Thesis Details

Thesis Title: Plant Floor Scheduling Systems in a Lean Environment
Thesis Author: April Wagoner
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine how companies in the US textile industry are using lean manufacturing practices in their planning and scheduling systems. The study uses primary and secondary data sources to explore the utilization of lean techniques in manual or automated planning and scheduling systems. In addition to a literature review, ten open ended in-person interviews with textile industry executives and three in-depth case studies were used to gather data. The case studies were conducted to further explore whether or not the use of lean principles can be applied to planning and scheduling systems in specific textile operations. Many textile companies are interested in implementing lean scheduling systems for the plant floor but have not quite come to that point in their lean transformation. This study will provide examples, identify barriers and suggest solutions to the barriers for those companies who are on the path forward to implementation of lean planning and scheduling systems. Textile companies who are already using lean practices in their planning and scheduling systems are seeing improvements through reduced finished goods and work-in-process inventory, as well as less time and effort required by the production planners and schedulers to schedule the plant floor. A directory of planning and scheduling software that can handle lean concepts and is applicable to the textile industry was compiled as part of this research.