Title: Lean assemble-to-order manufacturing at Ericsson

Authors: Maria Westin; Diana Chronéer; Anders Segerstedt

Addresses: Industrial Logistics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden; AstraZeneca AB, SE-151 85 Södertälje, Sweden ' Industrial Logistics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden ' Industrial Logistics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden

Abstract: This article describes the findings and results from an improvement project concerning a production line at an Ericsson plant in Sweden. The article is a type of a case study that describes activities and discussions in an improvement project. A value stream mapping showed that only a few percent of the throughput time was really adding value to the customer. In an improvement project the involvements of all employees are important. Interviewing and education of workers/operators lead to that they also contribute with suggestions to improve the production flow. Value stream mapping though often classified as a lean technique is a technique for improvements of most kind of productions, here it is applied to a situation that must be classified more agile than lean. A selection of generated, and rather general, solutions were implemented: reduced buffers; more of a 'one-piece' flow; a reduced waiting time by adding work tasks; a more levelled manufacturing and efficient flow was created by a recombination of processes and a reallocation of work tasks. Our article hopefully stimulates students and practitioners to find improvement activities in similar situations and projects.

Keywords: value stream mapping; VSM; lean production; agile production; production management; empirical study; electronics industry; assemble-to-order; ATO; Ericsson; lean manufacturing; Sweden; value adding; improvement projects.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2013.053235

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2013 Vol.15 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Available online: 10 Apr 2013 *

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