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Aims and background
The concept and acceptance of lean manufacture as a set of principles is now fairly rooted in the literature[1-3]. The principles behind lean production are not in themselves new; many of them can be traced back to the work of pioneers such as Deming, Taylor, Skinner and more recently in the UK such investigators as Hill, Voss, and Lamming. However, although the concept of lean production as now understood could have modelled from this literature, it was not until the Japanese auto industry was studied, that the total concept became clear.
While there are some voices of discontent[10,11] to the adoption and ultimate effectiveness of lean production, nonetheless many case examples exist to demonstrate …