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Beyond lean: a framework for fit production systems

Williams, Oludare Adebayo 2013. Beyond lean: a framework for fit production systems. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Western manufacturing companies are facing a challenging environment fraught with strong competition from India, China and other emerging economies. In this context, the effectiveness of the traditional production concepts of leanness and agility is being challenged. Against this background, the need for new manufacturing paradigms is set to provide new knowledge, techniques, and concepts useful for managers to address the difficulties of today’s business environment. This work extends the concept of production management beyond the achievement of efficiency short-term goals into the realms of strategic thinking by creating both the framework and the indices for an integrated production system. This research presents fit manufacturing as a new production model for a holistic manufacturing strategy that links the short-term goals of manufacturing effectiveness and efficiency embodied in lean and agile production strategies with the long-term objective of sustainable enterprise management. The research extends the concept of integration beyond ordinary manufacturing functions into the realms of strategic thinking. The thesis gives an operational definition for the concept of fit manufacturing by describing the structural and operational characteristics of the production philosophy. It proposes the central theme of fit xxiii manufacturing as a manufacturing strategy essential to creating an integrated view of the factory – inside out and vice-versa. The idea of an overall fitness index combining measures of leanness, agility and economic sustainability is put forward and justified and the necessary conditions for fitness are derived. A case study showing an application of these different measures and the overall production fitness index is presented. This research has shown that the fit production model combines the strengths of lean and agile manufacturing, with the long-term sustainability and viability of the enterprise. The model can be used to assess the performance of the production process, to evaluate investment proposals such as adding a new product line or increasing the overall capacity of the factory, and to build the enterprise of the future. Keywords: Fit Manufacturing, Agile, Lean, Economic Sustainability, Integration, Fitness

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TS Manufactures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fit Manufacturing, Agile, Lean, Economic Sustainability, Integration, Fitness, Leanness, Systems Modelling
Funders: Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:21

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