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A Lean Approach to Inventory and Production Improvements within the Plastic Industry
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’smanufacturing climate there is an increased focus on the use of the principles that form the foundation for the Lean manufacturing philosophy to create efficient and effective companies. Within Lean there is a great focus on identifying and eliminating waste. One of the seven wastes that Lean thinking strives to eliminate is the keeping of unnecessary inventory.

The purpose ofthis study is to discover areas of improvement in a production flow and to give suggestions on these through finding and eliminating waste in the production environment. The production flow has been mapped using value stream mapping and has been analyzed accordingly. The specific production flow that has been mapped is located to a plant in the southern parts of Sweden and is operating within the plastic industry. At this plant, a specific product family has been mapped from raw material to shipment. In parallel with the empirical work literature studies have been conducted. The literature studies have sought to create a theoretical support for the result of the study.

The current state at the factory has been mapped to create an understanding for the authors and the reader but also to give the study credibility with the company.  At the company observations and interviews have been conducted, mainly within two areas; the extrusion and the conversion into sheets. In addition to this thorough observations and calculations of inventory levels have been made, mainly in the semi-finished goods inventory. As the current state has been mapped thoroughly an analysis of the value stream has been conducted. Two areas have been focused upon in the analysis; the semi-finished goods inventory and the sheeting process. The observations and the analysis have shown disorganization in the inventory which causes materialto be forgotten and obsolete. In the sheeting process the analysis has shown that the lack of work instructions leads to variations in the cycle time and to variations in the mode of work. The inconsistency in the way work is conducted makes it difficult to obtain a common standard on quality.

The analysis has resulted in an action plan which will lead to improvements in the production flow. In connection to this a future state map has been developed illustrating the desired state. The points of action are focused on the semi-finished goods inventory and the sheeting process. The major changes are the implementation of a FIFO-lane to increase the structure in the inventory and the development of work instructions for the sheeting process.

The method used has been discussed and also the results obtained in the study and the compliance of the results with the purpose and thesis questions have been discussed. The study has also lead to suggestions for further studies that the company should investigate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
FIFO-lane, standardized work, value stream analysis, waste elimination, production flow, Lean
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-15174OAI: diva2:419953
Subject / course
JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management
Available from: 2011-06-07 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2011-06-07Bibliographically approved

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