The Conventional Production System

by Andrew Guytingco on July 17, 2017

The main problem with conventional production systems is that they generate many forms of Muda (waste), which in turn, do not meet with the current strategic needs of companies moving towards Lean: quality, costs, and delivery.

It can easily be seen how mudas are generated by the mass production system in the above illustration of a typical assembly line. Source: Vision-Lean

  1. Muda of waiting: a waiting employee does not create added value.
  2. Muda of transport: products transported from one place to another within the plant do not create added value.
  3. Muda of inventory: capital unnecessarily tied up, value destroyed.
  4. Muda of processing: inefficient and stressful work.
  5. Muda of motion: no value is created during unnecessary movement.

Other additional costs linked to the conventional production system:

  • Example of single-purpose storage: non-flexible heavy investment, inability to meet large variations in demand rapidly and productively. This kind of mass production system suffers from sudden fluctuations in market demand rather than adapting and absorbing them.
  • Example of a single-product line with lack of demand: large investment, under-utilized: poor ROI.


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