The core idea of lean manufacturing is relentlessly working on eliminating waste from the manufacturing process.
So what is waste? Waste is defined as any activity that does not add value from the customer’s perspective. 60% of production activities in a typical manufacturing operation are waste – they add no value at all for the customer. The good news is that just about every company has a tremendous opportunity to improve, using lean manufacturing techniques and other manufacturing best practices.
Techniques that enable you to deliver higher quality products at significantly lower costs. Lean is the set of "tools" that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste. As waste is eliminated quality improves while production time and cost are reduced. A non-exhaustive list of such tools would include: SMED, value stream mapping, Five S, Kanban (pull systems), poka-yoke (error-proofing), total productive maintenance, elimination of time batching, mixed model processing, rank order clustering, single point scheduling, redesigning working cells, multi-process handling and control charts.