Reducing 3M by Improved Layouts and Ergonomic Intervention in a Lean Journey in a Cork Company

  • T. MeloEmail author
  • A. C. Alves
  • I. Lopes
  • A. Colim
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 277)


The study presented in this paper aimed to obtain improvements in the production processes and methods used by co-workers of a cork company. For the study, the authors applied the tools and principles of Lean Thinking, Ergonomic, and Total Productive Maintenance. The research methodology used in the project development was the Action-Research, whose first step is to diagnose the current situation of the study area. For this purpose, tools as spaghetti diagram, time studies, anthropometric analysis and NIOSH Equation were applied. Several problems were detected such as long distances, confined factory space and improper distribution of production tools. One of the most serious problems was the lift of heavy cutting tools from shelves that imposed hard work conditions to the workers. In order to solve these problems, the improvement proposals required the redefinition of the layout, as well as the organization of cutting tools through the implementation of 5S, attending to the anthropometric data. With the implementation of the project, it was possible to reduce the occupied space in 27%, the distances traveled and the time spent on them in 63% (annual savings of 234 km and 65 h), the movements costs in 71% (gain of 1332 €/year) and the time and wastebasket related to production stoppages by the lack of space in 100% (annual gain of 26 h and 1530 €). Furthermore, the time to search for production tools was reduced by 75% and an increase in the production line efficiency by 27% was also verified. With these muda reductions, mura and muri were also reduced, improving the work conditions.


Ergonomics Layouts Lean thinking TPM 5S 



This work has been supported by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the Project Scope: UID/CEC/00319/2019.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Integrated Master in Industrial Management and EngineeringUniversity of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.ALGORITMI Centre, University of MinhoBragaPortugal

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