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Publication: Journal of Forest Products Business Research
Authors: 0
Reference ID: Volume 9, Article No. 1
Publish Year: 2012
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Title: Lean Evaluation of an Engineering Process: A Case Study in Furniture Industry
Description:
Currently, an efficient engineering process is very important for the furniture manufacturers. For example, drawings or production documents are controlled merely by the release date and not by a systematic method to measure each internal process and how it affects internal cost and customer satisfaction. This research was conducted through a case study in a furniture plant located in China, manufacturing American-style furniture products. The objective was to investigate the company’s current engineering process, identify nonvalue-added activities, and analyze the engineering performance based on certain key performance
indicators (KPIs) such as lead time, document error rate, and engineering throughput. A survey was sent out to the engineering group to determine each engineer's understanding of the current engineering efficiency. Results show that "product complexity" and "engineer competency" are the two most influential factors that impact the engineering process lead time. Most engineers spend 10% to 20% of their daily working time issuing engineering change orders. Different engineering groups showed a difference in engineering throughput, customer diversity, and production document error rate. From this research, it is concluded that engineering change order (ECO) is a significant driver of engineering lead time. Also, the current processes include a significant amount of nonvalue-adding activities, interfering with the engineers' ability to prepare production documents for downstream jobs and affecting the overall manufacturing process.

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