Whenever goods are sold, they most often are transmitted in a package. Therefore, packaging is a key process for producers. Lean is well suited to removing waste and improving the flow in the process, whether manufacturing the packaging material or placing the product in a package and labeling it.

We’ll explore how Lean is being used in packaging through a case study and several short videos. The case study is particularly interesting because Lean is coupled with an approach to evaluating carbon footprints.

First, the case study.

In an article titled An integrated lean and green approach for improving sustainability performance: a case study of a packaging manufacturing SME in the U.K., Authors Sonal Choudhary, Rakesh Nayak, Manoj Dora, Nishikant Mishra and Abhijeet Ghadg introduce “Green Integrated Value Stream Mapping (GIVSM)” as a measure of operational efficiency and carbon footprint of the packaging production system. SME is an abbreviation for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

As stated in the article, their aim is

• To develop GIVSM, consisting of value-added and non-value-added carbon footprint as a green performance indicator along with cycle time and lead time 

• To explain the steps for implementing GIVSM    

• To show how GIVSM can be integrated with a continuous improvement cycle 

“The firm in the case study is one of the leading returnable packaging–manufacturing SMEs in the U.K. It manufactures reusable transit packaging products such as pallies, lids, hog boxes and attached lid containers, primarily used by industrial clients”

You can access the article here.

TXM Lean Solutions: 

In a short video, Lee Candy, consultant at TXM Lean Solutions mentions that as much of 95% of the packaging process may be non-value added. There are only two value added steps: placing the product in the packaging and adding the required label.

Here is the link to the video. 

The BoxMaker Inc:

Various managers from The BoxMaker Inc,  the Pacific Northwest leader in packaging innovation, discuss how they apply Lean Manufacturing to the packaging process for their clients. 

You can access the video here. 

PEC China:

Ben Hulme, Country Manager for PEC China discusses how they have improved a single work cell for packaging routers. 

You can access Ben’s video here.


In a video from FastCap,  an international product development company founded in 1997, Paul Akers shows a simple example of packaging going from 3 minutes to under one minute by keeping the individual boxes whole and including the case in a larger box. 

You can find Paul’s video here.