Improving engineering processes using Lean Six Sigma
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Quality and operations management (MPQOM), MSc
This thesis project aims to improve operational engineering processes in the automation industry. The engineering operations at FlexLink are responsible for designing customized conveyor solutions according to customer specifications. FlexLink is expecting significant growth during the next five years and is in need of increased capacity. During the past they have experienced difficulties in growing without investing corresponding resources. In other words, they could only grow at a linear rate. Therefore, FlexLink desires to increase the productivity of their operations in order to achieve larger output with the same amount of input, thus allowing exponential growth. Several improvement projects were initiated within the global Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program deployed at the company, with the purpose of facilitating the future growth plans. This thesis was one of the initiated LSS projects and had its focus on investigating smaller engineering projects where the outcome is a simple conveyor system design. In addition to the overall capacity and productivity problem, FlexLink had received indications that they are too expensive in the category of smaller conveyor systems and thus less competitive in this area. The company desired to reduce the amount of manual engineering work in the engineering projects as much as possible by automating process steps, as a means to become more competitive in delivering simple conveyor solutions. The thesis project was performed according to the DMAIC framework known from Six Sigma, in combination with the corporate group guidelines for LSS projects. The process of small engineering projects was investigated in order to both identify waste in the process and explore the possibility of automating process steps. The result was identification of over 6000 engineering hours/year of waste in the process, as well as concrete improvement recommendations with 1.5 MSEK in annual savings by automating process steps into the already existing IT tools. Furthermore, a new productivity KPI was introduced in order to monitor and measure the performance of future improvement projects. The KPI was tested on historical data, which showed that FlexLink had indeed not been able to increase productivity during the past two years.
Industriell organisation, administration och ekonomi , Hållbar utveckling , Produktion , Industrial organisation, administration and economics , Sustainable Development , Production