What is a Bottleneck?
A bottleneck, as it relates to Lean and Kaizen, is a phenomenon in which a process’s flow is limited by one element that interrupts the normal flow of that process. In a fabrication shop, a bottleneck could be a press brake that is only able to produce at half the speed of the other machines in the entire manufacturing order. As the parts flow through the fabrication shop, the bottleneck at the press brake would then cause a back-up of product at that machine. In this scenario, the number of parts produced per day would be limited to the maximum production capable on the press brake.