Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
In today’s market, competition is driving companies to force themselves to constantly improve. New challenges due to higher competition force engineering companies to reduce costs, increase their efficiency and decrease time to market. Lean Product Development, involving powerful methodologies and tools to maximize customer value and eliminate waste, is being popularised. This Master’s thesis aims to analyse the possibilities of Lean Product Development in project orientated engineering companies.
Semcon is a global technology company offering engineering services and product information. It strives to undertake more in-house projects and become a project delivery. A study was conducted investigating how Semcon and its division TDO can improve its in-house projects from a resource and time perspective based on Lean Product Development. Furthermore, it investigates how Lean Product Development can be introduced at Semcon and during what restrictions. To achieve a deeper understanding of the methodologies and its possibilities at Semcon, benchmarking was conducted at Autoliv, Saab EDS and Scania, companies that successfully have initiated Lean transformation in their PD processes.
The study reaches the conclusion that by working with continuous improvement, great potential exists for Semcon to improve its organisation. No systematic approach for utilising new ideas exists today and improvements need to be better spread and standardised in the company. Benchmarking companies have shown remarkable results working with this methodology and by introducing it at Semcon, it should provide great possibilities. Furthermore, the study shows that TDO’s ambition is to add much value in the earlier phases of product development. According to TDO’s management as well as research within the field, these phases are where most costumer value is created. By working with even more front-loaded product development, utilising a broader design space, TDO will gain advantages such as closer customer interaction and more successful results. Set-based design is a methodology recommended for TDO to avoid long iterative loops. When investigating what limitations exist when trying to combine XLPM, Semcon’s project model, and Lean Product Development, no great obstacles are observed. In XLPM, the first tollgates are to be postponed in comparison to traditional product development, to better suit front-loaded product development. The benchmarking companies are working with similar stage-gate project models, and have with satisfying results managed to combine it with Lean Product Development.
The study reaches the conclusion that by creating a visual organisation, using a so-called Obeya room, the best possibilities for introducing Lean Product Development at Semcon will occur. A larger transparency between projects and more spreading of knowledge is requested by Semcon consultants, which a visual organisation provides. An action plan for an Obeya room is presented involving tools that support essential Lean methodologies that are important for TDO, such as continuous improvement, standardisations and knowledge flow. Visual tools supporting the possibilities to conduct parallel projects and handle resources more efficient are presented. TDO is recommended to initiate its Lean journey with an Obeya room.
2012. , 92 p.
Lean Product Development, LPD, Lean, Visual Planning, Continuous Improvement, Set-based Design, XLPM