Notwithstanding the existence of a broad research base on assembly line balancing (ALB), companies do not use the mathematical approaches developed in the literature to configure assembly lines. This article aims to fill the gap between research and application by presenting and testing in a real industrial context a methodology based on complexity reduction and kaizen events. First, the methodology supports reducing the complexity that affects real-life assembly systems in terms of the variety of, e.g. finished products, materials and parts. Next, the methodology proposes the conduction of kaizen events by using lean manufacturing tools, such as process analysis, time observation, waste identification, workstation standard documents and yamazumi charts. The methodology is successfully applied to a case study that describes its use in the confectionery process for a major chocolatier company along with the results of the application. The main contribution of this paper consists in presenting a method to manage the line balancing activity within everyday industrial realities, helping practitioners to improve and maintain the performance over time.

Complexity reduction and kaizen events to balance manual assembly lines: an application in the field

CANNAS, VIOLETTA GIADA;Pero, Margherita;Pozzi, Rossella;Rossi, Tommaso
2018

Abstract

Notwithstanding the existence of a broad research base on assembly line balancing (ALB), companies do not use the mathematical approaches developed in the literature to configure assembly lines. This article aims to fill the gap between research and application by presenting and testing in a real industrial context a methodology based on complexity reduction and kaizen events. First, the methodology supports reducing the complexity that affects real-life assembly systems in terms of the variety of, e.g. finished products, materials and parts. Next, the methodology proposes the conduction of kaizen events by using lean manufacturing tools, such as process analysis, time observation, waste identification, workstation standard documents and yamazumi charts. The methodology is successfully applied to a case study that describes its use in the confectionery process for a major chocolatier company along with the results of the application. The main contribution of this paper consists in presenting a method to manage the line balancing activity within everyday industrial realities, helping practitioners to improve and maintain the performance over time.
assembly line balancing; kaizen; lean manufacturing; standardisation; yamazumi chart; Strategy and Management1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management; Management Science and Operations Research; Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1049589
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