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Lean Factory Design: Be Lean from the start

Lean Factory Design: Be Lean from the start

Over the past 20 years of being in the industry of KAIZEN™, Lean and OPEX and having catered to over 1000 companies. We at Kaizen Institute have seen that a huge chunk of manufacturing companies think of Lean or KAIZEN™ philosophies only after their factories are up and running.

You might wonder, "isn’t it good that they are bringing in the practices of improvement culture?" However, the saying “Better late than never” isn’t necessarily good in all cases. Why delay your Lean and improvement process? Why not make your factories Lean from the beginning?

That’s when we, at Kaizen Institute came up with Lean Factory Designs.

Factory design plays a vital role in the distribution of new technologies for manufacturing. Having an effective factory layout design can accelerate your journey to success in plant management. It will not only have a direct effect on the efficiency of your operations but also the complete maintenance of your company, including the production processes, inventory, dispatch and administration.

We believe prevention methods are always better than cure methods. Improvements should be made from the very beginning. There is significant evidence that Lean Manufacturing is not just any other manufacturing strategy, it is something that all sectors are implementing at present. Most manufacturers are attempting to become lean: for example, Ford has created the Ford Production System, Honda and Harley-Davidson have also adopted the concepts.

The point is that most firms have moved beyond the discussion of whether to implement a Lean Factory Design to go ahead and execute one.

If you are wondering, what is LFD? We are here to help you begin the journey towards your Lean Factory Design. This blog is purely dedicated to bringing you up to pace in terms of building new factories or Manufacturing Units already Designed for Lean operations.

What is Lean Factory Design (LFD)? 

Lean Factory Design creates a seamless control & flow of people, material and information management - Prevent the possibility of excess! By applying Lean concepts to the company’s upcoming or future projects, Muda aka Waste can be Prevented. LFD is applied as a preventive measure used to facilitate the management of excess!

Why apply Lean Factory Design? Is it proactive or reactive Lean?

LFD is proactive Lean. Can a factory, assembly workstations, processing centres, facility be designed Lean from bottom-up? The answer is YES! The element of focus in LFD is to design waste-free, visual factories & facilities that have a smooth flow and are Lean in their structure.

Did you know? Lean Manufacturing was ‘invented’ to solve problems very specific to Toyota and Japan after World War II. Over the years it proved that it had applications to many more situations other than the ones troubling Toyota in the 1950s, it applies to present-day scenarios and in multiple sectors as well.

The creation and implementation of a Lean Factory Design will often begin within the existing operations on the factory floor. Companies must identify complementary skills, assets, and processes that will enhance their progress along the Lean frontier. LFD, if executed properly can reduce the need for floor space by 50% and manpower can be rationalized by 30%-50% apart from eliminating a lot of other Muda (Waste) across the value stream thereby reducing both capital and operational costs!

What are the Benefits of LFD

LFD Benefits


Case Study: (Eye-Opening Results)




How to achieve LFD?

To achieve a Lean factory design use the tools, techniques and make the improvements the areas below

  1. Manufacturing FLOW improvements
  2. LEAN/ Cellular Layouts
  3. Lean process design including the process of service delivery
  4. Investment in ‘right-size’, multiple, easily maintained, flexible equipment (Including utilities)
  5. Quick changing, flexible equipment (also workstations and layouts)
  6. Ergonomic workstations
  7. Multi-skilled, Multi-tasking manpower
  8. Customized, count – free containers for ports
  9. Line-side-design for material inputs using FIFO racks
  10. POUS (Point-Of-Use Stores)
  11. Design of Supermarkets for storage of raw materials and parts
  12. KAIZEN™ warehouse (FG and spares sales for Optimization of flow)
  13. Lean internal logistics systems (Supporting JIT operations initially)
  14. Lean supervision
  15. Lean documentation (Perhaps supported by bar-coding)
  16. Visual management of ‘Gembutsu’ and information/ data


The choice to move towards a Lean Factory Design will make the production environment much more robust and streamlined resulting in better output and reduced costs. It is a constant cycle of implementing new strategies with the changing demand, as we all know it is all about Continuous Improvement.

About Kaizen Institute

Kaizen Institute is the original and premier provider of KAIZEN™ services of Change Management, Business Excellence, Operational Excellence and Lean.

We support companies of all sizes in all market segments, providing them with a sustainable, competitive advantage. Our Vision is Improving the world with Everyone, Everywhere, Every Day – The KAIZEN™ Way. “KAIZEN™ means Change for the better.”

The KI is a global organisation which provides consulting services to companies represented in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East & America. We are currently operating in 60+ Countries for over 30 years

Want to know more about our services? Click Here

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