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A Systematic Consideration of the Human and Technical Elements in the Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Cells

Pepmeier, Rona (2012) A Systematic Consideration of the Human and Technical Elements in the Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Cells. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Some manufacturing companies are successful, while many others fail in their efforts to implement lean philosophies and practices into their manufacturing operations. Although the technical process flows and cell designs meet the standards and criteria specified in the literature, these companies most often do not fully consider the impact of the human element in the management of change.
It is hypothesized that an approach that combines the implementation of lean manufacturing cells with technical, human and lean practices considerations will result in improved cell performance. This research investigates how to create and implement such a system and evaluate its impact on a manufacturer’s cell performance.
A questionnaire is developed, based on literature and industry research, to collect employee perceptions regarding the importance rating and implementation levels of the technical, human and lean practices within a manufacturing cell. Manufacturing cell performance data is collected and analyzed in concert with the questionnaire to prove the hypothesis. The approach is piloted at an aero engine manufacturer and the results are provided.
The findings indicate that as a foundation, manufacturing cells must achieve a certain level of implementation in the technical areas of machines, methods, and materials. With all else equal, manufacturing cells that achieve higher implementation levels of the human and lean practices, also achieve higher cell performance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBidanda, Bopayabidanda@pitt.eduBIDANDA
Committee MemberShuman, Larryshuman@pitt.eduSHUMAN
Committee MemberNorman, Brianbanorman@pitt.eduBANORMAN
Committee MemberNeedy,
Date: 26 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 June 2012
Approval Date: 26 September 2012
Submission Date: 11 June 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 216
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: lean, cellular manufacturing, human element
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2012 15:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:58


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