Adapting Lean for High-Mix Low-Volume Facilities

2 Days | 1.4 CEUs


Small and medium enterprises (SME) engaged in high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing operate more like jobshops. They do not operate like Toyota with their multi-product assembly lines with each line assembling a limited variety of automobiles. Therefore, HMLV manufacturers must be both lean (efficient and waste-free) and flexible (able to rapidly changeover their machines, work cells and support systems to produce a variety of products) in order to be able to deliver orders by due dates to their many customers. So how does an HMLV manufacturer simultaneously achieve the capabilities of a large assembly facility and a small jobshop? The answer is JobshopLean, a manufacturing strategy that has adapted and blended the relevant practices of the Toyota Production System with other proven practices that were pioneered in the UK by Serck Audco Valves in the 1960s!

Typically, the lean thinking process proposed by James Womack and Daniel Jones is implemented in a factory as follows:

  • Specify value from the customer’s perspective
  • Identify a value stream
  • Make the value stream “flow” by converting the factory from departments to product-based cells
  • Schedule production in the value stream based on customer pull
  • Strive towards perfection

But, in the case of job shops, the “lean toolkit” for implementing the Womack-Jones process needs to be radically changed and enhanced. That is because the Toyota Production System was designed for low-variety high-volume (LVHV) product assembly; whereas, the high-mix low-volume manufacturer is best served by a production system designed for job shops. “JobshopLean” recognizes waste elimination has to be the foundation for a successful HVLV manufacturing strategy. However, a production system that is flexible, agile, reconfigurable and adaptable to business and operational conditions cannot be based on the Toyota Production System.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to adapt lean for the hundreds of high-mix low-volume manufacturing facilities such as forge shops, machine shops, fabrication shops, molding shops, etc.
  • How to either adopt or adapt or completely replace the lean tools with appropriate tools suited for high-mix low-volume components production facilities
  • How facility layout and finite capacity scheduling are at the core of an approach for comprehensive implementation of JobshopLean  


  • Introduction to JobshopLean
  • Quick-start and comprehensive approaches to implementing JobshopLean
  • What is group technology (part family formation)?
  • What is production flow analysis?
  • Product-process matrix analysis for cell formation
  • Machine requirements planning with rough-cut workload analysis
  • U-shaped cell layout design to foster teamwork and visual pull scheduling
  • Transfer batches vs. one-piece flow
  • Water striders
  • Finite capacity scheduling
  • Order prioritization using dispatching rules
  • Cash earning velocity: a simple metric for evaluation of cell performance that was inspired by lean, TOC and Little’s Law

IISE reserves the right to cancel a class up to 15 business days prior to the scheduled start date

Registration Fee

Member: $795 Non-Member: $1,145

Course Schedule

No courses scheduled, contact James Swisher for availability