10th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

Lean in a High Mix, Low Volume Manufacturing Environment – Case study

Anees Hussain, Jose Eduardo Munive Hernandez & Felician Campean
Publisher: IEOM Society International
0 Paper Citations
Track: Lean Six Sigma Case Study Competition

Market competition is fierce and has been intensified due to globalization, therefore companies have experienced increase pressure to improve cycle and delivery times and achieve a high level of customization. Lean principles have been designed and implemented to respond to market changes. However, these principles are commonly aimed to aid low-mix high-volume (LMHV) manufacturers. This paper aims to produce an approach to implement a lean framework in a high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing environment. An HMLV manufacturing environment, currently produces a variety of products which differs in terms of shape and size and different sequence of operation.

Furthermore, analysis of the manufacturing assembly shows there is a substantial variation in cycle and changeover time from product to product. In this approach, an action based study has been completed. This study uses data collection methods to be applied in order to calculate timings to be used in a Discrete Event Simulation (DES). The simulation uses lean tools to study material movement and facility layout to minimize bottlenecks and eliminate waste from the process. An introduction of lean supermarket is considered within the simulation whereby an operator withdraws products in an specific amount needed by a downstream process before introducing it across the assembly floor and an action plan is created. As a result, a lean manufacturing simulation study has been implemented to evaluate the effects of a supermarket concept within the current manufacturing environment. Initial results show a variation within the cycle and setup times for each of the different products due to the nature of the process. The paper, is limited to applying the approach to a singular production line and a singular manufacturing plant. The practical implications to implement this approach into a manufacturing environment is that there should be a need from the company. This approach should be driven by senior members within the organization as the resistance to change would increase the risk of failure. Another implication of the proposed approach is to ensure the accuracy of the data collected and to introduce a series of briefs within each stage of the approach. This is important as all stakeholders would need to be kept up-to-date with the project. However, the approach is applicable to any organization and can be applied to any sector. This paper, proposes a systematic approach to implement a lean framework in a high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturing environment. The approach is validated in British manufacturing organization competing in global markets.  

Published in: 10th Annual International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Publisher: IEOM Society International
Date of Conference: March 10-12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5323-5952-1
ISSN/E-ISSN: 2169-8767