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General Information
Editor-in-chief
Prof. T. Hikmet Karakoc
Anadolu University, Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Turkey

IJET 2017 Vol.10(1): 89-94 ISSN: 1793-8236
DOI: 10.7763/IJET.2018.V10.1040

Application of Lean Thinking to the Processing of Raw Materials: Case Study of a Company in the Biomass Torrefaction Sector

L. J. R. Nunes and S. G. Azevedo
Abstract—Currently, the market where the organizations are inserted is very competitive and the consumers are more and more demanding. As such, there is a great need to adopt more efficient management models for increasing the competitiveness of companies. Lean Manufacturing has proven to be very powerful in that point. This work aims to identify the benefits associated to the implement of the Lean philosophy in the raw material processing of a Portuguese production unit of the biomass sector named Yser Green Energy (YGE). In this case study the company and the process of production of torrefied biomass were generally analyzed. All stages of the production process were analyzed using the lean tool Value Stream Mapping (VSM). After analyzing all the steps and taking into account the data of the production process collected, the value added activities, and the non-value added activities were identified so that the latter could be eliminated. After analyzing the data obtained, actions were proposed to improve the flow of value of the YGE production process, reducing the waste generated, to make the organization more competent and more efficient. After the application of the VSM tool, and with the elimination of the detected problems, there was a clear reduction in the time of the lead time and, consequently, in the value of the process cycle efficiency (PCE). With the case study it is possible to apply the VSM tool to suggest improvements in order to reach higher levels of efficiency

Index Terms—Lean manufacturing, VSM, torrefied biomass pellets, case study.

L. J. R. Nunes is with the Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism of the University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal (e-mail: leonelnunes@ua.pt).
S. G. Azevedo is with CEFAGE - Department of Management and Economics University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal (e-mail: sazevedo@ubi.pt).

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Cite: L. J. R. Nunes and S. G. Azevedo, "Application of Lean Thinking to the Processing of Raw Materials: Case Study of a Company in the Biomass Torrefaction Sector," International Journal of Engineering and Technology vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 89-94, 2018.

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