Metrics for Lean 230

This class describes the most common metrics used to measure timing, error, and costs and encourage continuous improvement in a lean system. Includes an Interactive Lab.

Class Details

Class Name:
Metrics for Lean 230
This class describes the most common metrics used to measure timing, error, and costs and encourage continuous improvement in a lean system. Includes an Interactive Lab.
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:
Related 2.0 Class:
Metrics for Lean 231

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • What Are Metrics?
  • Traditional Manufacturing Metrics
  • Lean Manufacturing Metrics
  • Choosing Metrics
  • Defining Appropriate Metrics
  • Total Time of Operations
  • Takt Time
  • Cycle Time
  • Cell Balancing
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness
  • First-Time Quality
  • Cost of Operations
  • Deviation
  • Variation
  • Summary


  • Describe the importance of lean metrics.
  • Distinguish between traditional and lean manufacturing metrics.
  • Distinguish among the three levels of value in manufacturing.
  • Describe the most important criteria for choosing lean metrics.
  • Describe effective tactics for defining appropriate lean metrics.
  • Define total time of operations.
  • Demonstrate how to calculate takt time.
  • Define cycle time.
  • Demonstrate how to perform cell balancing.
  • Demonstrate how to calculate overall equipment effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate how to calculate first-time quality.
  • Describe the purpose of cost of operations.
  • Describe the role of deviation in lean manufacturing.
  • Describe how variation relates to lean manufacturing metrics.


  • MSSC Manufacturing Processes and Production


Vocabulary Term Definition
availability The percentage of time that a machine is actually able to produce parts out of the total time that it should be able to produce. parts This number includes breakdowns, setups, and adjustments.
cell balancing A method of matching cycle time to takt time in which tasks are broken down into steps that are redistributed until each task requires the same amount of time for completion.
continuous improvement Replacing ineffective practices with effective ones to attain ongoing, measurable gains. Organizations must constantly measure the effectiveness of processes and strive to meet more difficult objectives to satisfy customers.
cost of operations A metric that looks at the overall cost of doing business across all departments rather than by individual departments. Cost of operations focuses on wise investment rather than cost cutting.
cycle time The actual time it takes to perform a task and forward it to the next step. One of the major goals of lean is to match cycle time to takt time.
deviation The difference between a standard and a result. Lean strives for zero deviation from perfection, which implies zero errors.
first-time quality A lean metric that indicates to what extent parts are manufactured correctly the first time without need for inspection, rework, or replacement.
kanban A Japanese word meaning "card signal." It represents any visual method used to show the need for parts or products to be moved or produced in a lean system.
labor costs Expenses associated with employees, including wages, insurance, taxes, and workers' compensation.
linked cells A group of work cells tied together using kanban. Parts travel between cells in small batches but are fabricated one at a time within individual cells.
metric A measured variable that is tracked and can be used to detect errors or variation and make improvements.
non-value added Activities that do not contribute to the product or the process and should therefore be eliminated. Non-value added steps are waste.
non-value added but essential Production activities that ensure that the value-added steps have been properly completed. For example, inspection does not contribute to the product, but it is necessary until the process can be improved to the point where inspection can be eliminated.
overall equipment effectiveness The overall percentage of an equipment's availability, quality, and performance multiplied together. Overall equipment effectiveness is abbreviated OEE.
overhead Expenses associated with operating buildings and equipment, including rent, insurance, utilities, and repairs.
performance rate A percentage representing the number of parts produced divided by the machine capacity. This number includes the number of parts produced in a given time, reduced speeds, idling, and short-term stoppage for jams and other problems.
productivity metrics Measurements that help determine how to make more products with fewer resources, such as producing the most parts with the fewest numbers of employees. Productivity metrics are used in traditional manufacturing.
pull system A material management system in which parts are not delivered to machines until they are needed. Pull systems are based on actual demand for parts.
quality rate The percentage of good parts out of the total number of parts produced. This number includes time lost to defects and the time it takes from startup to normal production.
root cause The origin of a problem rather than just its symptoms.
six sigma A quality manufacturing method that uses data analysis to eliminate defects. The goal of six sigma is perfection.
takt time The rate at which the customer requires your company to manufacture products. Takt time is the number of work minutes per day divided by the number of orders per day.
total time of operations The total time that elapses from the moment raw materials are delivered to the dock to the moment that the finished product is shipped to the customer. Also known as dock-to-dock time.
unit The nature of the measurable, such as production hour, cell size, or operator.
value The number or amount of the unit, such as eight production hours, six cells, and 18 operators.
value added Any part of the production process that improves the product for the customer.
variation The difference between normal and abnormal. In manufacturing, variation from what is normal can signal that an error has occurred.
wheel dresser A sharp, elongated tool, often embedded with diamonds, that is held against a spinning grinding wheel for sharpening.