Manufacturing Process Improvement

Module Learning Outcomes Assessed:

LO3- Critically review the main approaches to achieving lean manufacturing systems.

LO4- Apply a manufacturing systems engineering design/redesign methodology to design flow lines and cells.



Feit Components  Ltd is a first tier supplier to the automotive industry and also produces several components for the aftermarket sector. 

Over the last two years, Feit Components have lost two of their major orders to overseas competitors. In an attempt to improve the manufacturing performance to be able to continue in a competitive environment, the company has employed you, as an expert in Lean principles, to turn around their manufacturing performance. 

Production Processes 

An initial analysis of the production data identified that the family of products X405 and X406 is one of the more profitable family of products in the company. 

Feit Components Ltd is currently producing to mass production principles. The machines have a functional layout (Figure 1) and produce parts in large batches. All moves within the same section are done manually, using trolleys. 

The key manufacturing processes include sawing, CNC machining, spot welding, turning (lathe 2), assembly (1st and finally), and packing. 

Figure 1. Current facility layout plan

Customer Requirements 

  • 11,150 products per month 
    • 5,900 X405
    • 5,250 X406
  • Products are delivered every day to the customer by lorry. 

Work Time

  • 20 working days in a month 
  • Operating a 2 shift system in all production operations 
  • 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm
  • 30 mins lunch and two 15 min breaks per shift 

Production Control information

Midlands steel ltd provides the metal raw material on weekly bases. Every Monday morning, MRP system at Feit Components Ltd send a notification to Midlands steel ltd for the requirements of raw material for the approaching week. 

Weekly schedule are generate by the MRP system and each department receives a weekly instruction by email. The manufacturing department produces orders for each process on weekly basis. Daily shipment is required by customer 


The processes to produce the products X405 and X406 occur in the following order:

Processes  Cycle Time (secs) Change Over time (mins) Process 


Quality Pass rate 
Saw (shared resource ) 

EPE 2 weeks 

30 10 97% 95%
CNC Automatic cycle 160 10 84% 94%
Spot welding 90 25 95% 80%
Lathe 2 82 10 90% 95%
Assembly 68 None 100% 82%
Final Assembly  160 None 95% 83%
Packing  75 None  100% 98%

In the first assembly process, both products (X405 and X406) are assemble to an external part provided by supplier JGH ltd on weekly bases every Wednesday. 

WIP (Inventory)

  • The raw material before the first process ( Saw)  it is estimated to stay 7 days (waiting ) before passing to their respective  processes. 
  • The observed WIP inventory after each process are: 
Processes  WIP
Saw 1,350 X405

1,200 X406

Lathe 1 420 X405

310 X406

Spot welding 358 X405

255 X406

Lathe 2  450 X405

410 X406

Assembly 750 X405

520 X406

Final Assembly  620 X405

450 X406

Packing  820 X405

630 X406

  • Due to transportation required after Lathe1 to the Spot welding process there is an extra WIP inventory before the spot welding process: 
    •    900 X405
    • 1,200 X406

Despatch Department

The observed inventory of finish goods observed ready to be sent to customers is:

3,200 X405

2,900 X406


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