• Bruno G. Rüttimann


The TPS has become the reference of modern high performance manufacturing systems. It has been spread and adopted in Europe under the American label of Lean Manufacturing (LM) also among other industries than the automotive because of its superior performance. Apart of the Kaizen-based continuous improvement management philosophy, the underlying TPS theory bases on a Just-in-time (JIT) type manufacturing approach. This manufacturing approach bases on “flow on pull” with Heijunka-pitch scheduling, i.e. self-controlled mixed-product cells, which performance is by far higher than those of traditional computer-controlled and optimized MRP 2-type (manufacturing resource planning) or ERP-type (enterprise resource planning) systems relying mainly on push “batch & queue” (B&Q) manufacturing. Indeed, Lean stands in contradiction to the western “high performance” thought of B&Q manufacturing of large batches to minimize setup downtimes and reducing cost per piece, exploiting equipment output, keeping blue collar workers busy and hurrying, i.e. showing an apparent high productivity. But the high level of busyness may contain a lot of non-necessarily needed activities, such as searching, bringing, handling, piling, waiting, so-called non-value add activities or inefficiencies which the Japanese call Muda (waste). Fujio Cho has defined waste as “anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and worker’s time, which are absolutely essential to add value to the product”. Instead of a hurrying activism, the Japanese prefer not a calm but a waste-less sequence of activities at a constant pace resulting at the end of the day in a higher efficiency and efficacy.

References and Selected Readings

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    Rüttimann, B.: Von Lean zu Industrie 4.0—eine Evolution? Von einer visionären Idee zum realen Verständnis, Presentation held at: Fertigungstechnisches Kolloquium, ETH Zürich, November 26, 2015 (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno G. Rüttimann
    • 1
  1. 1.D-MAVT - IWFinspire AG/ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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