Boeing is cutting the fat. Metaphorically that is. The world's largest aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space, and security systems has developed a Toyota-style lean production methodology, Business Insider reports.
The company is testing a more standardized manufacturing approach with the 777X jetliner – the largest twin-engine jet in the world, scheduled to launch in 2020. Boeing has long used lean manufacturing methodology, but officials said the production goal is to become more repeatable and predictable. The result? More efficient processes and a cheaper end product for consumers.
Toyota Production System
The Toyota Production System has come to be collectively called "lean manufacturing" or simply just "lean." The system focuses on eliminating waste and using the following tools/methods.
5S – Cleaning up, getting organized.
Kaizen – Continuous improvements through acting on suggestions.
Kanban – Demand pulls products through the production process, resulting in a just-in-time system of inventory and production.
TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) – Proactive and preventative maintenance done in a way that maximizes the productive operation of machines and equipment.
Visual Factory – Using visual labels, signs, tags, and other cues to improve communication.