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Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing


Read the Farm Equipment International data set and:

  1. Produce a door-to-door value stream map of the current manufacturing


  1. Outline and answer the eight key questions for the future state design.
  2. Thereby produce a future state map detailing the processes necessary

to operate the factory according to lean manufacturing principles.

  1. Produce an implementation plan for the company to move from

present state to future state.


This coursework is intended to measure the following learning outcomes:

reflect on the significance of lean theory and the application of key lean thinking


critically analyse lean thinking in different engineering sectors;

formulate innovative proposals based on detailed knowledge of the tools and

techniques relating to the implementation of lean thinking;

Farm Equipment International

Farm Equipment International (FEI) produces components and sub-assemblies for

agriculture. Here, we are considering one product family, hydraulic control sections.

These are produced in several configurations for different tractors and markets. The

market for hydraulic control sections covers both original-equipment tractor

assemblers and the aftermarket repair and overhaul businesses that support the

agricultural industry worldwide.

As the company offers a wide variety of possible configurations, and the fact that the

exact configuration each customer requires can vary from order to order, hydraulic

control sections are made to order. A hydraulic control lever currently takes 27 days

to go through the factory. This production lead time and a large order backlog have

resulted in FEI to quote a 60 day lead time to customers. Unfortunately, FEI’s

original-equipment customers can not predict their exact requirements more than 2

weeks before use. As a result they make frequent changes to the detail of their orders

2 weeks before delivery. These changes lead to frequent expediting of batches at the

FEI factory.

Production Control at FEI releases customer orders to the factory approximately in the

sequence that they are received, the shop floor supervisors and operators “batch” the

orders together by configuration in an attempt to reduce the number of changeovers.

This also leads to expediting of orders.

The product

A hydraulic control section is a metal tube with a cast connector welded to

each end.

Hydraulic control sections are available in 20 different lengths, 2 diameters,

and with 3 different types of connectors. Each end of a hydraulic control

section can have a different connector. This means that FEI can supply 240

different finished hydraulic control sections.

Customer requirements

24000 hydraulic control sections per month.

Order size varies from 20 pieces up to 200 pieces. Average order size is 50


Up to 5 hydraulic control sections per box.

Several shipments each day by truck to different customers.

Each order from each customer varies in quantity and configuration.

FEI requires orders to arrive 60 days before shipping of finished hydraulic

control sections.

Customers may change the mix of configurations up to 2 weeks before the

shipping date.

Production Processes

All the hydraulic control sections follow the same basic factory routing:

Cut tube Weld Weld Remove Paint Assembly

1st end 2nd end flash (contractor)

Machine Castings

FEI’s routing for producing hydraulic control sections is to cut a metal tube to

length, weld the connectors in place, deflash (remove the excess weld

material), painting (done at an external contractor’s premises), and finally

assembly of the connectors. The cast connectors are also machined at FEI’s

factory. Finished hydraulic control sections are shipped to customers daily.

Switching between tube lengths requires a 15 minute changeover at the

cutting, welding and deflash workstations.

Switching between tube diameters takes a 60 minute changeover at the cutting,

welding and deflash operations. This longer changeover is mostly due to a “1st

off” quality control inspection after such a changeover.

Switching between each of the three types of cast connectors takes a 2 hour

changeover at the machining operation.

Tubes are supplied by Kentish Tube Systems Ltd. The lead time for obtaining

tubes is 4 months (16 weeks). Kentish Tube Systems Ltd. deliver products

every 2 weeks.

Raw castings for the end connectors are supplied by Essex Castings Ltd. The

lead time for obtaining castings is 3 months (12 weeks). Essex Castings Ltd.

deliver products every 2 weeks.

Work Time

20 days in a month.

2 shifts per day in each department.

8 hours per shift, overtime added if necessary.

Two breaks each shift, 15 minutes per break.

oManual processes stop for breaks

oLunch is not paid.

FEI Production Control

Receives customer orders 60 days from shipment, and enter them to MRP


Generates a “shop order” per customer order. This follows the product through

the entire production process.

Release shop orders to the factory 6 weeks before the shipment date to

accelerate MRP’s ordering of tubes and castings.

Issue a daily production list to supervisors in production departments.

Supervisors schedule shop orders through their department.

Receives customer configuration changes 2 weeks before shipment and

advises department supervisors to expedite orders as necessary.

Issues daily shipping schedule to Despatch Department.

Process Information

  1. Cutting (the saw cuts tubes and rods for many FEI product families).

Manual process, 1 operator

Cycle time = 15 seconds

Changeover time = 15 minutes (length), 60 minutes (diameter)

Reliability = 100%


  1. 20 days of uncut tubes
  2. 5 days of cut tubes.
  3. Welding workstation 1 (dedicated to the hydraulic control sections product


Welds the first machined casting to the tube

Automatic process, with operator load and unload external to the

machine cycle

Cycle time:

  1. Operator = 10 seconds
  2. Machine = 30 seconds

Changeover time = 15 minutes (length), 60 minutes (diameter)

Reliability = 90%

Inventory = 3 days of welded sections.

  1. Welding workstation 2 (dedicated to the hydraulic control sections product


welds the second machined casting to the tube

Automatic process, with operator load and unload external to the

machine cycle

Cycle time:

  1. Operator = 10 seconds
  2. Machine = 30 seconds

Changeover time = 15 minutes (length), 60 minutes (diameter)

Reliability = 80%

Inventory = 3 days of welded sections.

  1. Deflash workstation (dedicated to the hydraulic control sections product


Automatic process, with operator load and unload external to the

machine cycle

Cycle time:

  1. Operator = 10 seconds
  2. Machine = 30 seconds

Changeover time = 15 minutes (length), 60 minutes (diameter)

Reliability = 100%

Inventory = 5 days of deflashed sections.

  1. Painting (hydraulic control sections are shipped to an outside contractor for


Painting lead time = 2 days

One daily truck pickup of unpainted sections and drop-off of painted


Observed inventory:

  1. 2 days at the painter
  2. 6 days of painted sections at FEI.
  3. Connector assembly (dedicated to the hydraulic control sections product


Manual process with 6 operators

Total Work Time per Piece = 195 seconds

Changeover time = 10 minutes fixture swap

Reliability = 100%

Observed finished goods inventory in warehouse = 4 days of finished

hydraulic control sections.

  1. Machining of Castings (dedicated to the hydraulic control sections product


Automatic machining process with one machine attendant

Cycle time = 30 seconds

Changeover time = 2 hours

Reliability = 100%

Observed inventory:

  1. 20 days of raw castings from the supplier
  2. 4 days of machined castings.
  3. Despatch department

Removes parts from finished goods warehouse and stages them for

truck shipment to customers.


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