Integrating lean and ergonomics to improve internal transportation in a manufacturing environment

Faisal Aqlan, Sarah S. Lam, Sreekanth Ramakrishnan, Warren Boldrin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


This paper presents a study that integrates lean manufacturing and ergonomic principles to redesign and improve the internal transportation process in a high-end server manufacturing environment. Transportation of electronic parts within the factories is an important issue. The current transportation carts present quality hazards to electronic parts and they were not designed to handle the right dimensions and quantities of the newly introduced products. Furthermore, the current flow of carts introduces waiting time for the carts in the assembly areas. Inefficient transportation not only increases the waiting times but also the transportation costs. The objective of this study is to improve the transportation process and redesign transportation carts that are currently used to transport parts between different areas in a high-end server manufacturing environment utilizing lean and ergonomic principles. A new lean-based flow of transportation carts is proposed to reduce the waiting time and transported distance by having separate carts for each area. The new design of the carts represents a Poke-Yoke that prevents the operators from stacking the cards. Ergonomic principles are also considered in the new design. The number of carts required is estimated based on historical demand, outcomes from containment actions, current processes, and inputs from the production-planning department. The new lean-based flow and design of carts have resulted in cost savings and cost avoidance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014
PublisherInstitute of Industrial Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780983762430
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 31 2014Jun 3 2014


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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