Title: Improvement of steel melting operations at a Caribbean company: a lean manufacturing approach

Authors: Boppana V. Chowdary; Christopher Fullerton

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago ' Fullierre Concepts Ltd., 2393 Bronte Road, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of deploying lean manufacturing (LM) techniques in a Caribbean steel manufacturing firm. To conduct the study, a comprehensive review of literature was performed. The problems faced by the company were analysed using value stream mapping in conjunction with 5-why and fishbone quality tools. The study shows that the lead time can be reduced by 37%, reduction in processing time by 7.5% and reduction in work-in-process inventory by (71%). Overall, the study not only provides a road map for similar manufacturing companies elsewhere to achieve operational leanness but it is also valuable for academic community to gain insights into the practicality of the proposed LM strategies. However, the research findings are based on a single case study and results have been validated by simulation.

Keywords: Caribbean steel melting; lean manufacturing; LM; 5S; 5-why; value stream mapping; VSM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOM.2019.098521

International Journal of Advanced Operations Management, 2019 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.102 - 125

Received: 29 Apr 2018
Accepted: 15 Nov 2018

Published online: 14 Mar 2019 *

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