Shojinka

One of three similar Japanese words (shojinka, shoninka, shoryokuka) related in concept but with different meanings. Shojinka means “flexible manpower line” and the ability to adjust the line to meet production requirements with any number of workers and demand changes. It is sometimes called “labor linearity” in English to refer to the capability of an assembly line to be balanced even when production volume fluctuates up or down.

Shoninka means “manpower savings.” This corresponds to the improvement of work procedures, machines, or equipment, in order to free whole units of labor (i.e. one person) from a production line consisting of one or more workers.

Shoryokuka means “labor savings” and indicates partial improvement of manual labor by adding small machines or devices to aid the job. This results in some small amount of saved labor but not an entire person as in shoninka. (An accumulation of shoryokuka labor savings add up to shoninka manpower saving.)

From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition
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