Title: A decision support system to define, evaluate and guide the lean assessment and implementation at the shop-floor level

Authors: Saraswati Jituri; Ravneet Kaur; Dimitris Mourtzis; Brian Fleck; Rafiq Ahmad

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alberta, 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada ' Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alberta, 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada ' University of Patras, Patras 26504, Greece ' Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alberta, 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada ' Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing Design and Automation (LIMDA), Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alberta, 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Abstract: This article proposes a way to define leanness, a method to evaluate leanness and a guide to achieve leanness at manufacturing shop-floor level. The methodology evaluates the lean progress in terms of leanness index by considering lean manufacturing wastes and proposes lean rules for the improvement of leanness index. It is a support system for the people working at the shop-floor level in manufacturing firms to implement and practice lean manufacturing. The rapid leanness index evaluation is the unique feature of the proposed methodology. The leanness index helps users to understand the existing level of leanness and how much improvement in the leanness is needed. Lean rules advise users on how the improvements can be achieved. A case study in the Alberta Learning Factory (AllFactory) validates the proposed methodology. The methodology is also backed by a survey, which clarifies the current lean manufacturing practices in Alberta production and manufacturing industries thereby assists in target leanness index identification. Besides, a graphical user interface has been designed to support the quick leanness index evaluation addressing Lean 4.0 requirement. [Submitted 28 December 2018; Accepted 2 December 2019]

Keywords: lean manufacturing; Lean 4.0; Industry 4.0; decision-support system; lean assessment; shop-floor control; production optimisation; productivity improvement; small and medium enterprises; SMEs; manufacturing optimisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMR.2021.119650

International Journal of Manufacturing Research, 2021 Vol.16 No.4, pp.325 - 349

Received: 28 Dec 2018
Accepted: 02 Dec 2019

Published online: 13 Dec 2021 *

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