One of the key factors of a competitive economy is creating a strong, internationally competitive SME sector. This essay is based on the fact that management tools used in the SME sector are insufficient. With the development of these tools, the competitiveness of companies could improve. According to the literature, using lean thinking has a positive influence on the company’s effectiveness, and also proved that lean approach can be successfully extended out of the car industry, into the limitedly resourced SME sector, too. Even though the topic of lean manufacturing is analysed by many studies, there is a lack of papers dealing with its usage in the SME sector. The originality of this paper lies in analysing the current status of using lean manufacturing practices among the Hungarian SMEs operating in the manufacturing industry. The paper includes an examination about how deeply the elements of lean thinking are present in the Hungarian SME sector, how large the development reserves are, and whether there is a difference between the usage of lean practices. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. SMEs’ representatives, mostly CEOs and managers from the Hungarian manufacturing industry participated in the survey. The sample contained 128 observations. The study has two control variables, which are the size of the company and the relation to the lean management. The survey brought the following results. First of all, it shows that the level of using lean is low among the Hungarian SMEs. Furthermore, customer orientation is a key factor in the sector, however, there are considerable possibilities for progress by the inner processes and the handling and involvement of the suppliers. Firstly, a good basis to increase the effectiveness could be the creation of thinking in processes influencing the supply chain. Secondly, the development of the leadership and the involvement of the employees at some level are also significant. Key findings is that without state incitement and the involvement of outside experts, progress cannot be expected to spread on a broad scope. The background of the research method was created to fit the available literature and to capable to be used in other countries, too. Moreover, this way the available information can be expanded with a regional dimension, in case further studies are going to be made.
The purpose of this research is to develop a Lean-RFID based waste identification system (LRWIS) for small-medium manufacturing companies. The specific objective of this research is to develop and implement the LRWIS from integrating the appropriate lean tools and advanced technologies for wastes reduction and inventory management. Subsequently, the framework was converted into a system for a small-medium sized wood processing manufacturer in Malaysia and integrated into a computerized program. The LRWIS can monitor real-time inventory and production status so the manufacturer can optimise the quantity of the primary products and deliver them on time as per the RFID information of each container. The manufacturer can also make decision instantly for controlling and changing different products in the production progress. The system provides simple constructed framework under a low cost infrastructure, yet it is of practical value in reducing the wastes and also optimising the production process.
Lean has established itself as the primordial approach to obtain operational excellence. Its simple and intuitive techniques focus on reducing lead time through continuous improvement, involving all levels of employees in the organization. However, the rate of successful implementations has remained low. This paper contributes to the understanding of continuous improvement in a Lean context, by analyzing a database of almost 10.000 improvement actions, from 85 companies, covering the time frame 2010–2018. It discusses categories of actions, their impact and cost, as well as key characteristics of the companies. It proposes an objective criterion to identify “success” and “failure” in Lean implementation and tries to link these to operational results. It is probably the ﬁrst time an analysis of this magnitude on the subject has been performed.
Studies linking the use of lean practices to company performance have been increasing as markets are becoming more competitive and companies are eager for reducing waste and therefore implementing the Lean Management (LM) philosophy to improve performance. However, results from these studies have found various and different impacts and some light is needed. Extant literature was reviewed and, to achieve the research objective, a metaanalysis of correlations was carried out. The obtained results suggest a positive relationship between some lean practices and performance measures. Furthermore, the presence of moderators influencing the relationship between lean practices and performance outcomes is highlighted in our results. To our best knowledge, this is the first research that proposes a comparison of results from primary studies on Lean implementation, by analysing the linear relationship between lean practices and enterprise performance. It fills this gap and therefore represents an important contribution.
The paper presents the technology and organization of the artistic cast production. On the basis of the actual cast production system, the manufacturing process was shown, in particular sand–piece moulding, which is a very important process and a time-consuming part of the entire manufacture of the casts. The current state of the production process as well as the organization of the work and production technology were analysed with the use of methods and techniques of production improvement, the Lean Manufacturing concept and computer systems. The results of the analysis and studies were shown with use of schemes and graphs of the layout of the production resources, a flow chart of the production process, value stream mapping, and a costs table for the production and modernization of the moulding stage. The work has shown that there are possibilities to improve the artistic cast production system. This improvement leads to increased productivity, lower production costs of artistic casts and increased competitiveness of the foundry.
Lean manufacturing [LM], quality management system and environmental management system are clear initiatives with a goal of improving effectiveness and efficiencies of organizations. Many organisations tackle lean philosophy, ISO standards individually but this kind of attempt do not focus on the synergy and the advantage from the potential collaboration. This paper aims to present the possibility of integration Lean Management concept with ISO management systems – Quality Management System [QMS] ISO 9001and Environmental Management System [EMS] ISO 14001 already implemented in the enterprises. The integration of these three concepts can be obtain due to improvement of main KPI’s defined in the organization. Based on critical research literature and participant observation presented as a case study (one of the author of the paper works as a consultant and is being implemented Lean Manufacturing concept in different organization since ten years) authors defined concept of integration of EMS and QMS (already implemented in the organization) with chosen Lean Management tools. Concept has been developed based on literature analysis and experience of the authors. Results and summary from concept implementation has been described in last chapter of the paper.
The main purpose of this article is to present an author’s methodology of production levelling and to show the impact of levelling on the time during which the product passes through the process and on staff performance. The article presents the analysis of literature concerning the method of improving the production process, especially taking production levelling into consideration. The authors focussed on the definition and methodologies of production levelling. A diagram of interrelations showing determinants and efficiency measures of production levelling as well as an author’s production levelling methodology have been presented. An example of the implementation of production levelling in one of the departments of a company manufacturing surgical instruments has also been shown. Analysis of the current state, stages of implementation and end effects have been presented. Attention was focussed on the time during which the product passes through the process and on staff performance.
The paper discusses possible applications of wireless technologies in support of lean manufacturing tools. The typology of lean tools is provided. It distinguishes three main categories, which are identiﬁcation and analysis of waste, improvement implementation, and process monitoring. The set of lean tools was analyzed in terms of information requirements. On the other hand, the typology of wireless technologies was discussed including RFID and Wi-Fi. The literature review of wireless technology applications for support of lean tools was conducted. The literature was systematically reviewed from the point of view of speciﬁc technologies and speciﬁc tools which were the subjects of the analyzed publications. Both typologies were synthesized to establish a framework for wireless technologies applications in the context of lean manufacturing implementation. It also could serve as a guideline for lean practitioners and implies future research directions. This paper is an extended version of paper published by .