Lean Principles And Application

1 Introduction to Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is the technique of process improvement by removing waste from the system. It was given by Taiichi Ohno, for managing the process layout of  Toyota Manufacturing System in Japan. It is a Japanese technique for managing the production operation in the company (Wilson, 2009). This philosophy is focusing towards removing the waste from the manufacturing section. These wastes are named as “Muda”. “Kaizen” and Total Productive maintenance are the pillar for lean manufacturing process. The various techniques for lean manufacturing are JIT (Just In Time), Cell production, 5S, Quality Circle and TQM (Total quality management).

“Muda” can be defined as the seven basic types of wastages in the company which reduce the efficiency of the process such as over production, inventory, motion, transportation, over processing and scarp or defects (Ruffa, 2008). These all effects the quality of the workpiece and reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of the work. Application of lean manufacturing technique in the manufacturing process will increase the cost effectiveness of the work and enhance the mass production of the company.

1.1 Scope of Discussion

“John Deere” is the heavy vehicle manufacturing company of United States. It is a public sector company indulge in manufacturing of heavy equipments for Agriculture, Construction and Forestry Sector. For a heavy duty vehicle manufacturing industry, Production capacity is the most important factor to be considered for finding the growth rate of the company. Safety of the customer is the core competency and strength of the company (Davis, 2009).

The report is focused towards the Assembling department of tractor manufacturing. There is the lots of scope for saving time and reduction of wastage in the assembling department. Here in this report a product assembling efficient layout is formed for dealing with the wastage in plant such as Delay in process and movement related problem (Dennis, 2007). There are some limitations which are related to the application of lean manufacturing in automotive industry will be discussed.

1.2 Process of assembling Break Pedal Sub-assembly

Break pedal is attached at the front side just below the steering system of the tractor. The bracket is attached with the break pedal sub-assembly covering the power break by the Cables. At the time of final assembly the bracket often misaligned due to the loose design of clip holding and stiffer clip (Dudbridge, 2011). The breaking pedal is connected with the steering gear box assembly and gear shifting mechanism assembly. This is the unit of front axle of the tractor.

The process of assembling of break pedal starts with the  sub-assembled part coming from four stages of final assembly process. The pedal link, clutch, gear box is attached with the power brakes (Black, 2008). Once it is arrived at the station, the whole assembly is attached with the clip holding on the table after their inspection and checking. Than the half assembled part comes from last stage and it is adjusted below the table. For completion of these stages more time is consumed and use of clips and bolts will take extra time for the alignment of job.

The layout of the workshop is so designed that it will take extra time for movement of job from third stage to the break pedal sub assembly stage (Gopalakrishnan, 2010). Time is money for a manufacturing company and this stage take much more time in just alignment of the job and sub assembly. The sub assembly also comes from four stages that is engaging power breaks with gear box, this sub-assemble to steering system and delay in this process also consume more time for the final assembly.

1.3 Problem Identification in Break pedal sub-assembly

In the competitive world of manufacturing industry saving time and mass production with value added products is the demand of the customers. Time is money for a vehicle manufacturing industry (Carreira, 2005). Value addition in the product will effect the productivity of the company. The major issue related to assembling part of this industry is wastage of time in break pedal assembling. Break pedal assembling is the station of layout of the workshop which takes more time for assembling the whole job. There are two reason identified in this stage are delay at the job flow side of the assembly and the other time delay is at the sub-assembly end of pedal and steering (Zylstra, 2012). the problem is identified by focusing on the alignment of the pedal cover which are loosely attached to the main assembly chassis. The stiffness of the cowl of  vehicle depends upon this pedal, steering and gear box sub-assembly. Pedal cover is attached with the main pedal.

1.4 Analysis of the problems related to the Break pedal Sub assembly

The problem identification in the workshop could be done on the basis of “Ishikawa Diagram”. Which signifies the priority of the factors which are the reason of delay and Unnecessary movement (Wang, J., 2010). The “Ishikawa diagram” consider all the aspects which affects the efficiency of the company and their final product.

This diagram is used to find out the weakness of important factor which effects the final production capacity of the company. Such factors are product, process, people, materials, environment and management (Meade, 2006). The are lacking in process, equipments and management. The workshop is still using product layout for manufacturing and assembling.

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1.4.A Layout of Workshop

Layout of the assembly department is designed on the basis of product layout. From the given figure it is clear that the tractor company is using product layout for assembling Tractors. This is the method which is used for the company which are changing their products frequently but not for the big commercial vehicles company who are producing vehicles for the mass production rate (Vincent and Amaro, 2007).

The assembling process is started with the Engine. At the first stage engine is attached with Chassis. Chassis is the primary frame of the tractor on which all the parts are assembled. First station is connected with the Trim section which are engaged in the assembling  Frame and their finishing work (Pietro, 2007). Chassis 1 is the stage at which engine is attached to the frame and rear end is prepared for the final attachment. Than the stage come at which cabin is attached to the front axle. This is the stage which requires more time for assembling and it is connected with the sub-assembly of steering, gear box and break pedal (Wen, Wee and Wu, 2015). This part consume much time for their completion and this is the point which is responsible for delay of the process. Complex structure of the layout always become the reason for poor quality of work. This is also connected with the quality aspect of the final product.

1.4.B Poor Holding Tool

The traditional methods used in manufacturing is Clips and use of Nuts and Bolts. This will delay the process as well as need more effort of the workers towards holding the sub-assemble for their final integration. Again these are the holding tools which are used in manufacturing industry which works on the small scale of production (Patel, Chauhan and Trivedi, 2015). Each worker have to first align their job on the workstation than they will start the assembling function.

This will leads to loss of energy of workers and wastage of time. Moreover quality of the job is also affected for this reason (Susilawati, Bell and Sarwar, 2015). Due to extra effort given by the workers, productivity of the individual is also affected by it. Sometimes this will become the reason for accidents in the factory. Holding tool are the rigid part which will effect the quality of the final product.

1.4.C Management related Issue

The other issues related to the manufacturing is some weak points of management team (Kiatcharoenpol, Laosirihongthong and Glincha-em, 2015). The quality analyst of the manufacturing company are responsible for quality check and supervisor having responsibility for auditing the work. Responsibilities of the people in company is  not properly defined (Savino, Mazza and Marchetti, 2015). When there is any problem related to the quality issues happened in the company, supervisors blame quality analyst and quality analyst blames supervisor for poor quality production of the tractor.

Finally poor management will become the reason for defect in the product and everybody is blaming each other in the company. If the defects is transferred to the production team than they will start blaming painting department. So there is lots of imbalance between the management of the company (Worley and Doolen, 2015).  This will be sorted out by applying proper management tool for proper assignment of authorities and responsibilities to the team. Quality standard are need to be decided for checking the quality of final product before going into the market. This will create process standardization for maintaining the quality.

1.5 Suggestion for improvement by applying various tools of lean manufacturing

In tractor manufacturing company “John Deere” is identified three issues for the problem of Break Pedal Sub-assemble. These issues are uneven Layout of the assembly shop, use of poor holding tool and moving medium and poor management style in the company. Uneven layout is responsible for defect in assembly of pedal break, poor holding tool are responsible for delay in production time and poor management is the reason for poor quality or defective product of the company (Wang, 2015). These all defects could be eliminated by using process layout for assembly department, automated conveyor belt for saving time and quality maintenance tools for proper management of the company. These all changes will result in less human efforts of the employees in the company.

1.5.A Process Layout of Assembly Station

The layout which are specifically designed according to the production process are more efficient for mass production. It is the kind of U-Shape arrangement of the workstation. This will eliminate the part which are taking more time and delay the production process. This is the part of lean manufacturing tool for reduction of delay and wastage in terms of efforts. It will reduce one assembly station and trim stations (Rane, Sudhakar and Rane, 2015). By the help of this tool worker would be able to save time for the production of tractor by compressing work to a single station. They will assemble the sub assemblies at one place and help each other for making it assemble on the final chassis. This is the kind of assembling cowl on the frame. This will help in reduction of motions and reduce the efforts of the workers. This will add flexibility in the handling of the work and reduce the cost generated for the production process. It motivates the employee for their work and useful for the safety purpose of the company (Wiengarten and et. al., 2015).

1.5.B Proper holding and moving devices

Proper holding and moving devices are the primary need of a production process. Although the workers are efficient and giving their maximum efforts but the final product will have some defect because of the poor quality moving and holding devices. This is Implemented by “Jadoka” which means Automation (Davis, 2009). At the tractor production, in assembling workshop it is necessary to use proper holding and moving device. The company “John Deere” is using traditional method for these functions and this will affect the final product. Poor holding of product is responsible for defective products. The Tool of Lean manufacturing applied in this case is “5S” technique which means “ Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain”. By eliminating nut and bolts for clamping and replace manual moving to belt conveyor increase the efficiency of the company as well as effect the quality of final product.

This will reduce delay at assembly 4 and increase the efficiency by maximizing the production output (Dennis, 2007). The problem faced by workers in this tractor company is improper or loose alignment of pedal breaks assembly at the final chassis. But if the manual work is replaced by automation this will make proper alignment of chassis on the belt conveyor and help workers in assembling the steering, breaks and gear box sub-assembly to final assembly of chassis (Meade, 2006). It will save time and increase production capacity. Use of “Automation” in the assembly line is related with the Standardization of the company according to “5S”.

1.5.C Implementing Six Sigma

Six Sigma is the tool which is used for measuring quality of the Output. This is accomplished by setting the standard of the product, identifying defects and the steps for removing these defects. It helps in creating special structure of employees who are expert in the organization and assigning the responsibility of quality check to a team of members. Only they are responsible for the defects in quality of output (Zylstra, 2012). In the company “John Deere” everybody is blaming each other for the quality to this method of lean manufacturing help in setting standard of quality and assign responsibility to the members to measure the quality in the given range of six sigma. If the final product is out of the range than it will sent back to the station which are doing that job. This will help in reduction of defects to the final product.

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1.6 Limitations of Applying Lean Manufacturing tools in “John Deere”

In the company “John Deere” application of different tools of Lean manufacturing such as U-Shaped arrangement, Jadoka, 5S and Six Sigma will cost high for implementation it in the assembly line. It needs training of the employee for applying six sigma and arrangement of the person for quality team (Vincent and Amaro, 2007). This will cost the company and need time for proper training and arrangement of new devices in the company. Application of U-shaped structure will need rearrangement of machines and whole infrastructure. Moreover applying Jadoka or Automation in the company will need high amount of money investment in the infrastructure of the workshop. Also it will become the reason for lack of acceptance by employees for changing the structure of the whole workshop. The application of lean manufacturing tool may also become the reason for Supply chain Issues and Employee Pushback.

1.7 Conclusion

The issue related to “John Deere” company were identified in this report. The problem of loose power break cover alignment and Delay in production is identified into the company. These problems are creating waste, low quality product and Delay in process. This will results reduction in the production rate and dissatisfaction of the customers. To resolve this problem lean manufacturing tools are applied in the assembly line of the workshop. These lean manufacturing tools are U-shaped manufacturing, 5S and “Jadoka” and Six sigma.

Use of these tools in the company will effect the quality of product and increase the production rate of the company. The implementation of these tools need the cooperation of management team and investment of money to increase the productivity in Future.

2. Introduction to Organizational Culture

The social and psychological environment of the company which is the result of beliefs and values of the people who are working in that organization. It could be related with the image of the company in the mind of employees and this will create expectations from the company. It is concerned with the attitude, customs and rules of the organization which are followed by the employees (Wen, Wee and Wu, 2015). It is also known as corporate culture. It is the way of company for treating their employees and customers. It is based of the freedom to the employees for taking decision themselves in their work. It is also related with the goals and objectives of the company and the power of individual to complete their task by themselves. It affects the productivity and performance of the organization.

2.1 Scope of Discussion

Different company is having their different culture and methodology for doing their work. It depends upon their way of treating employees in their company and the culture they follow for completing their tasks. This report is about the difference in World's Leading Automotive company of Japan “Toyota” and World's Top 50 fortune company of United States for agriculture and farm machinery equipment company “John Deere” on the basis of Organization Culture (Patel, Chauhan and Trivedi, 2015). The role of organization culture in enhancing the competitive image of the company in world's market is important. It could enhance the production rate of the company as well as effect the efficiency of the manufacturing function.

Toyota company is the parent company for developing Lean manufacturing system and various tools of management to increase the production capacity of the company and removing waste out of the manufacturing plant and their functions. It the working of the company is based on their integrity, passion and innovation for doing their work. In the organization “John Deere” there is the need for implementation of lean manufacturing tool in the company because they are facing many challenges related to lean manufacturing (Susilawati, Bell and Sarwar, 2015). They needs installation of hydraulic fixtures, mist extractor and cutting tools in the manufacturing shop. For assembly department the company needs change in infrastructure of the company by installing belt conveyors and U-shaped structure.

2.2 Comparisons of Organizational Culture of Toyota and John Deere

The comparison of the world's top leading company is based upon the role of the organization, power culture of the organization, task culture of the organisation and on the basis of philosophy of Continuous Improvement.

On the basis of Role Culture:

Toyota: Role culture is the term used by the company “Toyota which means Clear job requirement is assigned by the managers of the company to their employees. In that report sheet everything is explained in detail so that the employees can understand their functions by their report sheet. The employees are hired only when they fulfil the requirement of the company. It allows the employees for long term thinking and encountering risks and generating ideas from it. It helps in making innovations and continuous improvement of the company (Meade, 2006).

The organisation culture of “Toyota” company is based on the challenges, kaizen, gen-chi, respects and teamwork of the individuals (Wilson, 2009). Where continuous improvement and respect for the employee is the two pilers of the Toyota organisation structure. The philosophy related to the working culture is the pyramid of long thinking which is working for the wants and need of the customers. The human resources team of Toyota company is effectively working for recruiting highly skilled people who are expert in management and leadership skills. The training part in the company is focused towards development of their personality as the assets for the company.

John Deere: The organization is focusing towards the quality of team work in the company. They are giving on the job training to their employees so that they could understand the nature of work and culture of company. They believe in the diversity of working culture (Zylstra, 2012). The employees are allowed to complete their task in the ways they want to solve the problem within it. This will develop the creativity and innovativeness and problem solving skill of the workers.

On the basis of Power Culture:

Toyota: The power culture is concerned with the assigning of responsibilities and authority to the team members of management department, workers and employees. There is the clear hierarchical structure for assigning responsibilities to the employees. It helps in avoiding power distance, individualism, masculinity and femininity, avoidance and time orientation. The senior employees helps to the workers in solving problems (Patel, Chauhan and Trivedi, 2015). This will help in assigning the responsibility of decision making by the small number of group or a single person who is expert in that work. This will make the organisation able in key decision making. Toyota company is having their hierarchical structure based on Functional department, product department, cross functional department and geographic department and having narrow range of span of control on the employees and workers.

John Deere: the company have various teams which are focused toward solving problem and various managing directors who engaged in decision taking for the company. The team members are trained for solving the problem related to the work. In case of any big problem they will consult their senior managers for looking on that issue and solving it. The information flow for solving the problem is informal in the company (Zylstra, 2012). As the result of that company is needed a uniform and formal hierarchical structure arrangement in the company.

On the Basis of Task Culture

Toyota: the company is using a formal hierarchical structure into the company. As the result of that assignment of the task to the particular worker or employee is in a formal way. Task are assigned to the person on the basis of their expertise area. The employees are trained in the problem solving method and the whole task is assigned on the responsibility of that person. In Toyota company the people are rewarded for the problem solving skills at their workplace.

John Deere: Due to the informal structure in the company the management are dealing with the issues related to the assignment of task to the workers and employees. The problem solving behaviour of the employees are mismanaged in the company (Vincent and Amaro, 2007). The task are assigned on the basis of a organization structure chart. This method will improve the skill of the person in different functional areas.

On the basis of Continuous improvement

Toyota: The company “Toyota” is the first company who worked for and implemented the continuous improvement in their plant. This is also termed as “Kaizen” in Toyota company. The management team of this company applied various tool of lean manufacturing system such as Total productive maintenance (TPM), six sigma, quality control chart, 5S, U shaped layout and Jadoka in their manufacturing plant (Dennis, 2007). This techniques helped the company to make competitive image in the automotive world and Toyota is the world's leading company in auto-mobiles production. Toyota encouraged the workers for adopting new strategies and methodologies in their work.

John Deere: Currently company is following traditional methods for their production work. They thinking for applying lean manufacturing at their plant. The cost for implementation of this technique and their employee's resistance is the issue related in using lean manufacturing in the organization (Dudbridge, 2011). After application of lean manufacturing this company will make their distinctive image in the market of agriculture products and it could enhance the production capacity of the company.

2.3 Impact of Organizational culture in implementation for sustaining and developing lean methodologies

Implementation of any new technique or methodology will create some issues in the company. The company is having their lacking part in hierarchical structure of the employees and workers. This require everything must be sorted in the work stations. The implementation of lean techniques will require huge amount of time. Standardization of work is necessary for the organization (Worley and Doolen, 2015). This could be applied by changing the arrangement of workstations or by applying U-shapes structure. The workers and supervisors in the company take their initiative step for their implementation. The instruction file for the particular task given to the workers will allow them to understand their role and their function in the company. Supervisors are turned into mentors for instructing the workers and special training to supervisors could be used for motivating them for change. The instruction sheet is having all the information related to the work and standard way of doing it (Susilawati, Bell and Sarwar, 2015). This will help in enhancement of moral of both mentors or supervisors and workers towards change.

2.4 Conclusion

Organizational culture plays a great role for implementation of any new techniques in the company. Its is concerned with the behaviour and attitude of the employees towards the company. For applying lean management technique John Deere will take time and money investment for their implementation. Their informal hierarchical structure could be changed in formal structure by motivating the employees towards the company's goal.


  • Black, J., 2008. Lean Production: Implementing a World-class System. Industrial Press Inc.
  • Carreira, B., 2005. Lean Manufacturing That Works: Powerful Tools for Dramatically Reducing Waste and Maximizing Profits. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.
  • Davis, J., 2009. Lean Manufacturing: Implementation Strategies that Work : a Roadmap to Quick and Lasting Success. Industrial Press Inc.
  • Dennis, P., 2007. Lean Production Simplified, Second Edition: A Plain-Language Guide to the World's Most Powerful Production System. Productivity Press.
  • Dudbridge, M., 2011. Handbook of Lean Manufacturing in the Food Industry. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Gopalakrishnan, N., 2010. Simplified Lean Manufacture. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
  • Meade, D., 2006. Financial Models and Tools for Managing Lean Manufacturing. CRC Press.
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