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Novel Method to Systematically Implement Lean Production in Machining Areas

Abstract

The major goal of lean production is implementing continuous flow production value streams according to just-in-time principles, having one-piece-flow as an ideal. The implementation of such systems is quite widespread in assembly areas, whereas implementations for machine-intensive manufacturing processes are lacking behind due to a considerably higher technical complexity. A simple transfer of the methods used for creating flow in assembly areas is not possible. In order to enhance lean production implementation for machining areas, a novel method has been developed to transform batch size-oriented machining into synchronous one-piece flow machining. It comprises a six-phase approach based on existing practices in lean production. The approach starts with generating process understanding and removing barriers for flow production, and then addresses process stabilization before establishing the prerequisites for a continuous material flow via group technology and manufacturing cells. Afterwards, information flow is facilitated and man-machine interaction is designed, before flexibility towards changes in customer demand are implemented. The method has been validated both in the Process Learning Factory CiP at TU Darmstadt as well as in several industrial manufacturing companies.

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Autor|en des ETA-Teams