Terms C-D


Capacity Constraint Resources

Where a series of non-bottlenecks, based on the sequence in which they perform their jobs, can act as a constraint. [Abbreviation: CCR] . In most cases; a shop that is set up by departments can act as a CCR just because of their locations within the plant. 


Capacity Requirements Planning

 A module of MRPII that calculates the workload for specific machines (or machine codes, work centers) based on current, projected and forecasted demand. Load is usually based on a % of available hours used. For cell-based plants, the capacity can be figured using the capacity bottleneck for each cell. This greatly simplifies calculation. In addition, CRP may be used to calculate the number of workers needed to staff a plant or cell. See MRP II



The sum total of the money invested in fixed assets use for the production of goods or services.



 A series of discussions between managers and their employees during which data, ideas, and analysis are thrown back and forth like a ball. This opens productive dialogue throughout the entire company. 


Cause-and-Effect Diagram

Also referred to as a "Fishbone" (after its shape), or "Ishikawa" diagram (after its inventor, Kaoru Ishikawa). The diagram illustrates the main causes and sub-causes leading to an effect (the symptom of unwanted condition). It is one of the Basic Seven Tools of Quality.



The layout of machines of different types and/or workstations performing different operations in a tight sequence that are physically and geographically linked, typically in a U-shaped configuration, which makes parts, products or all parts in a product family in single-piece flow and takes advantage of the flexible deployment of human effort by means of Multi-Machine Working. Cells are contrasted with Functional layout and characterized by:

  • Consistency of Products run
  • Consistency of Staffing
  • Physical Proximity
  • Physical Linking (where possible)
  • Customer Focus (where appropriate)

Cellular Manufacturing

1) An approach in which manufacturing work centers [cells] have the total capabilities needed to produce an item or group of similar items; contrasted with the need to set up work centers on the basis of similar equipment or capabilities, in which case, items must move amongst multiple work centers before they are completed; the term group technology is sometimes used to distinguish cells that produce a relatively large family [group] of similar items. 2) An alignment of machines in correct process sequence, where operators remain within the cell and materials are presented to them from outside the cell.



Meaning load-load in Japanese, this describes a work cell where machines off-load parts automatically so that operators can take a piece directly from one machine to the next without waiting. [See: Load-Load]


Change Agent

1) A highly motivated person whose demonstrated mission is to move from the now (current) state, to the future state which is not to be mistaken for the ideal state.

2) One who leads cultural change in an organization. 3) The catalytic force moving firms and value streams out of the world of inward-looking, batch-and-queue to flexible, customer focused organizations.



 The installation of a new type of tool in a metal working machine, a different paint in a painting system, a new plastic resin and a new mold in an injection molding machine, new software in a computer, and so on. The term applies whenever a production device is assigned to perform a different operation. (See SMED)


Check List (Sheet)

 A tool used to ensure that all important steps or actions in an operation have been taken. One of the Basic Seven Tools of Quality.


Check Points and Control Points

 Used in measuring the progress of improvement-related activities between different managerial levels. Check points represent process-oriented criteria. Control points represent result-oriented criteria. What is the check point to a manager becomes a control point to the next-level manager. For this reason, check points and control points are also used in policy deployment.


Check Sheet

 A simple data-recording device, custom-made by the user, which allows results to be readily interpreted. Not to be confused with a Checklist (see above.)



 A physical material or substance, such as food, grains, and metals, which is interchangeable with another product of the same type. Commodities are purchased for internal consumption or internal use in the service and/or manufacturing of the product. The price of the commodity is subject to supply and demand. 


Common Cause

In statistical quality control, the causes of variation inherent in a process over time.


Company Culture

The informal or formal way work is done, based on the values, beliefs, way of thinking, behaviors, attitudes, management structure, legacy systems, myths and stories in the organization. Over time, leaders shape the culture. (See KaizenCulture.)


Conflict Resolution

The resolution of a clash between hostile or opposing elements/ideas.


Constant Work in Process (ConWIP)

1) A signaling device that gives instruction for production or conveyance of items in a pull system. This particular system is best suited for job shop environments where there may be a large number of part, processes, and/or machinery (Functional layout).

2) A communication tool in the "just-in-time" production and inventory control system which authorizes production or movement. The number of circulating or available ConWIP cards for a particular department is determined by the number of machines available as well as the number of personal available. This number generally is established and remains unchanged until improvements are made and maintained for a period of time; in this way inventory is kept under control while production is forced to keep pace with shipment volume. A routine exception to this rule is that managers and workers are continually exhorted to improve their processes and thereby reduce the number of ConWIP cards required. 



1) Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance, or throughput.

2) Alternate: That bottleneck which most severely limit the organization's ability to achieve higher performance relative its purpose/goal.


Continuous Flow Production

Items are produced and moved from one processing step to the next step one piece or unit at a time. Each process makes only the one piece/unit that the next process needs, and the transfer batch size is one. Also called "single-piece flow" or "one-piece flow."


Continuous Improvement

The commitment to creating a better product, work environment and business, every day.


Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

 A firm continuously improving on the value that customers perceive in its products due to improvements in productivity initiated by the members of the general work force. Productivity in CIF is broadly defined to include all facets of product quality as well as output per worker. A basic operating principle of the CIF is that improvements in product quality often produce simultaneous reductions in costs. The ultimate competitive goal of the CIF is the ability to produce consumer goods on a custom basis for almost instantaneous delivery at costs lower than those featured by standard mass production firms. The flexible CIF ideally produces to customer demand. The key to achieving this flexibility and lower unit cost lies in generalization of the work force.


Continuous Manufacturing

 A production process that is characterized by the flow of products through the process.  Transformation of the product happens continuously as the product is transported through the process. Oil refining is an example of continuous manufacturing. Oil flows through pipes and reactors and is refined as it flows. See Cellular, Discrete and Flow Manufacturing.


Control Chart

A chart with upper and lower control limits within which a machine or process is "in control". Frequently a centerline, midway between the two limits, helps detect trends toward one or the other. Plotting critical measurements on the chart shows when a machine or process has gone "out of control" and must be adjusted. One of the Basic Seven Tools of Quality.


Core Process

The process in a manufacturing or service organization that produces the goods or services for external customers on which the organization depends for its survival.



The impact of one variable upon others in the same group.


Cross-Functional Management

 The inter-departmental coordination required to realize the strategic and policy goals of a Kaizen and Total Quality Control (TQC) program. After corporate strategy and planning are determined, top management sets objectives for cross-functional efforts that cut laterally throughout the organization. Cross functional management is the major organizational tool for realizing TQC improvement goals. Its critical importance lies in its intensive focus on the follow-through to achieve the success of goals and measures. 


Current State Map

 A map that helps organizations visualize the current production process and identify sources of waste. If done correctly the Current State Map will help in organizing lean implementation plans. 


Customer, External

 An end-user who pays for the product or service delivered by a company, thus generating revenue for the company. Note: the goal of world-class companies is to "continually delight" this customer, thus creating "an increasing affection" for its products and services. There may be several external customers, all of whom must be considered by the supplier.


Customer, Internal

The recipient (person, process, or department) of another person's or department's output (product, service or information) within an organization.


Customer-Supplier Partnership

A long-term relationship between a buyer and supplier characterized by teamwork, mutual confidence, and common goals regarding customer satisfaction. The supplier is considered an extension of the buyer's organization, based on several commitments. The buyer provides long-term contracts and uses fewer suppliers. The supplier implements quality assurance processes to limit or eliminate incoming inspection by the buyer. The supplier also helps the buyer reduce costs and improve product and process designs.


Cycle Time

 The normal amount of (clock) time for a product or service to travel through a process to complete an operation. This in NOT the same as takt time, which is the available time to produce one product at the rate customers are demanding it. If cycle time for every operation in a complete process can be improved to equal or be less than takt time, (theoretically) products can be made in Single-Piece Flow. Cell cycle time is the time it takes for a part to complete one cycle from raw to finish good.




 Bits of information which, when aggregated and analyzed, result in information leading to change and improvement. Data may be quantitative or qualitative. Data are distinguished from individual opinions, past experiences, biases, and "gut feel".


Deming Cycle

 The concept of a continuously rotating wheel used by W. E. Deming to emphasize the necessity of constant interaction among research, design, production, and sales so as to arrive at an improved quality that satisfies customers. Credited by Edward Deming to Walter Steward of Western Electric (who may have gotten it from John Dewey), the cycle is a concept of how thinking must proceed to create continuous improvement. The most common form of the cycle consists of four elements — Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Dr. Deming (before his death, re-termed them — Plan, Do, Investigate, and Adjust. (See PDCA.)


Dependent Events

 Events that occur only after a previous event.


Deployment Teams

Groups of people responsible for deploying Lean Enterprise. The group at the top is the “Steering Committee”; the group that does the analysis for improvement planning is the “Baseline Team” and the implementation teams are “Design Teams”.


Design Approach

Another approach to management improvement. Tries to build a better approach through predetermined goals.


Design for Manufacturability

A process for tailoring a product’s design to a specific manufacturing process.

Characteristics considered, among others:

  • Manufacturing process capability
  • Optimum assembly sequence
  • Optimum assembly process / geometry
  • Commonality of parts
  • Simplification of fasteners
  • Simplified testing methods for point of manufacture verification

Discrete Manufacturing

A process for making product that is made up of several disconnected steps (i.e. the connection is based on routing or use of transport mechanisms). Transformation of the product takes place in “steps”. The steps are usually based on machines, operations or stations in the manufacturing process. 

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