Strategos Lean Briefing

The Newsletter of Lean Manufacturing Strategy
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24 December 2004             

Motion Economy & Lean Manufacturing

The Principles of Motion Economy reduce waste at the workstation or micro-level. They make repetitive tasks easier, more efficient and more effective. They also reduce cumulative trauma such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Ralph M. Barnes first codified these principles in the 1930's and American industry used them to great effect during World War II. After the war, Toyota incorporated Motion Economy in its culture and Production System. 

Then, in its fascination with computers, American industry pretty much forgot about Motion Economy during the 1960's. When Lean Manufacturing was re-imported from Japan, Motion Economy was left behind. 

Our new web page summarizes these Principles of Motion Economy. At first glance they seem simple, self-evident and merely common sense. But, if Motion Economy is common sense, common sense is not very common. 

The Principles of Motion Economy are one of several key areas of knowledge for proper workstation design. Everyone who deals with repetitive work should commit them to memory. Subsequent issues of Lean Briefing will deal with other aspects of workstation design such as Ergonomics, 5-S and design procedures. 

All the best for the holidays from the Strategos team.

Quarterman Lee

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Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video