Lean Manufacturing: Understanding a New Manufacturing System
Manufacturing is currently undergoing a transition from a mass production system to a lean production system which emphasizes quality and speedy response to market conditions while utilizing technologically advanced equipment and a different organization of the production process. The new manufacturing system has achieved remarkable productivity advances. The success or failure of the Midwest's manufacturing sector in climbing on board this revolution will be central to the region s future prosperity, due to the historic role of manufacturing in shaping the region's economy. Successful adaptation to the lean manufacturing system is likely to require significant changes in both the management of factories and the structure of the economy; for example, changes in worker training, job performance, public infrastructure and perhaps the location of factories and jobs.