The concept of lean manufacturing is synonymous with the name “Norman Bodek.” Norman Bodek, known as the “Godfather of Lean,” is a pioneer of lean manufacturing in the United States. He passed away in December 2020 after dedicating his life and career to developing and improving lean manufacturing principles across the manufacturing industry. Norman Bodek resided in Vancouver, WA, and Japan. He is created with introducing transformative manufacturing principles in the US, and he was also an accomplished author and professor. C Tek Lean Solutions explains the important contributions that Norman made to the manufacturing industry and several of his most notable achievements.
Another nickname that Norman Bodek acquired during his lifetime was “Mr. Productivity.” This title was one of many honors awarded to the legend for his work. Mr. Bodek developed a business called Productivity Inc., which also had a branch called Productivity Press that included a newspaper and hundreds of lean-related books. In 2020, Bodek was inducted into the Manufacturing Hall of Fame for his work. He also received the Shingo Prize of Excellence in Manufacturing.
Lean and Just-in-Time Manufacturing
Bodek’s time spent in Japan was dedicated to learning the art and science behind the Toyota Production method, which was a practice adopted by the Japanese automaker in the 1930s that set the stage for lean manufacturing principles worldwide. He spent extensive time in Japan studying lean principles while walking around on manufacturing floors and studying plant processes in Japan. While in Japan, he also spent time learning about lean principles and philosophies through two leaders in the field named Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno. From studying with the masters of lean principles in Japan, Norman Bodek developed similar lean guidance for the manufacturing industry in the United States. He is credited with introducing the principles of “Lean” and “Just in Time,” which are two core concepts still used in manufacturing today. The concept of “Lean” includes identifying value, working with a demand-based system, using measurements and visualization, and seeking ways to continuously improve. The end goal is to give organizations the tools and resources they need to become more productive, nimble, and efficient. Just in time manufacturing can be part of a holistic manufacturing system or used on its own. Just in time, or “JIT,” is a principle that also has roots in the auto industry. JIT focuses on efficiency in the production process. Introduced by Norman Bodek, it has since been adopted by Ford Motors and other large-scale corporations. It is also now a common practice in manufacturing that is used beyond the auto industry.
Commitment to Personal Growth
Norman Bodek is also known for his dedication to personal growth and continual improvement. Early in his career, he visited Japan to study with the masters before bringing lean principles back to the US. During his life, Bodek spent much time traveling around the world to meet renowned spiritual leaders. Whether it was related to work or his personal life, he always had a desire to learn, grow, and improve.
For more information on Bodek’s accomplishments and his many contributions to lean manufacturing, ask the experts today at C Tek Lean Solutions.