Developing a procedure to optimise cycle time in a manufacturing plant
Venter, Johannes Petrus
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Productivity advances generated from ‘lean manufacturing’ are self–evident. Plants that adopt ‘lean’ are more capable of achieving shorter lead times, less waste in the system and higher quality levels. The goal of this study was to ascertain which ‘lean’ tools and techniques are available for use. A matrix was constructed with a summation of the authors who agree that specific ‘lean’ tools will reduce cycle time. It was found that reduced set–up time and waste elimination are most affected by the implementation of ‘lean’ tools and techniques. An empirical study was conducted to confirm the results of the literature study. The respondents’ knowledge on the ‘lean’ tools was also tested. It was found that respondents have a sound understanding of set–up time; they agree that it must be reduced in the plant. Pre–scientific evidence and the response from the empirical study confirm that there is a substantial amount of waste in the factory. A current state value–stream map was drawn from a single welded part Product X. The value–stream was analysed to reduce the cycle time in the process, with the focus on set–up time reduction and waste elimination. The future state value–stream map was drawn, displaying astonishing results. A continuous improvement (kaizen) programme will help reduce the cycle time even further by making use of the other ‘lean’ tools discussed in this study. This programme forms part of the procedure to optimise cycle time.