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What is Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing or JIT (Just In Time) ?


Kaizen is a Japanese word made up of "Kai" and "Zen" which means change or better respectively or as whole continuous improvement or "change for the better". Kaizen is a philosophical belief more than a tool or method to be used. It involves the belief of making any thing more efficient more better in comparison to its current state.

It's an approach which was invented by "Massaki Lmai" which involves involvement of all the employees of the company work together to achieve incremental improvements or innovations to achieve the goal i.e. Manufacturing process etc. This approach is well known as a tool of Continuous Improvement, Quality Management and Colloboartion.

Elements of Kaizen approach:- 

  • Suggestions for Improvement
  • Discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Improved Morale
  • Quality Circles
There is a word "Muda" which is also a Japanese word means Waste it is sometimes also associated with kaizen which aims at cutting waste, improving quality, increasing efficiency and reducing unnecessary activities, this will result in saving two valuable resources Money and Time.

Lean Manufacturing or Lean:- 

Lean manufacturing is a process or approach of reducing or eliminating waste for the maximum productivity. It is based on the principles of Lean and which is focused on removal of waste, Waste is defined as anything which fails or don't add a value to the customers for which they are willing to pay.

It is also known as lean production on lean, just in time manufacturing or JIT. It is used or practiced by some well know companies like Toyota, John Deere, Intel etc.

Lean Manufacturing is based on several principles or tools named as:-

  • Heijunka
  • Kanban
  • 5S
  • Poka Yoke
  • Jidoka

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