Kaizen Word List

We introduce words used in the shop floor improvement and Toyota Production System.
  • 4M

    4M means four factors of production, and it came from the initial letters of the following four factors, Man (workers and operators), Machine (machine and equipment), Material (materials and parts), and Method (method and process).
  • 5S

    5S is a basic concept for shop floor improvement, and it stands for the following five words, Sort out, Set in order, Shine, Spic-and-Span, and Sustain.
  • Changeover

    Changeover is the setup work that occurs when the product type or process content changes. This includes replacement of jigs and tools, standard adjustment and change of precision cutting and chemical equipment, switching of assembly parts and components, confirmation of operation contents before production, and also cleaning.
  • Fluctuation (Mura)

    Fluctuation is a situation that there is a variation in load against a certain standard. For example, the production volume is not constant and increases temporarily. Fluctuation is called “Mura” in Japanese, and it’s one of 3M (Muri, Muda, Mura) which is an element to be eliminated when promoting production management and work flow improvement.
  • Heijunka

    Heijunka is a leveled production, and it means to level the both of production volume and product types. It is a prerequisite for Just-in-time production.
  • Overburden (Muri)

    Overburden means to put an excessive load on the ability of operator or equipment. Overburden is called “Muri” in Japanese, and it’s one of 3M (Muri, Muda, Mura) which is an element to be eliminated when promoting production management and work flow improvement.
  • PM

    PM is an abbreviation for Preventive Maintenance and it is a part of equipment maintenance. This is a work performed by maintenance personnel on a regular basis to prevent breakdowns and problems. For example, preventive maintenance work is inspection and replacement of worn and worn parts etc.
  • Poka-Yoke(Error proofing)

    Poka-Yoke is an error proofing. It’s inexpensive and reliable tools and devices incorporated to prevent the occurrence of abnormalities such as quality defects and mechanical equipment failures, and to stop the production line when abnormalities occur.
  • Set in order

    “Set in order” is one of the 5S, and the meaning is to organize the things you need in the order you use them. It’s called “Seiton” in Japanese.
  • Seven wastes

    Seven wastes are wastes typically found at shop floor and categorized by Mr. Taiichi Ohno as following. 1.Waste of overproduction 2. Waste of waiting 3. Waste of transportation 4. Waste of processing 5. Waste of inventory 6. Waste of motion 7. Waste of making defects.
  • Shine

    “Shine” is one of the 5S, and the meaning is not only a cleaning out but also an inspection of the shop floor for any abnormalities. It’s called “Seiso” in Japanese.
  • SMED

    SMED is an abbreviation for “Single Minute Exchange of Die” and is one of the elements of the Toyota Production System. It means shortening the time to replace the dies installed in the press machine by improvement and completing the press dies replacement within 10 minutes.
  • Sort out

    “Sort out” is one of the 5S, and the meaning is to separate things you need and things you don’t need, and throw away the things you don’t need. It’s called “Seiri” in Japanese.
  • Spic-and-Span

    “Spic-and-Span” is one of the 5S, and the meaning is the state where 3S of sorting out, setting in order, and shining is kept. “Spin-and Span” also means “Do not get dirty”. It’s called “Seiketsu” in Japanese.
  • Standardized work

    Standardized work is the standard of work to make good quality products safely, at lower cost, without waste, based on the current technology and manufacturing method.
  • Sustain

    “Sustain” is one of the 5S, and the meaning is to acquire and sustain 4S which is sorting out, setting in order, shining, and spic-and span. It’s called “Shitsuke” in Japanese.
  • TPM

    TPM is an abbreviation for Total Productive Maintenance, and it means to involve operators in daily maintenance, improvement activities, and simple repairs. For example, checking and refilling lubricant, cleaning, and inspecting equipment etc.
  • Value Stream Mapping

    The Value Stream Mapping is literally a diagram of the value stream, and can be called a flow chart of materials and information. Specifically, the Value Stream Mapping is a diagram that describes all activities in the manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products. The main purpose of using this is to find waste in the production process.
  • Visualization

    Visualization of the production line means making the problems on the production line “visible to everyone”, for example, sounding a buzzer to enable early detection of abnormal situations. It was introduced for the purpose of preventing mistakes, improving work efficiency of workers, and improving work performance by visualizing the production process.
  • Waste (Muda)

    Waste means an element of production that raises only cost without creating added value at the manufacturing site. “Seven wastes” are well known. Waste is called “Muda” in Japanese, and it’s one of 3M (Muri, Muda, Mura) which is an element to be eliminated when promoting production management and work flow improvement.
  • Waste of inventory

    Waste of inventory is one of the seven wastes. It means to have extra materials, parts, work-in-process, and finished products. To be more precise, to have more than the specified amount in the properly operated pull system.
  • Waste of making defects

    Waste of making defects is one of the seven wastes. It means inspection, repairing work, and disposal of defective parts etc. It is mainly caused by poor quality control.
  • Waste of motion

    Waste of motion is one of the seven wastes. Among the motions of workers, the motions that do not add value are called “waste of motion”. We also can find the waste of motion for not only the worker, but also the machines.

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