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This paper has been completed to analyze the various lean production strategies that can be used to enhance performance of manufacturing industries. The primary objective of the research completed in this report is to perform exploration of various papers, articles, and journals composed by different specialists on various manufacturing industries to comprehend the concepts of lean principles and techniques.
After extensive investigation of the lean manufacturing techniques, the researcher is then aimed to analyze how one can successfully implement these tools into the manufacture of cigarettes. Therefore, the manufacturing process of the cigarette production will be also be analyzed in order to see how the lean principles can effectively utilized to enhance the performance of cigarette production industry.
In the last few decades, numerous research publications have comprehensively documented the use of lean manufacturing for different manufacturing industries. Lean production is a conceptual framework, which has been advanced in numerous industrial companies in the west since the early 1990's. One of the very first research on this subject was presented in the book “The Machine that Changed the World” (Womack, 1990), which highlighted some of the lean manufacturing methods developed by the most advanced auto manufacturers worldwide.
The enthusiasm for lean production is fundamentally focused around observational proof that it enhances the organization's competitiveness (Lowe, 1997; Oliver, 1996). Lean manufacturing is mostly connected with the removal of seven wastes, thus ensuring maximum utilization of the materials involved in the production process. The research completed by Shah and Ward in 2007 suggested that any reduction in waste through adaptation of lean manufacturing principles can result in efficiency enhancement of the organization. The waste referred in these papers represents the effluents of production, the time losses in processes, lack of production efficiency, un-effective utilization of human resources, and many other forms of waste.
The motivation behind executing the lean production activities is to expand overall productivity, and reduce lead time and cost (Karlsson and Ahlstrom, 1996). Quality administration is another important factor in lean manufacturing, in light of the fact that the low quality administration is ought to bring about larger amounts of waste, in terms of human as well as material resources. An engineerd quality administration at the perfect time is considered to optimize the control of process of manufacturing (Nakamura et al., 1998). Organizations, for example, Toyota, Pratt and Whitney, Ford, Sikorsky, Delphi and numerous others have attained huge savings by execution of lean procedures in their manufacturing processes (Schmidt, 2000). Lean manufacturing can be adopted through a particular set of keys or elements. These key elements are accepted to be exceptionally basic for its execution.
Under competitive business environment, all manufacturing industries have various open doors for the utilizing lean principles (Mercado, 2007). Lean practices can satisfy the client requests with high quality at the desired time. Additionally, lean production develops and motivates worker aptitudes through education and multi-skilling projects.
While analyzing the application various lean tools that have been adopted by different manufacturing industries, it is important to consider the fact that the lean concept is still young and is steadily advancing. New concepts arise through research and development as well as through practical experience, replacing the previous practices. However, the two mostly used lean tools in the manufacturing industry are Total Quality Control (TQC) and Just in Time (JIT), as various other concepts have also surfaced from these techniques.
The organizations that embrace lean manufacturing as a working theory inside their companies can make huge changes as far as their operational performance is concerned, regardless of the fact that it is in a modified form that best suits their specific business (Ferdousi and Ahmed, 2009). The associations expecting to strive for any Japanese manufacturing organisation is expected to first comprehend the need to utilize the lean tools and their applications, get ready for its adoption, and later work on the ways and measures required for their effective implementation (Farooquie and Mohapatra, 2009).
To execute lean thinking in any association, the first step will be to recognize the value stream map (Pavanskar, 2003 ; Rother and Shook, 1999). Value Stream Mapping is a useful system used to recognize production frameworks with lean vision. VSM has been connected in many kinds of manufacturing industries (Mc Donald et al., 2002). Work process over the value stream ought to be performed with the least amount of NVAA (Non Value Added Activities) to lessen wait time, moving time, queuing time, setup time and different delays (Pattanaik and Sharma, 2009).
Apart from TQC and JIT, various other lean tools which the manufacturing industries has known to adopt include 3-D and 4-D Modeling to Improve production methods, Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM), Employee Involvement, Continuous Improvement, Time based Competition, Concurrent Engineering, Value Based Strategy, Visual Management, Re-engineering and various other techniques. These lean tools are considered to play a vital role in the development of manufacturing industries.
In spite of the fact that numerous publications on lean execution are extensively accessible, not many of these have tended to the cigarette manufacturing industry. The pressure set on firms in this business from worldwide has been tremendous, due to recent revisions in the legislations being applied in the cigarette manufacturing industries. Furthermore, the rivalry with multinational industries is growing day by day, and the recent innovation of e-cigarettes has further increased the pressure on this industry.
In the section below, the application of these tools have been analyzed in order to see how their utilization can help provide considerable support in the performance enlacement of cigarette manufacturing industry.
In order to develop further understanding on how the lean tools and techniques can be applied in the cigarette manufacturing industry, it is important to outline the key processes associated with the production of the cigarettes. Two principle processes are undertaken for the production of cigarettes; primary processing and cigarette manufacturing. The larger share of the waste-water from the processes is produced by primary processing. Cigarette production itself delivers almost no or little amount of wastewater.
The stage of processing tobacco takes place before the production of cigarettes. The figure below outlines the fundamental step of this process;
Figure 1: Primary Tobacco processing (source: EPA, 2006)
The tobacco obtained from various sources, including local, offshore, and reconstituted, pass through conditioning cylinders, where steam is added to moisten and loosen the tobacco. The tobacco which has been conditioned is sent to storehouses, where blending is performed. Various tobacco blends are seasoned in barrels, dried, and then moisturized again. Any local, "Burley" tobacco utilized as a part of the mix is processed independently (flavor is added and it is dried) before the last round of blending. The last tobacco mix is cut, dried, and re-moisturized. The tobacco is then directed to flavoring chambers for final flavoring. The prepared tobacco is sent to storehouses and afterward to the cigarette assembly processes.
Cigarette producers also include a low density tobacco, also called expanded tobacco, to their blends amid the last steps of the tobacco primary processing stage. The tobacco is exposed to carbon dioxide gas and conditioned such that the carbon dioxide becomes solid inside the tobacco. The solidified tobacco is warmed quickly, bringing about the vaporization of carbon dioxide. As the vaporization occurs, the tobacco cells grow, making a tobacco which has a low density.
Cigarette producers mix the flavors, representing their own taste in the diverse brands of cigarettes. Flavorings are produced in the form of batches. The different elements for the diverse flavors are blended in tanks and pumped to the flavor chambers that are utilized as a part of primary processing. Once in a while, flavor-blending tanks are washed out, which creates wastewater. These wastewaters are released along with other primary processing waste streams, and it constitutes a small ratio of the wastewater created and released during the entire manufacturing process.
Cigarette makers use tobacco from the operations in the primary processing to produce cigarettes. The figure below portrays the accompanying steps by and large included in the cigarette manufacturing:
Figure 2: Cigarette Manufacturing Stage (source: EPA, 2006)
The blended tobacco, which may incorporate reconstituted, expanded, and different assortments of tobacco, is passed on from the primary processing storage to the machines in the cigarette production. The cigarette producing equipment inserts the tobacco onto the cigarette paper as one rod, before pasting the paper around the tobacco, and slices the rods to the right length for the cigarettes. The containers which hold the glue from the cigarette producing machines are exhausted intermittently and washed with boiling water.
The cigarette producing machines then place filters between two of the cut cigarettes, attach the filters to the cigarettes using filter paper, and finally slice the filters to make two cigarettes. The equipment downstream of the process performs the packaging of the cigarettes.
The wastewaters types which are produced in the various processes are recorded in order of decreasing volume:
Treatment of wastewater at direct production centers of tobacco items by and large comprises of biological treatment with nutrient removal, also known as BNR. The general steps involved in the BNR treatment process are listed below:
Due to the increased expectation of customers and worldwide competition, industries attempt to expand productivity at lower costs and to deliver the best products and services. Under these contemplations, it is important to actualize the lean manufacturing systems to enhance the process environment with sensible investment. The concept of JIT can be introduced, enabling the cigarette manufacturing industry to enhance the benefits and profit on investments, through decrease in stock-levels, improvements product quality, reduction in variability, decrease in production as well as lead-times of delivery, and consequently enforce reduction in various expenses, primarily which associated with machine setups and equipment breakdown (Koskela, 2010).
Despite the fact that, the complete success of the application of lean thinking in the long run relies on upon a good understanding between the administration and on-site work force, viable administrative information systems are needed to instill proper organizational values and lean programs such as “Continues Improvement”. If these management standards are completely coordinated with available resources, then this lean system can be incorporated effectively to accomplish the higher yields. Specifically, while reviewing the primary process, the possibility of turning the batch process into one continues process can be investigated. Other process such as material handling and blending can also be reviewed, keeping in mind the state of the art efficient technologies which be used in order to improve the overall process of manufacturing cigarettes. In short, in light of the Continues Improvement techniques, each block of the process can be reviewed and possible alternatives can be recommended which may prove to be more effective in the longer run of the organization.
The TQC, which is an administration tool for enhancing overall performance, can also be applied in cigarette manufacturing process. The quality development plan will undertake investigations of raw materials while utilizing systems based on statistics. In Japan, the quality development initiative undertook such plan from mere inspection of items/materials to total quality-control of products (Shingo, 1988). The quality enlacement plan can be extended from raw materials in the primary process to end product of cigarette.
Accordingly, future studies can be carried out on supply chain administration, to attain good control, consistent performance and reliability. Moreover, the lean procedure related to Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM) can also be applied in the manufacturing of cigarettes. The TPM is an inter-sufficient maintenance of facility equipment, ensuring optimum working condition at all time for the production. The optimum utilization of resources also is applied to waste treatment procedures and reduction of wastes.
Therefore, it can be concluded that adaptation of lean techniques can enable the cigarette manufacturing industry to improve their production efficiency. The improvement is expected to have a positive influence on the overall business of the organization, in terms of reduction of all forms of wastes. Considering the long terms objectives, continues improvements through adaptation of lean principles will generate positive results for the cigarette manufacturing industry