Research on Lean Manufacturing
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Research on Lean Manufacturing


Research on Lean Manufacturing

Three of the research projects funded by National Shipbuilding Research Program (USA) involve Lean Manufacturing - a manufacturing philosophy, which seeks to reduce overall lead-time from raw material to customer order by eliminating non-value added waste. Quality is built in at the source, rather than inspected in. Processes are highly standardized and timed. The goal of lean manufacturing is to achieve the highest quality, lowest cost, and shortest lead-time.

It is anticipated that implementing lean manufacturing principles in shipbuilding could improve productivity by at least 50 percent and shorten build time by 100 percent. World Class Manufacturing Model provides a roadmap for shipbuilder process assessment and improvement. It is built on the principles of Lean Manufacturing and targets a 50 percent improvement in construction cycle time and labour cost by 2006. This project aims to prove the concept of lean shipbuilding in the U.S. as well as provide a number of tools, such as value stream mapping. Value stream mapping is a proven tool for drawing the current situation, highlighting today’s waste, and then developing a future state vision that greatly reduces this waste.

World Class Material Standards and Design Rules project draws on the lean manufacturing principle of “takt time” that is, having an equal amount of work at each stage of the assembly line process. To accomplish this, ship construction is divided into blocks with standardization build into each block. This project is attempting to develop standardized basic component and subassembly designs. This will reduce the amount of change to blocks as they are reused in different ship construction projects and will dramatically reduce time and cost, and improve quality. The shipyard begins to resemble a manufacturing facility rather than the craft shops of today. Researchers working on the project have already delivered more than 500 standards for structural details, pipe, electrical, HVAC, and metal outfit.

Five S is the implementation of standard workplace organization. Clutter creates significant hidden costs in accidents and injury rates and even greater hidden costs in lost productivity. A clean and organized workplace is one of the foundations on which world class manufacturing is built. Five S supports the concept of lean manufacturing by reducing clutter and focusing on organizing the tools and materials to support value-added work. The goal is to have a place for everything and everything in its place, clean and ready for use. Making the workplace clean and organized is called Five S in lean manufacturing.

Dr. Liker

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