One Piece Flow

Short Description

As the name indicates, the one piece flow describes a way of material flow inside your production. It is the opposite of a batch production and refers to the production done piece by piece.

09_One Piece Flow_House

Why do you have to work in an one piece flow?


Progress, operators, quality issues and shortages become far more comprehensible


One Piece Flow forces a 100% FIFO approach

Point out waste

Waiting time, overproduction and any other kind of waste become obvious

Less Buffer

Productions based on the One Piece Flow eliminate buffers between the processing steps

Less Material handling

Only those materials are required that are necessary for the current component

Less Quality risks

Errors that occur can be counteracted immediately in the One Piece Flow

How do you implement an One Piece Flow?

09_One Piece Flow_How 1

  • Separated workstations
  • Overproduction
  • Material handling
  • No FIFO

09_One Piece Flow_How 2

  • Workstations and operators close
  • Minimum WIP inventory level
  • No additional material handling between stations
  • FIFO and space improvement

Lean Example: Airport Security

09_One Piece Flow_Example

Enabler for:

09_One Piece Flow_Enabler


Training document – One Piece Flow (pptx)
Training document – One Piece Flow (PDF)
Template – Value Stream Mapping (xlsx)
Template – Value Stream Design (xlsx)