Int. J. Production Economics 107 (2007) 223–236 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpe
Analyzing the beneﬁts of lean manufacturing and value stream mapping via simulation: A process sector case study
Fawaz A. Abdulmaleka, Jayant Rajgopalb,Ã
Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department, Kuwait University, Kuwait Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA Received 1 November 2005; accepted 1 September 2006 Available online 28 November 2006
Abstract The ‘‘lean’’ approach has been applied more frequently in discrete manufacturing than in the continuous/process sector, mainly because of several perceived barriers in the latter environment that have caused managers to be reluctant to make the required commitment. We describe a case where lean principles were adapted for the process sector for application at a large integrated steel mill. Value stream mapping was the main tool used to identify the opportunities for various lean techniques. We also describe a simulation model that was developed to contrast the ‘‘before’’ and ‘‘after’’ scenarios in detail, in order to illustrate to managers potential beneﬁts such as reduced production lead-time and lower work-in-process inventory. r 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Lean manufacturing; Value stream mapping; Simulation; Process industries; Steel
1. Introduction Lean manufacturing is one of the initiatives that many major businesses in the United States have been trying to adopt in order to remain competitive in an increasingly global market. The focus of the approach is on cost reduction by eliminating nonvalue added activities. Originating from the Toyota Production System, many of the tools and techniques of lean manufacturing (e.g., just-in-time (JIT), cellular manufacturing, total productive maintenance, single-minute exchange of dies, production smoothing) have been widely used in discrete
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