Designing Processes to Fit Lean Manufacturing with the 16 Catch Phrases of 3P

My apologies for introducing a new term with out explaining it yesterday. Thanks for asking Ben. The 16 Catch Phrases of 3P are used as guidelines for designing processes according to Lean manufacturing principles of JIT (Takt, Flow, Pull) and Jidoka. As a result of a successful 3P workshop following the 16 Catch Phrases the equipment and production process you design should take you closer to TPS.
The 16 Catch Phrases are:
1. Production preparation should be lightning fast. Avoid over planning, use what you have, act now.
2. Build & layout equipment for smooth material flow. Flow like a river, not like a dam.
3. Use additive equipment. Buy many speedboats instead of one tanker.
4. Build equipment that is easy to set up. Design in the separation of internal and external tasks.
5. Make equipment easy to move. No roots, no vines, no pits. Put wheels on everything.
6. Use multi-purpose equipment. Simple, “just fast enough” machines that perform one function well.
7. Make operator work stations narrow. Town houses, not ranch houses.
8. Layout equipment for ease of operator movement. Remove obstruction to smooth human motion.
9. Eliminate wasted machine cycle time. Design out ‘air cutting’ and minimize machine movements.
10. Build equipment for small, swift flow lines. Enable Standard Work (Takt, Work Sequence, SWIP).
11. Use short, vertical flow lines. Vertical = advancing process flow, horizontal = functional.
12. Build equipment for one-piece pull. Machine level. This is probably the most critical one.
13. Build in quick changeover. Design in SMED at the machine level.
14. Link machines for smooth loading and unloading. Line stops when WIP on the line is “full work”.
15. Use multiple lines & rectified flows. ‘Rectified’ is an odd term, electrical engineers will get it.
16. Spiral upwards to jidoka. There are 5 steps to jidoka, which should be pursued a step at a time.
I may have gotten the sequence wrong. Looking over them again more carefully, I think there is a more logical sequence for teaching these concepts. Each one of these simple Catch Phrases is not meant to be self explanatory, but a one-liner to remind you of other fuller Lean manufacturing disciplines such as SMED and jidoka. This is how you design processes to fit Lean manufacturing with 3P.
These are a hodgepodge of machine or process-level guidelines and flow or process-level guidelines. I have seen them written down as 14, 15 or 20 catch phrases. I learned these 16 and they seem to capture the essence of 3P Lean equipment design. If you have found more elegant ways to phrase these in English, if you disagree with my explanation or numbering, post a comment or let me know.


  1. Ben Royal

    May 3, 2006 - 5:03 am

    Thanks for the explanation. I am going into a 3P event shortly and will post these on the wall when I get there.

  2. Barry Huff

    May 3, 2006 - 9:15 am

    In 16 above you say there are 5 steps to Jidoka. Could you explain that a little more.