"Lean" approaches are used to reduce wastes and costs when performing chromatographic procedures. The terminology of this approach is introduced in this article, together with illustrative examples and suggestions. Although this “Lean” methodology was originally developed for industrial use or factory environments, it is increasingly being used in analytical laboratories — most notably in pharmaceutical companies. A follow-up article in the next issue of The Column will describe how to achieve reductions in variations (“Sigma”) that can occur in chromatographic operations.
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