Vägen till Lean Production : Historien bakom Lean och dess nutida användning
Abstract (Summary)There are many important challenges for industry of today, and efficient manufacturing is one of them. To manage some of these challenges many businesses put a lot of faith in the management philosophy called Lean Production. The first objective of this report is to find out how three different Swedish companies have worked with the complex toolbox of Lean production and how they have implemented these tools. The second objective of this report is to analyze possible similarities between the implementations of Lean and the fourteen management principles of efficient manufacturing according to Toyota.In 1911 Fredrick Winslow Taylor published an article, “Principles of Scientific Management”, on how to make industry more efficient. Henry Ford, the father of modern cars, accepted Taylor’s ideas and applied them in his new car factory in Detroit in 1912. Taylor’s fundamental ideas together with Ford’s enterprising attitude and the modern assembly line led to large sales success of the T-Ford. Some decades later the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota interested themselves in the American management of making cars due to financial difficulties. In 1950 Toyota started the process of developing their own production management system, Toyota Production System. The Japanese production system was successful and lifted Toyota out of the financial crisis. The 1973 oil crisis limited the sales of big American cars in favour of smaller and cheaper Japanese ones. The American car makers paid attention and financed a research project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in order to develop an even better production system, Lean Production.The three case studies, two factories of AstraZeneca in Södertälje and a Volvo Powertrain factory in Skövde have developed different strategies in implementing Lean Production. The empirical studies are based on personal interviews with people understanding the development work in each organisation. The first AstraZeneca factory shows a noncommittal approach where the employees take a great part in the decision-making process. The second AstraZeneca factory shows a more strict approach where the result-orientated tools are in the centre of interest. The Volvo Powertrain factory has gained experience from this kind of development work through the past twenty years. They have had both the time and knowledge to implement a wide range of tools and methods.To make the Lean projects permanent and a way of life rather than just a set of tools it is important for organisations to implement both the human relation approach and the structural tool-oriented approach. The human relation approach focuses on the employees, their self-esteem and their right to be a part of the decision-making. The core of the structural approach is the result oriented tools and methods. The case studies clearly show that the fourteen principles of Toyota Production System represent a holistic view on logistics development. If some of the principles are not represented in a project there is a big risk that the project will fail. Resilience is the key word to increase the chance of being Lean.
School:Högskolan i Skövde
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:08/13/2007