Energy Analysis via Value Stream Mapping
A case study of an Automotive Weld Plant
AbstractOver the past few decades, Lean Manufacturing (LM) has been the pinnacle of strategies applied for cost and waste reduction. However as the search for competitive advantage and production growth continues, there is a growing consciousness towards environmental preservation. With this consideration in mind this research investigates and applies Value Stream Mapping (VSM) techniques to aid in reducing environmental impacts of manufacturing companies. The research is based on empirical observation within the Chassis weld plant of Company X. The observation focuses on the weld operations and utilizes the cross member line of Auxiliary Cross as a point of study. Using various measuring instruments to capture the emissions emitted by the weld and service equipment, data is collected. The data is thereafter visualised via an Environmental Value Stream Map (EVSM) using a 7-step method. It was found that the total lead-time to build an Auxiliary Cross equates to 16.70 minutes and during this process is emitted. It was additionally found that the UPR x LWR stage of the process indicated both the highest cycle time and carbon emissions emitted and provides a starting point for investigation on emission reduction activity. The EVSM aids in the development of a method that allows quick and comprehensive analysis of energy and material flows. The results of this research are important to practitioners and academics as it provides an extension and further capability of Lean Manufacturing tools. Additionally, the EVSM provides a gateway into realising environmental benefits and sustainable manufacturing through Lean Manufacturing.
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