Design the Ultimate
Lean Production Line

Now you can access the simulation modeling tools, step-by-step methodologies, and training courses necessary to eliminate waste, increase productivity, and design the most efficient production lines in industry.

Try it today for only $1 for your first month.

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Introducing the Lean Design Studio

What's included?

Foundation Skills

Foundation Skills

Specialized Lean Industrial Engineering online courses in Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management.



Easy-to-use simulation modeling software designed specifically for Lean professionals and Value Stream design.

Advanced Topics

Advanced Topics

New training exercises and mini-courses released weekly.



Communicate with other Lean Specialists. Become a part of the community!



Actionable steps for designing world-class Lean production lines and material delivery systems.

How to Design a Lean Production Line

Get Trained

Get Trained

The Lean Design Studio includes both of our flagship courses: Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management. If you want to learn our methodology this is the place to start.
Follow the Checklists

Follow the Checklists

Each principle -- Line Design and Material Management -- has been broken down into a series of steps. These steps were developed over 25 years of implementation projects. There is no guess work involved.
Test Your Designs

Test Your Designs

By following the Checklists, you will have collected a huge amount of hard data. This is the same data that you will need to build a simulation model. We have built an easy-to-use simulation software specifically for our Lean Industrial Engineering methodology.

Simulation Software Built
for Value Stream Design

The Lean Design Simulator cuts through the unnecessary bells and whistles of other, more expensive simulation modeling softwares to give you exactly what you need to design optimal processes and value streams. We have been using this simulation software for several years in our own Lean consulting practice. The Lean Design Simulator was custom-built for our Lean Industrial Engineering methodology, and has been used on implementation projects for some of the biggest names in industry.

Too many plants skip simulation on things like improvement projects and Kaizen events simply because of the software requirements – whether it is too hard to use or the individual licenses are too expensive for everyone to have one or, in many cases, there is an assigned Simulation team that doesn’t have time for smaller projects, even if simulation would be helpful.

By creating the Lean Design Simulator, we are attempting to put the power back into the hands of the Engineers and Lean Specialists actually involved in designing the value streams.

Once you are finished building your model in a series of Excel worksheets, simply upload the file to the Lean Design Simulator and run the model. Within seconds, the Lean Design Simulator will return a spreadsheet with station-by-station detailed analysis of throughput, utilization, blocked time, waiting time, move time and other key parameters.

Simulation modeling is now as simple
as filling out an Excel spreadsheet

Short Learning Curve

Short Learning Curve

Most simulation software requires a hefty investment of your time to get up to speed. You can be building sophisticated models using the Lean Design Simulator within a few hours.

Eliminate Bottlenecks

Eliminate Bottlenecks

Analyze each resource down to the workstation level for utilization, time spent blocked or waiting, and idle time. Learn how to identify bottlenecks, and how to fix them.

Test for Variability

Test for Variability

Set process time variability levels, buffers, and easily add or remove resources and workers. You will end up with a better design that meets your performance goals!

Keep Your Data Secure

Keep Your Data Secure

The Lean Design Simulator eliminates the risk of any data-breaches by storing all of your data locally. Run your macro-free data file in our browser-based software, download your results. Nothing is saved to a server.

Use for Kaizen Events

Use for Kaizen Events

The time required to build a model is short, so you can even incorporate the use of simulation modeling into your Kaizen events, and analyze suggested process changes real-time.

Achieve Design Goals

Achieve Design Goals

You don't want to have to fix your design after it is already implemented. Test it first in a low-cost environment, and reduce or eliminate the need for post-implementation Kaizen.

Online Courses

Our online courses were originally designed for a Fortune 100 client. They have been thoroughly reviewed to include the necessary in-depth information that you will need in order to design world-class production lines and material delivery systems. Each course will walk you through the complete series of steps, from research and data gathering, all the way through to deployment.

Mixed Model Line Design

Mixed Model Line Design

Mixed Model Line Design is the step-by-step methodology for designing high-mix production lines or value streams. The result is a production line that can manufacture a large number of different products and options, with high efficiency and quality.

The tools of Mixed Model Line Design allow the design of lines that can handle inevitable changes in mix and volume, without degrading throughput or productivity. And they avoid the need for batching models, and for extensive and costly line changeovers.

What does an online course look like? Take the free introductory course:

Introductory Course

Topics Covered

Current State Assessment

How do you know if the line is performing as expected? Is that slow down normal? Getting educated in Mixed Model line design will enable you to “read” the line so you know how it is performing.

Mixing Products and Volumes

Mixing products has a host of advantages including better lead times, increased flexibility, more efficient use of floor space, and leveled product volumes.

Creating a Process Flow Diagram

A Process Flow Diagram shows the relationship between your processes and the flow (or sequence) necessary to make one unit of a specific product.

Process Flow Matrix

One Process Flow Diagram does not provide enough information to make well-informed decisions on the whole line, so you must find a way to extract applicable information.

Calculating Takt Time

Takt Time is the line’s formulated production rate. This rate is calculated and is an important design parameter for the line.

Process Takt Time

In this lesson we'll cover some of the difficulties you must overcome to calculate an accurate Takt Time, including how to account for many factors that influence Takt such as changes in Effective Minutes, Rework, Scrap, Options, and Quantity consumed.

Standard Work

Standard work is a foundational element of Lean. In this lesson, we will discuss the benefits of Standard work, how to use Standard Work, and why it is important to use graphics in your Standard Work definitions.

Resource Calculation

Understand how to use the Resource Calculation Formula, and learn how to interpret and apply the results of your Resource Calculations.

Workstation Definition

In this lesson, you will learn how to calculate the necessary number of workstations on your line and how to determine the distribution of work between those workstations.

In-Process Kanbans (Buffers)

In-Process Kanbans (IPKs) are a necessary component of many mixed model production lines. In this lesson we will introduce the benefits and application of IPKs, as well as the best methods for calculating the optimum number of IPKs between your workstations.

Applying the Balancing Tools

Learn about the six line balancing tools, how to use them, when to use them, and the incredible benefits that come with a well balanced line.

Integrating Machines

Every line designer has to consider how machine processes will impact his or her line. In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of machines, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to integrate machines with IPKs and the balancing tools.

Overcoming Changeovers

Every mixed model production line has to deal with changeovers, but you don't have to allow those changeovers ruin your design. This lesson is all about strategies to minimize, as much as possible, the negative impact of changeovers on your line design.

Conceptual Layout

Before jumping straight into CAD, it is important to first create a conceptual design. In this lesson you will learn why conceptual designs are useful, how to create them, and which inputs go into a conceptual line design.

Simulation Modeling

When is Simulation Modeling necessary? What data goes into a successful model? How do you get that data? And, when the model is completed, how do you analyze those results?

Final Layout

This lesson teaches you the steps that go into creating your Final Layout, as well as the departments that should be involved.

Creating a Deployment Plan

Once you CAD drawing is complete, how do you take that drawing and turn it into a live production line?

Mixed Model Material Management

Mixed Model Material Management

By the end of this course, you will understand how to design a material delivery system that supports the management of a large number of different products, options, and items, with high efficiency and quality. We would go so far as to claim that your material delivery system, following our methodology, will essentially shortage-proof your production lines.

The tools of Mixed Model Material Flow can handle inevitable changes in mix and volume, without delaying or stopping the line. And they can do so efficiently, without overstaffing or wasteful material delivery activity.

What does an online course look like? Take the free introductory course:

Introductory Course

Topics Covered

Principles of Material Flow

Develop a deep understanding of the optimum material delivery workflow and strategy.

Material Flow History

The surprising source of modern material flow systems.

Creating a Plan for Every Part

Every individual item that will be managed, both purchased and manufactured, will be documented in detail in the PFEP database.

Kanban Basics

Your job as the designer of a material delivery system is to know which tool to use. Kanban is a general term that refers to a variety of different pull signals, which will be examined one-by-one.

Kanban Signals

Kanban means “signal”, and the supermarket strategy for managing inventory and overcoming imbalances is an essential element of a Lean material management strategy.

Additional Signals

Kanban is not the only signaling method that will be used, and this lesson reviews to options available to a Material Flow designer.

Calculating Material Quantities

One of the goals of Lean Material Flow is to balance material coverage (no shortages) with high inventory turns. In this lesson you will calculate optimum inventory levels for a variety of different items.

Designing Workstations

Material presentation is an integral part of optimum workstation design. In this lesson you will review basic objectives and examples, as well as look at some provocative new ways to deliver and present materials to an operator.

Storage Solutions

Physical storage of items, in a warehouse or supermarket, is a major consumer of space, working capital, and time. Physical stored needs to be design for optimum and efficient put-away and retrieval.

Overcoming Changeovers

A Material Flow Designer will need to partner with Manufacturing Engineering to design supermarkets and item quantities to overcome time lost through changeovers on machine parts.

Material Conveyance

You will choose from a variety of Material Conveyance methods, from hand delivery to Automated Guidance Vehicles (AGVs).

Designing Delivery Routes

The philosophy of “frequent trips and light loads” will be accomplished through the design of your delivery routes. The establishment of Standard Work for material delivery is also applied in this step.


The Lean Material Flow strategy puts a strong emphasis on container standardization. The integration of containerization strategies with internal Kanban systems and outside supplies will be understood.

10 Key Design Principles

Material Flow designers use a “roadmap” or checklist, for consistency and completeness. In this lesson you will learn the 10 Key Design Principles.

Inventory Record Accuracy

A Lean Material Flow system will continue to use computer systems for planning and inventory control, and high inventory accuracy is a must.

Material Flow Leadership

The material delivery system needs continuous vigilance and management. In this important lesson we will review the methods and practices needed to ensure that your system is on a path of continual improvement.

Lean Industrial Engineering Tools



How do you gather the necessary data to build an accurate simulation model? There's no mystery or guessing involved. All you have to do is follow these step-by-step instructions.

We know the methodology works because it has been battle tested from over two decades of real world implementations.



We are compiling a collection of simulation tips and Lean expertise from the Lean Design Studio community.

Have a question? Come up with a new use for the Lean Design Simulator? We want to hear from you!

Advanced Topics

Advanced Topics

Every week we release exclusive trainings that are only available to Lean Design Studio members. Expect videos, white papers, and even mini-courses.

We have a long list of subjects to pull from, but we will also teach specific trainings based on requests from our members.

Who We Are

Who We Are

Gerard Leone and Richard Rahn are the founders of Leonardo Group Americas. They have led Lean Industrial Engineering projects with some of the world's most successful companies including John Deere, Ingersoll Rand, Hitachi, as well as hundreds of others.

Gerard and Richard have worked in the Lean Manufacturing for 25+ years. In that time, they have co-authored eight books on Lean subjects, including The Complete Guide to Mixed Model Line Design. Since 2011 they have partnered with Toyota Material Handling to present workshops on the subjects of Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management to thousands of Industrial Engineers and Lean Professionals.

The Lean Design Studio is the culmination of the tools and the methodologies that these two experts have developed over their two decades in the industry. The Lean Design Studio combines online versions of our core training courses with a newly developed simulation tool, designed specifically for Mixed Model Manufacturing applications.

One Dollar

Try the Lean Design Studio for only $1 for your first month!

And only $47/ month after that. No contract required. Cancel any time.

We believe that you will see huge benefits by using the Lean Design Studio, and we want to you to be excited to put our methodology to work for your company. Go ahead and try it out for $1 for the first month, and if you don't like it, you can cancel your membership at any time, no questions asked.


  • Lean Design Simulator
  • Simulator Support and User Guide
  • Mixed Model Line Design Online Course (8+ hours of content)
  • Mixed Model Material Management Online Course (7+ hours of content)
  • Mixed Model Checklists
  • Lean Design Mastermind
  • Subscription to weekly Advanced Topics presentation
  • Unlimited access to Advanced Topics archives
  • Complete access to all new courses that are added
Trial duration: 1 month
Trial price: $1.00
Duration: 1 month
Price: $47.00