Origins of production errors and significance of employee empowerment in reducing production error amount in sheet metal fabricating industry
Ollikainen, Mikael (2003-12-19)
Acta Universitatis LappeenrantaensisURN:ISSN:1456-4491
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The market place of the twenty-first century will demand that manufacturing assumes a crucial role in a new competitive field. Two potential resources in the area of manufacturing are advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) and empowered employees. Surveys in Finland have shown the need to invest in the new AMT in the Finnish sheet metal industry in the 1990's. In this run the focus has been on hard technology and less attention is paid to the utilization of human resources. In manymanufacturing companies an appreciable portion of the profit within reach is wasted due to poor quality of planning and workmanship. The production flow production error distribution of the sheet metal part based constructions is inspectedin this thesis. The objective of the thesis is to analyze the origins of production errors in the production flow of sheet metal based constructions. Also the employee empowerment is investigated in theory and the meaning of the employee empowerment in reducing the overall production error amount is discussed in this thesis. This study is most relevant to the sheet metal part fabricating industrywhich produces sheet metal part based constructions for electronics and telecommunication industry. This study concentrates on the manufacturing function of a company and is based on a field study carried out in five Finnish case factories. In each studied case factory the most delicate work phases for production errors were detected. It can be assumed that most of the production errors are caused in manually operated work phases and in mass production work phases. However, no common theme in collected production error data for production error distribution in the production flow can be found. Most important finding was still that most of the production errors in each case factory studied belong to the 'human activity based errors-category'. This result indicates that most of the problemsin the production flow are related to employees or work organization. Development activities must therefore be focused to the development of employee skills orto the development of work organization. Employee empowerment gives the right tools and methods to achieve this.
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