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Transitioning radical improvement to continuous improvement
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8291-7362
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. IPR .ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3187-7932
2012 (English)In: Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing: 22nd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, Helsinki, Finland: FAIM 2012 and Tampere University of Technology, Department of Production Engineering , 2012Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Lean Production can be implemented by performing a radical improvement step, Kaikaku, that thereafter enables continuous improvement, Kaizen. However, the overall success and competitiveness of a company lays in its ability to combine radical improvement with continuous improvement; with radical improvement achieve fast results and with continuous improvement sustain results and gradually improve. The purpose of the study presented in this paper is to investigate the relationships between radical and continuous improvement. What factors enable continuous improvement after radical improvement, and what can be done to further develop continuous improvement after radical improvement? A case study has been conducted at a company that has accomplished a radical improvement step and started their work with continuous improvement. Six pilot groups from the production facilities were observed, and interviews with supervisors, team leaders and operators were conducted. A number of business ratios have been collected in order to investigate the progress of the continuous improvement work. The study shows that success factors important for enabling continuous improvement after radical improvement are Participation, Control and Follow-up, Leadership and Values. In order for the organisation to be able to continue to improve over time, it is important that the success factors Vision and Goals, Education and Learning, Way of Working and Organisation and Support continue to develop.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki, Finland: FAIM 2012 and Tampere University of Technology, Department of Production Engineering , 2012.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-22240ISBN: 978-952-15-2824-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-22240DiVA, id: diva2:661367
Conference
22nd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing,10-13 June 2012, Tampere, Finland
Projects
KaikakuxpresINNOFACTURE - innovative manufacturing development
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production researchAvailable from: 2013-11-03 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2018-05-03
In thesis
1. A supportive framework for successful implementation of improvement work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A supportive framework for successful implementation of improvement work
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lean Production is one of the most generally accepted concepts for increasing operational effectiveness. However, its implementation is still challenging for many companies as it implies not only changes of technical systems and management systems but also changes in attitudes and culture. Generalizable implementation steps have still not yet emerged and there are many ways to implement Lean Production. A Lean Production implementation is a never ending process since it is always possible to become leaner. Thus, the implementation of Lean Production is a long-term commitment for a company in order to reach success.

There is a need for research on how to develop and integrate improvement work in order to establish a successful implementation of Lean Production. Accordingly, the overall purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to contribute to an increased understanding of how to successfully implement Lean Production. Moreover, the objective is to develop a supportive framework for a successful Lean Production implementation and to describe this in a general process for the implementation of improvement work.

Through literature reviews and three research studies, a supportive framework for the successful implementation of improvement work has been developed. The first study is an explanatory literature and interview study to build a concept model of improvement work. The second study is an exploratory embedded single case study that was conducted to validate the model. Finally, the third study is an exploratory multiple holistic case study that investigated enablers for continuous improvement after a radical implementation of Lean Production.

The resulting supportive framework consists of important actions to consider during the different stages of a process for the implementation of improvement work. In the first stage after a radical implementation phase, actions important to sustain change and enable continuous improvement include for example a focus on good leadership on shop floor and efforts in the area of control and follow-up of results in production teams.

To develop continuous improvement several actions are defined, like the importance of understanding the context of improvement work including important relations to operations and to develop the production strategy with objectives to align the improvement work.

To reach long term success it is important to integrate continuous improvement into operations and important actions for this stage are for example to update the Operational Management System on the company-specific-production-system framework’s processes continuously, which includes visualisation of the overall improvement work process. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 173
Keywords
lean production, implementation, improvement work, radical change, continuous improvement
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24252 (URN)978-91-7485-134-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-02-28, Raspen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationVinnovaXPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2014-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Adapting to dynamic conditions through continuous innovation in manufacturing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adapting to dynamic conditions through continuous innovation in manufacturing
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The speed of change increases due to the pace of technological change and globalisation, and many industries that usually have acted in more stable settings will in the future act in more dynamic marketplaces. In order to be able to manage dynamic conditions, the organisation needs to continue delivering effectively in existing business areas while developing new systems, products and processes to take advantage of new opportunities in the future. This means that the organisation must be able to use abilities for exploitation and exploration simultaneously or, in other words, strive for continuous innovation including ambidexterity.

In the traditional manufacturing industry, many companies use some sort of improvement programme for achieving operational excellence. Hence, a trend among multinational manufacturing companies is also to deploy and integrate corporate improvement programmes (XPS). These are based on lean production and inspired by the Toyota Production System. Generally, improvement programmes such as XPS largely support the development of exploitation capabilities but not exploration capabilities, which instead may have to stand back. Previous research states that these are problematic and complex issues that need to be further understood and developed. Therefore, more knowledge and support needs to be developed regarding how manufacturing companies can adapt their production systems to remain resource-efficient while simultaneously adapting to more radical changes.

The overall purpose of this research project is to contribute to an increased understanding of how XPS integrations can be developed towards continuous innovation to be able to manage more dynamic conditions. Accordingly, the research objective is to develop recommendations supporting continuous innovation in manufacturing. An overall longitudinal study has been carried out containing five case studies at a manufacturing company integrating an XPS during dynamic conditions, i.e., with large variations in volumes and mixes of products together with the introduction of new products and production concepts. The studies conducted and the results are presented in five appended papers.

The research shows there is a risk that the XPS concept is abandoned due to a lack of understanding of how the XPS contributes to solve the turbulent situation that appears under dynamic conditions. At the same time, it is important to develop and support exploration skills in parallel, as these abilities are not particularly well developed in this context. Furthermore, the research shows that a strategy formulation process striving for high involvement can be used as a means of creating ambidextrous capabilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2018
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 261
National Category
Engineering and Technology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-39082 (URN)978-91-7485-385-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-15, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-03 Last updated: 2018-05-16Bibliographically approved

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Stålberg, LinaFundin, Anders

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