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Leanness assessment of a complex assembly line using integrated value stream mapping: a case study

Narpat Ram Sangwa (Area of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Indian Institute of Management Sirmaur, Paonta Sahib, India)
Kuldip Singh Sangwan (Mechanical Engineering Department, Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Pilani, India)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 21 April 2022

Issue publication date: 4 May 2023

1074

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes an integrated value stream mapping (VSM) for a complex assembly line to improve the leanness of a complex automotive component manufacturing organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study depicts the application of VSM at the case organization, where top management is concerned about the challenges of higher cycle time and lower productivity. Gemba walks were conducted to establish the concept of “walk the flow, create the flow” along the assembly line. The multi-hierarchical cross-functional team developed the current value stream map to know the “as-is” state. Then, the team analysed the current VSM and proposed the future VSM for the “to-be” state.

Findings

The integrated VSM shows different processes and work cells, various wastes, non-value-added activities, cycle time, uptime and the material and information flows for both products of the assembly line on the same map. The integrated VSM reduced cycle time, non-value-added activities, work in process inventory and improved line efficiency and production per labour hour for both the products, simultaneously.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of the study is that the study focussed only on the application of VSM for one complex assembly only. Future research may be conducted using the developed integrated VSM approach in other complex production environments.

Practical implications

Managers can identify and reduce system waste by incorporating the concept of integrated VSM in a complex production or assembly environment where two or more products are being manufactured/assembled with low similarity.

Originality/value

The application of VSM for assembly lines is highly challenging because of merging flows, a large number of child parts in the lines and assembly of more than one product on the same line.

Keywords

Citation

Sangwa, N.R. and Sangwan, K.S. (2023), "Leanness assessment of a complex assembly line using integrated value stream mapping: a case study", The TQM Journal, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 893-923. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-12-2021-0369

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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