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Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Principles

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Published: Thu, 31 Aug 2017

In their Journal of Engineering, Project, and Production Management article, “Development of a Framework for a Lean based Water and Energy Efficiency Assessment Tool”, Davies and Merwe (2015) discussed the most suitable lean manufacturing principles that enhance the energy and water utility, consumption and their effects on improvement of energy and water efficiency. The authors identified that the South African industries are facing issues regarding the increased energy consumption and increased prices for water for the consumption of the manufacturing industry and mainly concentrated on implementing lean manufacturing tool for increasing the efficiency of energy and water resources by reducing the wastes (2015, p.98). Lean manufacturing principles are useful for continuous improvement through the elimination of various forms of wastages in the process. About five lean manufacturing principles are utilized for the suggestion of model or framework for improving the performance of the manufacturing processes, thereby eliminating the wastage in the processes, that include “identifying the value, describing the value stream, building a flow, establishing pull production and seeking for perfection” (2015, p.99).  By considering the five lean principles, the authors identified the aspects behind the wastage of energy and water that include leakages, the inefficient size of the equipment, idle time, shortcomings in the engineering management and loss due to the heat (2015, p.100). The major aim of the authors is effective utilization of water and energy within the organization, by implementing lean manufacturing principles. The value stream mapping (VSM) is a graphical tool which is the combination of various lean manufacturing tools that represents the information about the manufacturing process logically in a specified manner. The authors selected VSM as the effective lean tool for improving the energy and water efficiency by eliminating the wastages. The proposed planning map can be drawn by the lean practitioner and based upon the analysis of prepared map the necessary activities are implemented for process improvement. The VSM which is drawn based on the present state of the industry, is basis for the Water Energy Stream Map that is clearly explained by the author. The WESM (Water Energy Stream Map) mapping involves mainly three phases that include analysis phase, design phase and implementation phase. In analysis phase, the practitioners gather required data for analysis and the present status of energy consumption graph can be developed and water and energy management opportunities are determined. In the design phase, the future state of the map can be prepared by considering the data gathered in analysis phase (2015, p.103). The final phase or the implementation phase involves implementing various activities for the improvement of the process based upon the design which in turn is based upon the various ground realities ascertained during the analysis phase (2015, p.104).  The authors also discussed the forecasting methodology for comparing the forecast of water or energy consumption with the actual consumption after the implementation of the frame work for identifying the improvement in the process with WESM framework. The authors have chosen regression analysis as the statistical tool with R2 to determine the strong correlation between the variables and an R2 of 0.75 or more to signify strong relationship in between water or energy consumption as the dependent variable and production volume as independent variable. The authors have suggested further research towards ascertaining the effectiveness of usage of the tool (WESM) in the manufacturing sector usage (2015, p.105).

Strength and validity of claims

Davies and Merwe (2015) have provided supportive information for their claims which are represented in the article. The authors have claimed that a suitable tool is required for ascertaining the factors, increasing the efficiency of water and energy and developed WESM framework, based on the ‘value steam stream mapping’ of the lean tool (2015, p.103). The authors expect that focusing on continuous improvement will increase the energy and water efficiency in long term and implementation of lean tools are helpful to enhance the efficiency of water and energy, thereby reducing wastage in the process and the authors clearly mentioned that the consumption of power and water are high in South African industries, with evidence by collecting the data of power and water consumption in various fields (2015, p.100).  The authors identified that different categories of energy wastages that include leakages, sizes of the equipment, idle time, engineering management and heat losses in the process. The authors strongly believe that these wastes can be eliminated by using lean tool ‘Value Stream Mapping’ (2015, p.102). By using VSM, it is easy to eliminate nonvalue-added activities in the process which results in increasing the efficiency of output. The authors also mentioned about utilizing the forecasting methodology for determining the performance of the WESM framework regarding whether it improves the energy and water efficiency or not (2015, p.104). Qualitative and quantitative methods have been utilized towards strengthening the claims and hence providing the validity of the overall claim of implementing the lean methodology and tools for achieving the efficiency of the water and energy resources.

Recommendations

I strongly believe that the article provides good knowledge regarding the implementation of lean manufacturing principles for improving the efficiency of energy and water. The wastages in consumption of energy and water can be reduced through the implementation of lean manufacturing principles within the organization. In this article, the author mainly focuses on the challenges which are faced by the South African manufacturing industries, so that this article is helpful to the manufacturing industries. I would like to recommend this article to the various manufacturing industries to reduce their energy consumption costs by eliminating wastage and for the students, researchers, industrial professionals to improve their skills and knowledge in production management through lean management approaches and tools used in this research document. There is a scope for further research in ascertaining the suitability of the forecasting method for the efficiency of the tool and the tool for the usage in all the different industrial sectors.

References

Edward Davies, & Karl van der Merwe. (2015). Development of a Framework for a Lean based Water and Energy Efficiency Assessment Tool. Journal of Engineering, Project, And Production Management, 5(2), 98-106. Retrieved from: http://www.ppml.url.tw/EPPM_Journal/volumns/05_02_July_2015/ID_116_5_2_98_106.pdf


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