Lean Manufacturing and Its Techniques in the Process Industry with Focus on Steel

Topics: Lean manufacturing, Manufacturing, Toyota Production System Pages: 6 (1925 words) Published: February 10, 2013

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1. Introduction 2

2. History 4 3. Problem statement 7

4. Research Objective 9

5. Research Approach 10

1. Introduction

This research addresses application of lean manufacturing concepts to the continuous production/process sector with a focus on the steel industry. After World War II Japanese manufactures, particularly in the automotive industry, were faced with the dilemma of shortages of material, financial and human resources.Eiji Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno at the Toyota Motor Company on Japan pioneered the concept of Toyota Production System, or what is known as “Lean Manufacturing. “The basic idea behind the system is eliminating waste. Waste is defined as anything that does not add value to the end product from the customer’s perspective. The primary objective of lean manufacturing is to assist manufacturers who have a desire to improve their company’s operations and become more competitive through the implementation of different lean manufacturing tools and techniques. Quickly following the success of lean manufacturing in Japan other companies and industries. The term “lean” as Womack and jones defined it denotes a system that utilizes less in terms of all inputs to create the same outputs as those created by a traditional mass production system, while contributing increased varieties for the end customer. Lean is to manufacture only what is needed by the customer, when it is needed and in the quantities ordered. The manufacture of Goods is done in a way that minimizes the time taken to deliver the finished goods, the amount of labour required and the floor space required, and it’s done with the highest quality and unusual, at the low cost.

2. History of Lean

Although there are instances of rigorous process thinking in manufacturing all the way back to the Arsenal in Venice in the 1450s, the first person to truly integrate an entire production process was Henry Ford. At Highland Park, MI, in 1913 he married consistently interchangeable parts with standard work and moving conveyance to create what he called flow production. The public grasped this in the dramatic form of the moving assembly line, but from the standpoint of the manufacturing engineer the breakthroughs actually went much further. Ford lined up fabrication steps in process sequence wherever possible using special-purpose machines and go/no-go gauges to fabricate and assemble the components going into the vehicle within a few minutes, and deliver perfectly fitting components directly to line-side. This was a truly revolutionary break from the shop practices of the American System that consisted of general-purpose machines grouped by process, which made parts that eventually found their way into finished products after a good bit of tinkering (fitting) in subassembly and final assembly. The problem with Ford’s system was not the flow: He was able to turn the inventories of the entire company every few days. Rather it was his inability to provide variety. The Model T was not just limited to one colour. It was also limited to one specification so that all Model T chassis were essentially identical up through the end of production in 1926. (The customer did have a choice of four or five body styles, a drop-on feature from outside suppliers added at the very end of the production line.) Indeed, it appears that practically every machine in the Ford Motor Company worked on a single part number, and there were essentially no...
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