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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2018

Andreas Lugert, Aglaya Batz and Herwig Winkler

Value stream mapping (VSM) is very common in the manufacturing industry to enhance transparency and support improvements within the production process. The purpose of this…

2007

Abstract

Purpose

Value stream mapping (VSM) is very common in the manufacturing industry to enhance transparency and support improvements within the production process. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current status of the method from the user’s point of view and addresses its future sustainability in the context of the ongoing digitalization.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical survey with 170 participants from different branches was conducted. The web-based questionnaire covers the topics Lean Management, respectively, VSM, Industry 4.0, the integration of both approaches as well as a possible need for action to modify the VSM. Results are analyzed in a quantitative way.

Findings

Benefits and shortcomings of VSM are already confirmed by previous publications. The serious challenge is the lack of flexibility of the method. In general users appreciate a combination of Lean methods and solutions of Industry 4.0. Moreover 92 percent of the participating experts request further development of the VSM using digitalization to compensate weaknesses.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based only on Lean expert’s opinion. Over 95 percent of the participants are from Europe however most of them are from Germany. Although the results are adequate an international expansion of the survey would be advisable in order to distinguish local differences and similarities. In future work researchers need to further develop VSM to overcome the identified gaps.

Practical implications

Results of the study indicate the viewpoint of experts within different branches. This enables users to undertake a self-assessment regarding their own VSM-estimation.

Originality/value

This paper provides a current evaluation of the VSM from an exploratory perspective. The impact of global trends and new opportunities facilitated by digitalization are considered. Shortcomings and fields of actions become clear. Based on that necessity further research activities can be designed.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 February 2021

Christian Stockmann, Herwig Winkler and Martin Kunath

The concept of robustness in manufacturing is not easy to capture and even harder to quantify. This paper elaborates an approach to assess robustness in production systems…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of robustness in manufacturing is not easy to capture and even harder to quantify. This paper elaborates an approach to assess robustness in production systems from a holistic input-throughput-output perspective using a pragmatic robustness indicator.

Design/methodology/approach

First, in order to have a precise understanding of what needs to be measured, a concept of robustness in production systems is defined based on a literature overview. Three different aspects are considered to be essential to comprehensively describe robustness in production: the deviations of input resources, of performance and of output. These aspects are translated into an aggregated indicator based on developments of production costs, order delays and output volumes. The indicator-based assessment approach is eventually applied to a flow-shop scheduling case study in the chipboard industry.

Findings

The study shows that an assessment of robustness should not solely focus on a single aspect of a production system. Instead, a holistic view is required addressing the tradeoffs that robustness must balance, such as the one between the realized performance, the corresponding resource requirements and the resulting output. Furthermore, the study emphasizes that robustness can be interpreted as a superior system capability that builds upon flexibility, agility, resilience and resistance.

Research limitations/implications

First, the paper is a call to further test and validate the proposed approach in industry case studies. Second, the paper suggests a modified understanding of robustness in production systems in which not only the deviation of one single variable is of interest but also the behavior of the whole system.

Practical implications

The approach allows practitioners to pragmatically evaluate a production system’s robustness level while quickly identifying drivers, barriers and tradeoffs.

Originality/value

Compared to existing assessment approaches the proposed methodology is one of the first that evaluates robustness in production systems from a holistic input-throughput-output perspective highlighting the different tradeoffs that have to be balanced. It is based upon a comprehensive concept of robustness which also links robustness to adjacent capabilities that were otherwise only treated separately.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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