Abstract Many organisations both in India and abroad are implementing ‘Lean Manufacturing (LM)’. But only a few companies have achieved a significant competitive advantage over others. One of the reasons for the same can be attributed to the lack of understanding by the managers’ regarding ‘what changes will happen in an organisation, when it gets transformed by the principles and practices of LM?’ To resolve this issue, researchers have suggested that simulation can be used as an effective tool to provide the managers with a real-time picture of the changes that will happen in an organisation. But, a review of literature related to simulation and LM revealed that most of the studies are focused on analysing one or few issues such as finding the optimal size of kanbans, scheduling for mixed model assembly etc. Very few studies have been undertaken, considering the combined implementation of JIT/LM elements. Further, according to our knowledge, no study exists, which describes about a simulation that deals with an implementation of multiple LM elements especially in a batch manufacturing environment. Hence, in this paper, an attempt has been made to address these issues by developing a simulation model for designing the Lean Manufacturing Systems (LMS) based on the real-life data from a case organisation. Apart from this, it helps in demonstrating the overall impact of LM tools and techniques on the performance measures of the organisation.
Keywords: Lean Manufacturing Systems (LMS), Simulation, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Performance measures, Batch Manufacturing, Friction material, Waste elimination
Development of a Simulation Model for the Design of Lean Manufacturing Systems – A Case Study of a Batch Manufacturing Industry
1. Introduction In recent years, many organisations both in India and other countries are implementing the principles and concepts of ‘Lean Manufacturing (LM)’ with the objective of achieving a superior competitive advantage over other organisations. Few companies have attained their objective, while many of them did not. For instance, Seth and Gupta (2005) discussed about the application of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) for productivity improvement of an Indian company and reported about the gain in production output per person and reduction of WorkIn-Process (WIP) and Finished Goods Inventory (FGI). On the other hand, Bamber and Dale (2000) discussed about the application of lean production methods to a traditional aerospace manufacturing organisation and found that there are two main stumbling blocks to the LM application - the redundancy programme and a lack of employee education in the concept and principles of lean production. Further, they identified that a number of methods of lean production were not as effective as in the motor manufacturing environment. Apart from the stumbling blocks identified above, other reasons include: the managers of these organisations may not have clearly understood about the following: • •
How to implement LM? What changes will happen in an organisation, when it gets transformed through LM? and
How LM will affect the performance measures of an organisation?
To overcome the first issue (i.e. how to implement LM), researchers have proposed different methodologies and steps. For example, Womack and Jones (1996) have enumerated the five tenets of LM and emphasised that VSM has to be carried out as the first step towards LM implementation. Dhandapani et al. (2004) presented a case study of a steel company and
demonstrated the construction of current state and future state VSMs and explained that per annum production costs can be reduced by 8% of turnover, while capital equivalent to 3.5% of turnover can be released through the removal of inventory. As evident from the above case, it can be found that VSM...