A DYNAMIC APPROACH TO IMPROVING THE PRODUCTIVITY OF A SOUTH AFRICAN FOUNDRY INDUSTRY
Keywords:industrial engineering, foundry, productivity improvement techniques, casting
Systems for refining and handling foundries have evolved rapidly in recent years. However, the South African foundry industry has been contracting since 2007, when its annual output was at 660 400 tonnes. The objective of the current study was to investigate productivity improvement measures that would contribute in improving the productivity of Gauteng foundries. A quantitative cross-sectional survey research design was used for the study, and a purposive sampling technique was chosen to provide insight into the specific study. The quantitative data obtained from the study was analysed using several statistical tools. Exploratory factor analysis with Varimax rotation of 23 Likert-scale questions in the questionnaire was performed on data gathered from 143 participants. Factors with eigen values greater than 1 were retained using the Kaiser selection criterion. These factors were related to foundry management and leadership, labour, and machinery. Analysis of the reliability of the results indicated that Cronbach’s alpha for all thirty productivity factors was 0.9472. This α ≥ 0.70 indicated a good consistency in the selected items in the questionnaire. Based on the results, a proposed productivity framework was developed, contemplating the integration of lean thinking, manufacturing tools, and the Deming cycle, and providing a systematic and holistic approach to problem-solving through the application of the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle in the foundry industry.
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