One-piece flow—while often defined differently—is one of the True Norths in lean manufacturing. Get your material flowing! In theory that is easy. In practice, however, there are many obstacles standing between where you are and where you want to be, also for one-piece flow.
one piece flow
What Are the Advantages of One-Piece Flow?
One-piece flow is strongly connected to lean manufacturing. It moves each product to the next stage as soon as it is completed at the previous stage in the value stream. This brings lots of benefits. While I have written about one-piece flow before, in this post I would like to go into detail on the beautiful benefits of it.
What Is Flow?
Everybody in lean talks about flow. You have to create flow! In particular you have to create one-piece flow. However, while this is true, I often find a lot of confusion on what flow means. Time for a post that goes to the basics and looks at what exactly flow is. My next post takes this up one step by looking at what one piece flow is.
Toyota’s and Denso’s Relentless Quest for Lot Size One
A famous step toward perfection in a lean production system is a lot size of one. However, few people realize what enormous effort and rigor Toyota applies to achieve this goal. During my visit to a Toyota plant and the APMS conference in Tokyo in 2015, I saw quite a few stunning examples of this quest. Let me show you …