|dc.description.abstract||In recent years, as a result of changing market requirements, many manufacturers have been forced to accommodate their manufacturing systems to handle a larger number of product variants in order to stay competitive. With this transition towards high-mix production, the variability that a production system needs to endure has increased. This is something many firms have had a hard time handling, and has resulted in reduced system performance.
Implementing lean manufacturing principles has long been a popular approach in various industries with the aim of improving system performance. Here, value stream mapping (VSM) is the preferred way of implementing these principles. Most applications of VSM in the literature have been focused towards low-mix environments, characterized by high volume production of relatively standardized products. However, when applied in a high-mix production systems, the method suffers several shortcomings due to the high variability imposed by such environments.
The purpose of this thesis is to show how throughput times and throughput time variability at a case company operating in a high-mix manufacturing environment can be improved through the application of a simulation enhanced VSM approach.
It was established through theory and supported by a case study that by complementing the VSM procedure with a simulation tool, it is possible to account for the complexity imposed by such environments. Further, simulation was established as a suitable tool for validating potential future states suggested by the VSM approach, and therefore finding the appropriate balance between responsive and efficient production.
Keywords: Value stream mapping, High-mix manufacturing, Simulation||en