Flowstore Logos and Flowstore: Lean | Lean Manufacturing | Kaizen | Kanban | TPS | 7 Forms of Waste | 5Sís | 3Ms | Just in Time | continual improvement

lean • lean manufacturing • kaizen • kanban • TPS • 7 forms of waste • 5Sís • 3Ms • just in time

FlowTube used in a Lean manufacturing process
FlowTube used to implement Lean in a manufacturing process

Toyota, founders of TPS (lean) use FlowTube FlowTube chosen for
the Toyota European
Training School by
Toyota, pioneers
of Lean Manufacturing


A Lean Manufacturing Environment and Flowstore Products

With continual improvement being at the heart of the Lean Manufacturing and related philosophies (TPS, Kaizen, 6-Sigma, 7 Forms of Waste, Benchmarking, 5S’s, 3Ms ,TQM etc) the key objective is to run leaner – ie., efficiently increase productivity and improve quality whilst lowering costs and reducing waste.

Flowstore is extremely well poised to support and advise manufacturing and industry in its quest for continual improvement, and implementation of Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen and related philosophies.  Our team have over 25 years experience in implementing Lean in the workplace, and for over 25 years we have applied our products to improve efficiency in order picking, assembly systems and manufacturing cells.

FlowTube can be integral in a Lean Manufacturing environment.  This has been endorsed by our supplying Toyota, the creators of TPS, the forerunner of Lean Manufacturing, with FlowTube to be used in their training school. Click here to read more

Further to our products we have key staff who have either been trained by Toyota or familiarised with the key principles of the philosophy.

Flowstore Products in a Lean Environment

FlowTube used in a Lean manufacturing processFlowTube
Of course, there are many different approaches to the application of manufacturing efficiency. Whatever manufacturing philosophies you adopt, be it Kaizen, 6-Sigma, Benchmarking, TQM etc., Flowtube has a part to play due to its versatility.

It is this versatility and, equally important, its reusability which makes FlowTube ideal for various industries that are geared towards total business efficiency and profitability. 

As it allows users to easily modify and reuse the range of steel tubes, connecting joints, brackets, parts and accessories, FlowTube addresses Lean’s zero-tolerance on waste. Aside from that, its features emphasise the 5S’s of the system that not only gives no room for waste, but also allows an environment for continuous improvement and quality.


5S’s is a methodology used in the workplace organisation using five Japanese terms, which either in Japanese, or English, all begin in letter “S”. In Lean Manufacturing, these words are considered to be foundational.

The first “S” is Seiri or “Sifting” which delves into organising the work place; this includes the materials and tools needed to do daily tasks. Next is Seiton or “Straighten” (Set in Order) which is about making items easily accessible for use through orderly arrangement. 

The third “S” is Seiso or “Spick and Span” (Shining) in reference to maintenance of the work area; keeping it clean and swept. The fourth S is Seiketsu or “Systematise” which involves the consistency of work practices or operation. Finally, Shitsuke or Standardising, which focuses on reviewing and maintaining standards, and ways to improve the process.


In Lean manufacturing, the objective is to reduce the 3Ms in order to achieve a business’s improvement in terms of performance. These 3Ms came from three Japanese terms, Muri, Mura and Muda, which are believed to contribute to a company’s inefficiency, and potential downfall.

Muri means “over burden” in English, but also refers to absurdity and unreasonableness. Avoiding Muri is to standardise work.

Mura refers to unevenness, looks into the inconsistency of a company in terms of physical matter.

And finally Muda, which on the other hand means waste. Of the three, it is relatively the most important term. Reducing this is perceived to increase the profitability of a business.


7 Forms of Waste
Any resource or material that is surplus to requirement is considered waste.

In Lean Manufacturing, the aim is for these things to be identified and eliminated in order to improve the performance and productivity of the business.

Lean master, Shigeo Shingo, documented the Toyota Production System’s seven forms of waste. These are over production, unnecessary transportation, inventory, movement, defects, over production, and waiting.  These seven are believed to hinder an organisation from moving forward and thus need to be addressed strategically.


Coined by Taiichi Ohno, considered to be the “father” of the Toyota Production System, the word Kanban is a pull signal used trigger replenishment. Kanban can come in various forms such as a container, card or empty space.

Thus, Kanban is often seen as the lean production’s nervous system - a “pull” system that creates flexibility in the production area, and is said to be the way to achieve the just-in-time concept.


Just in Time (JIT)
Just in Time, or JIT, is probably the most well known of the Lean concepts. It is an inventory strategy that delves in improving an organisation’s return on investment through the careful planning of schedule of producing only what is needed, the correct amount at the right time.
JIT includes ‘producing to takt’ ‘continuous flow’, ‘pull’, ‘quick changeover’ and ‘integrated logistics’.
In essence Just in Time to be geared towards making a business more profitable through improvement in performance and efficiency of production.


TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)
TPM is a maintenance philosophy designed to integrate equipment maintenance into the manufacturing process. The goal of any TPM programme is to eliminate losses and drive out waste tied to equipment maintenance and or machine failures.

By minimizing rework, slow running equipment and downtime, maximum value is added at the minimum cost.


Lean Tools

FlowTube used in a Lean manufacturing process
Display Boards
FlowTube used in a Lean manufacturing process
Lean Workstations
FlowTube used in a Lean manufacturing process
Lean Flowracks

Clients we have

Rolls Royce
Aston Martin
Land Rover