USE OF KAIZEN PRINCIPLE AND LINE BALANCING TECHNIQUE FOR PROCESS IMPROVEMENT IN THE ASSEMBLY OF AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS
Keywords:Bottlenecks, Kaizen principle, Muda
Continuous process improvement is critical for organisations to stay in business. An automotive component manufacturer faced productivity challenges after the launch of a new hybrid C-SUV automobile in South Africa. This paper aims to improve the seat cover sewing process line through a line balancing technique. The use of process standard times to balance the production process initially led to bottlenecks, and the cycle time was above the takt time of the assembly line. Through the use of work-study analysis and time studies, the bottleneck processes were identified. Elements were then categorized, and kaizen implementation occurred at the processes. The processes were then rebalanced to meet the calculated cycle time. A root cause analysis was also conducted to investigate the sources of muda and the factors affecting the rate of working. The assembly line was then rebalanced, and the balance delay decreased by 33%.
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