls of the house to support its roof - the objective of the method - are:

  •  For the JIT pillar: Pulled flow, Takt time and continuous flow.
  • For the Jidoka pillar: man-machine separation (one operator manages several machines) or automation (one operator manages several machines).
  • The roof, or objective of the Lean Manufacturing method, is summarized by CQD, reduced production costs, improved quality level, matching delivery times to customer needs.

The Lean Manufacturing House can only grow if its foundations are built first. The use of Ecoflex acts as a catalyst for the policy of waste reduction and continuous improvement and as a tool for implementing the Kaizen attitude. Only a highly flexible and modular system like Ecoflex can offer a production system to proceed to the later steps of Lean Manufacturing; work standardization, sequencing (Heijunka), JIT and JIDOKA.


IPS Material Handling Inc was established in 2006 and specializes in custom material handling solutions for Lean Manufacturing. Our Ecoflex products, a modular pipe and joint system, are used to create custom flow racks, material handling carts, work stations and more.


For more information, to request a quote or to set up an in-house assessment, please contact us.