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Lean Manufacturing and value stream mapping

Lean manufacturing is about reducing waste spending in an operation, such as long lead times,
defects and material waste . This principle was first used in Toyota around 1988 and sometime also referred as Toyotism.

Why it is relevant now?

Competition in manufacturing sector is intense and it is increasing with each passing day. Companies are shifting their manufacturing base from developed countries to developing countries to become cost effective. To survive in this stiff competition lean manufacturing can play vital role.

Today we will discuss about major project "Value Stream Mapping for Lean Manufacturing" submitted for fulfillment of their major degrees  by Wolfgang Apel, Jia Yong Li and Vanessa Walton at WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE (WPI).

In this report we will see how CIS(Central Industrial Supply), a manufacturing company that produces electro-mechanical components had reduced their production time to almost 50 %.


How it was achieved?
To achieve their target, first they used Value Stream Mapping which is a technique used to analyze and design the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer.This map can be drawn using paper and pencil; however more advanced maps are created
using Microsoft Visio as well as Microsoft Excel.Following is a basic drawing example showing how it is done:

At the second step this team uses arena simulation software to simulate possible future states, in third step they studied companies background and working procedure and in fourth step they gave their recommendations which you can read in their report itself.

Other Projects:

Development of a lean operations system in start-up 

Students will be expected to interface with plant management and manufacturing engineers to improve plant layout, production scheduling, process flow, work cell design, and inventory control systems. Since this project involves a start-up operation, student recommendations are expected to contribute to future design and layout of new assembly lines and inventory control systems at the facility.

I hope this article helped you in understanding Lean manufacturing implementation.

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