Online Courses • Simulation • Implementation

Lean Design Studio

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.

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Foundation Skills

Foundation Skills

Online courses and certifications 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

Access our library of advanced Lean training materials including exercises, simulation tips, and mini-courses.



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



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

"A completely different approach! Practical and results driven."
— Jorge, John Deere

3 Steps to Designing a Lean Production Line

Become an Expert at Lean Design

Become an Expert at Lean Design

Unlimited access to our flagship online courses: Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management. Members can also browse our extensive library of Advanced Topics, which include mini-courses, webinars, and how-to videos.

Follow a Proven Methodology

Follow a Proven Methodology

We've broken our methodology into a comprehensive series of step-by-step Checklists to help guide you through the design process. These steps were developed over 25 years of implementation projects. There is no guess work involved.

Test Your Designs with Simulation

Test Your Designs with Simulation

Eliminate bottlenecks, test for changes in variability, implement sequence rules, and make sure you will achieve your production goals before you bring your line live. Now modeling your processes is easier than ever with the Lean Design Simulator.


Become an Expert at Lean Design

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.

"Rigorous, unique offering of one of the most important Lean flow manufacturing subjects there is!"
— Bruce, PBS Management Consulting

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.

"Excellent! This is an excellent class that needs cross-functioned group participation (Ops, ME, Material Flow, Supply Management, Supervisors). Excellent instructor!"
— Wade, John Deere

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.

Advanced Topics

Advanced Topics

Advanced topics include subjects like testing sequencing rules, flexing, and new trends in manufacturing that we see during our trips to factories around the world.

Browse an ever-growing library of training materials, exclusive 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.


Follow a Proven Methodology

At Leonardo Group Americas, we have designed thousands of production lines. The result of our decades of experience is a series of documented steps proven to create world-class production lines. Members of the Lean Design Studio receive comprehensive Checklists outlining our methodology, as well as access to the Mastermind where you can ask us questions about specific roadblocks along the way.



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!

"Thanks to LGA, I'm now better equipped than I was a month ago. The modules really helped and boosted my understanding and confidence going forward."
— Pang, CDG Products


Test Your Designs with Simulation Modeling

The Lean Design Simulator was custom-built for our Lean Industrial Engineering methodology, and has been used for years in our private practice on implementation projects for some of the biggest names in industry. It is easy to learn and even easier to use. In fact, all you have to do is fill out an Excel spreadsheet and the Lean Design Simulator does the rest of the work for you!

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.

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!

Automated Sequencing

Automated Sequencing

The Lean Design Simulator now includes an automated sequencing tool that really speeds up the creation of sequencing scenarios. Instead of manually creating different sequences, push one button and an entire sequencing plan will be generated!

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.

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.

Find out more about the Lean Design Simulator and see the simulator in action!

More Simulation Details

Who We Are

Who We Are

Leonardo Group Americas was founded by Richard Rahn and Gerard Leone, industry vets with 25+ years of experience. They are the authors of 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.

Our Clients Include

John Deere
Ingersol Rand

Full Client List

Try the Lean Design Studio today.
Your first month is free!

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 free 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: Free
Duration: 1 month
Price: $47.00

Who is the Lean Design Studio for?

Who is the Studio for?

  • Lean Specialists and Independent Lean Consultants who want the ability to test their process improvements and Lean Designs prior to implemention.
  • Manufacturing Engineers responsible for line balancing, assembly line design, and production line management.
  • Production Planning professionals responsible for the creation of production schedules, sequencing rules, customer delivery schedules.
  • Operations Managers who need to understand and manage complex workflows in a Mixed Model environment.

Who is the Studio not for?

  • Simulation experts who already are highly experienced with modeling software.
  • Manufacturing environments that have very low variability and low interdependency of processes.
  • Lean Specialists who believe that Lean design should not include software tools like computer modeling. Just go the Gemba!
  • People who don't want to take the time to build process models first, and would rather spend time fixing it later.