Financial and Human Benefits of Lean Production in the Plastic Injection Industry: an Action Research Study (pp. 61-75)

Vitor Resende, Anabela C. Alves, Alexandre Batista, Angela Silva
This paper presents the results of a Lean Production project implementation developed in a plastic injection company. The main aim of the project was the application of Lean principles and tools involving the stakeholders of the company. The first tool applied was the VSM to diagnose the production system and to identify the wastes and the main issues for improvement. Some proposals were presented and implemented using Lean tools such as 5S, PDCA cycle, Kanban, SMED and Kaizen. Some tangible and financial results obtained were an increase of productivity of the assembly lines by 12%, of the operating income by 6%, a reduction of the cycle time of six dies to 10% and a reduction by 15% of tool changeover time and an increase of total incomes estimated in €360,000.00. Intangible results were the operators’ engagement and involvement with the continuous improvement and with Lean implementation.