Obeyaka / Lean Layout

Short Description

The layout of each production or assembly line significantly drives the overall operating costs. A lean layout enables further lean activities, which further reduces total costs. Obeyaka is the arrangement of stations and operators which are sorted according to a clear structure of materials, men and machines (3M).

01_Lean Layout_House

Why do you have to achieve a Lean Layout?

Make sure operators work close to each other. It becomes much easier to balance the line, as nearby operators can be balanced far better than those working in separated work areas

When all operators are on one island it becomes far easier to balance the line, unnecessary operators can be removed. Make sure the line supply happens from outside the line without interrupting the operators. Machines have to be moved outside the operators island

Further Benefits:


Visualization means gaining control of your quality and process, making it easier to see what is really happening

Less waiting

Operators can be balanced better, thus decreasing waiting time and over capacity

Increased Output

Separation of line supply and operators decrease interruption, thus increasing the line output


The quality is more measurable through a Lean Layout.

Transparent Material Flow

The introduction of 3M increases the overall transparency of the process

Costs Reduction

A lean layout consequently leads to savings in operating costs

How do you achieve a Lean Layout?

Big packaging prevents operators from being close to each other.
Use small-sized packaging and move stations according to an one piece flow to achieve a lean layout.
Avoid batch production and try to have a common takt time across all stations

Each time the line is fed with material, the operators get interrupted.
Try to separate line feeding and line picking side to have two independent areas, one for the line supply, the other for the operators

Lean Examples

The Highway

Streets and highways are the structural foundation of all cities around the globe. It connects people, buildings, shops, airports and everything we can think of.

Similar to the production, we have to assimilate the needs of an assembly line. Distances have to be short, material flows transparent and operator close to each other.

Enabler for:


Training document – Obeyaka / Lean Layout (pptx)
Training document – Obeyaka / Lean Layout (PDF)
Template – 3M Combination Sheet (pptx)
Template – 3M Combination Sheet (xlsx)
Template – 3M Combination Sheet (pdf)