Lean Thinking

1494 Words Nov 6th, 2008 6 Pages
1. ABSTRACT:
Lean thinking is considered a new way to manage construction. This method was born for manufacturing processes & its goals demand a new way to coordinate action, which can be applied to industries which are not relating to manufacturing. Implementation requires actions which can be produced by in depth understanding of the goals and techniques. This review explains the implications of the goals and key production principles which taken together they result in a different way to manage construction. In this case implementing lean techniques in construction becomes a matter of developing and acting on the new knowledge available.
2. INTRODUCTION: Lean Thinking is a concept based on the Toyota Production System (TPS),
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To achieve this form of perfection requires more than a change in procedure, it requires changing the way everyone think about and do construction. Kenney and Florida (1993) not only confirm the description of lean production but also importantly make the link to the fact that the system was devised in practice and heavily reliant on Japanese culture for success. It clearly points out that lean production is not a method that can be placed into any industry and expected to produce the exceptional benefits noted at Toyota.
The first consideration of the ideas of lean production for use within construction is accredited to Koskela (1992). This decisive report considers the ideas expressed in the Machine that changed the World within a construction context. A new construction production values are identified which has three distinct levels; tools and technologies, manufacturing methods and general management philosophy. He proposed the need to review construction production as a combination of conversion and flow processes when most frequently construction was simply seen as a number of disjointed conversion processes. This reflects the fragmented nature of the construction industry.
The subsequent lean construction literature falls into three broad categories of strategic, operational and tactical subjects with much of the research in the latter category. It deals with issues of production by focusing on tools and
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