A Lean Transformation Journey - An Insulation Manufacturing Case Study

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Quality and operations management (MPQOM), MSc
Garcia Barillas, Angel
Read, Troy
Elimination of waste in internal activities is key in improving operations in organizations. Tailoring and implementing Lean tools in order to focus on customers and achieve flow efficiency is the beginning of a Lean journey. For organizations to remain competitive they are continually searching for cost reduction, decreasing the lead-time in production and increasing productivity. This master thesis project is developed at an anonymous insulation manufacturing company, referred to as Insulation AB. This company has undergone a very abrupt change due to a high investment to increasing operations in the production department. The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate the present Lean implementation and the future steps that need to be taken in order to improve the production processes at Insulation AB. Implementing change requires following clear guidelines and adhere to time frames. For this reason it is important to understand management goals and sequences towards lean implementation. As the implementation will generate interaction between the shop floor and managers, it is important to identify the next step for improvement and the possible hindering factors that might rise in becoming a Lean company. Insulation AB managers, production supervisors, the continuous improvement team and shop floor workers were interviewed and observed in order to gather data to support the purpose and the research questions of this paper. This research outlines the importance of understanding the differences between the process manufacturing and assembly manufacturing industries for Lean implementation. This difference will affect the way of using Lean tools, implementing standardization and visualization, and analyzing product portfolio at Insulation AB. In order to identify the type company and operating conditions the product, manufacturing and production planning and control characteristics were identified and analyzed. The data collected from interviews and observations was organized between the Lean levels of interpretation to understand the path that Insulation AB is following. The Lean tools 5S, standardization, visual systems, total productive maintenance and continuous improvement were identified as the first steps of Lean implementation at Insulation AB. The framework showed that the company was following Lean tools, which supported the principle of elimination of waste. The next step identified for Insulation AB with their Lean implementation is to implement the principle: creative involve of the workforce and connect the company at all levels. An interactive Quality Management System (iQMS) is suggested to link the communication, documentation and strengthen the Lean implementation at Insulation AB, but requires cross-functional collaboration and communication to build a stronger Lean thinking culture.
Transport , Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi , Transport , Other industrial engineering and economics
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