Optimisation of a pillow production line applying Lean principles
Manufacturing companies throughout the world are interested in reducing the time between a customer placing an order and them receiving the payment for that order. This premise is something that is a central characteristic for the Lean philosophy, and is one of the reasons to apply it. Today manufacturers around the world are embracing Lean techniques in order to reduce waste and increase productivity, and also increase the inventory turns, which reflects in an improvement of cash flow for the company. Nowadays, with all the financial turmoil, every company is looking forward to reduce the inventories, to work with Just in Time supply chains, to develop production systems that reduce the scrap and produce only what is needed, saving space, and freeing up time to work on new design and be at the edge of innovation in order to gain market share and keep improving.
This master thesis is focused on implementing the Lean principles in a pillow production line, in order to achieve it, a series of techniques to assess the facility where implemented, which allowed to understand how the facility was working, where is the bottleneck, and to understand the function of it as a system, avoiding to focus on a single point but viewing it as a whole, where each part contributes in a specific and unique way, but where all of them are necessary.
Applying Lean principles is a daunting task that takes a long time, a never ending trial and error process, because of this the goal of this study is to develop the bases for a Lean transformation, a schedule for the implementation will be developed and proposed to the company, after analyzing the facility. The study reveals that it is possible to reduce the lead-time of the facility in 60%, and avoid the backorders situation that is present in the company, improving also the service level.
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