Characteristics of lean product introduction

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 2, Number 3-4, p.378-401 (2002)



The aim of this paper is to describe the application of the Womack and Jones principles of Lean Thinking to the New Product Introduction (NPI) process (from concept development to detailed design through to customer delivery). Whilst techniques such as concurrent engineering (or concurrent product development) have been implemented and have been quite successful in improving NPI there is still a shortfall in the expected or desired improvements to NPI. This shortfall, we believe, can be bridged through the application of lean thinking to NPI, in particular the five lean principles proposed by Womack and Jones. In this paper each principle is defined and characterised within the context of NPI. The work presented was developed on the Society of British Aerospace Companies’ UK Lean Aerospace Initiative involving aerospace companies of all sizes from across the UK. The paper concludes by summarising the key methods and tools that enable Lean Product Introduction (LPI), and by discussing the key adjustments required to the manufacturing/operations definitions of Waste and Value to accommodate the demands of effective and efficient NPI. © 2002 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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