Simulation guided value stream mapping and lean improvement: A case study of a tubular machining facility

Wei Xia, Jiwen Sun


Purpose: This paper describes a typical Value stream mapping (VSM) application enhanced by the discrete event simulation (DES) to a dedicated tubular manufacturing process.

Design/Methodology/Approach: VSM is prescribed as part of lean production portfolio of tools, not only highlights process inefficiencies, transactional and communication mismatches, but also guides improvement areas. Meanwhile, DES is used to reduce uncertainty and create consensus by visualizing dynamic process views. It is served as a complementary tool for the traditional VSM to provide sufficient justification and quantifiable evidence needed to convince the lean approaches. A simulation model is developed to replicate the operation of an existing system, and that of a proposed system that modifies the existing design to incorporate lean manufacturing shop floor principles.

Findings: A comprehensive model for the tubular manufacturing process is constructed, and distinctive scenarios are derived to uncover an optimal future state of the process. Various simulation scenarios are developed. The simulated results are acquired and investigated, and they are well matched with the real production data.

Originality/Value: DES is demonstrated as a guided tool to assist organizations with the decision to implement lean approaches by quantifying benefits from applying the VSM. A roadmap is provided to illustrate how the VSM is used to design a desired future state. The developed simulation scenarios mimic the behavior of the actual manufacturing process in an intuitive manner.


Value stream mapping; Discrete event simulation; Capacity analysis; Layout modification; Lean manufacturing; Tubular machining

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience