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Identification of improvement areas in the goods receiving process at GE Healthcare
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This report is a result of the final project of the authors’ Master of Science degree that was conducted at General Electric Healthcare’s Umeå Plant. The project was initiated to contribute to the efforts already taking place in order to improve the plant’s delivery reliability. Though there were many factors involved, some of the problems were found to be associated with the internal material receiving process. The focus of this report is therefore on mapping and developing this process with respect to lead time and variability in lead time. To suit this specific task, the three improvement philosophies of Six Sigma, Lean and Theory of Constraints were combined to make up the working model of the project. Six Sigma was used to attack the process variation and Lean to minimise waiting time and increase the value to the customer. Theory of Constraints was used to maximise throughput by identifying and strengthening the weakest link. To tie the three philosophies together the Plan Do Check Act-cycle was used, intended to encourage systematic improvements of the process. By mapping and evaluating the current state of the goods receiving process, five improvement areas were revealed, namely: lack of process follow up, quality inspection as a process constraint, lack of first in first out-flow and ineffective space utilisation, insufficient process deviation management and disturbances in the material flow caused by material shortages. Suggestions to solving the discovered problems have been developed in cooperation with the process operators and summarised in an action plan. One of the suggested changes is to calculate the costs associated with handling and inspection of deliveries and then incorporate this cost in the selection and evaluation of suppliers. Another part of the action plan is to evaluate the process capability of the suppliers to determine the need for quality inspection at arrival. Regarding the process operations, automatic registration, simplified handling through pre-packaging and first in first out handling routines are suggested to speed up the flow. A system for regular process follow-up and deviations management is also proposed. A secondary purpose of the project has been to contribute to the knowledge of student led improvement work by reflecting on experiences from performing research related to the primary purpose. Besides the support that the project working model is contributing with, the most important success factors were found to be a common understanding and agreement of the purpose of the project, active involvement and participation by operators and management and regular project follow-up together with key persons.

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Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-55002ISRN: LTU-EX--07/040--SELocal ID: beb0b17d-832b-4d71-9553-00ffd916227aOAI: diva2:1028383
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial and Management Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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