Development of a four stage continuous improvement framework to support business performance in manufacturing SMEs
Cast your vote
You can rate an item by clicking the amount of stars they wish to award to this item.
When enough users have cast their vote on this item, the average rating will also be shown.
Your vote was cast
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback
AuthorsSmith, Paul G.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractFor over 30 years, authors have documented continuous improvement techniques that can help to improve the performance of the manufacturing sector. However, recent research has found that the uptake of these available techniques for the purpose of improving business performance is comparatively low as a result of barriers preventing their adoption by manufacturing SMEs. The aim and focus of this research is to develop a user-friendly framework which would guide both industry practitioners and other researchers to achieve business process improvements in an SME manufacturing environment. The framework developed in this study consists of four stages: 1) review of the current process to be improved; 2) identification of possible improvement in terms of prompts; 3) knowledge know-how to support transfer of proven continuous improvement techniques; and 4) continual review of the process to quantify the improvements. The framework uses a combination of three continuous improvement techniques: histograms, brainstorming and Five Whys to identify actions for management implementation. Such techniques have been merged to speed up and simplify the process of root cause analysis, thus encouraging SMEs to document their successes. This will enable other SMEs to learn from their experiences as well as from the knowledge gained by being part of the communities of practice. The methodology used in this research is mixed methodology and involves a combination of literature review, pilot study, a postal questionnaire with 50 respondents and two case studies. These case studies were then used to validate the framework, based on five structured interviews. Case studies involving two manufacturing SMEs include manufacturers of high-volume, low-cost components and low-volume, high-cost components. It was concluded that the root cause of a problem can be found by using: brainstorming, histograms and Five Whys. Sometimes, it was also possible to merge these techniques as one, thus reducing the analysis time. The case studies generated substantial savings, £27,500 and £1,366,055 for SME 1 and 2 respectively. Overall the benefits of the framework to SMEs include: using the developed user-friendly framework for improved business performance, knowledge transfer of learning continuous improvement techniques, learning about other SME successes and potential cost savings that could accrue for SMEs when they apply it. The framework developed in this research, therefore, has reduced some of the barriers which have prevented uptake of innovative techniques over the last 30 years.
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Pharmacological inhibition of plasma membrane calcium ATPASE 4 improves VEGF-induced angiogenesisKurusamy, S; Lopez-Maderuelo, MD; Little, R; Cadagan, D; Savage, AM; Murcott, C; Baggott, RR; Oceandy, D; Rowther, FB; Martinez-Martinez, S; et al. (BMJ, 2016-10-26)
Scaling waist girth for differences in body size reveals a new improved index associated with cardiometabolic risk.Nevill, Alan M.; Duncan, M J; Lahart, I M; Sandercock, G R (Wiley, 2016-10-10)Our aim was to examine whether a new ratio, waist divided by height(0.5) (WHT.5R), is both independent of stature and a stronger predictor of cardiometabolic risk (CMR) than other anthropometric indices. Subjects (4117 men and 646 women), aged 20-69 years, were assessed for stature (cm), mass (kg), waist, and hip girths (cm) from which body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHTR), and two new indices, a body shape index (ABSI) and WHT.5R, were determined. We used the allometric power law, W = a.HT(b) , to obtain a simple body shape index for waist girth (W) to be independent of stature (HT). Physical activity was determined using self-report, and physical fitness was determined using the Bruce protocol. Glucose, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and TC/HDL ratio were determined from fasting venous blood samples. A single CMR composite score was derived from log-transformed z-scores of Triglycerides + average blood pressure ((diastolic + systolic)/2) + glucose + HDL (*-1). Results confirmed WHT.5R to be independent of stature and the strongest predictor of CMR, compared with BMI, WC, WHR, ABSI, and WHTR. We also found that CMR scores decline significantly with increasing fitness and physical activity, confirming that being fit and active can compensate for the adverse effects of being fat as measured by all other anthropometric indices. In conclusion, WHT.5R was the best anthropometric index associated with CMR, and being both physically fit and active has a protective effect on CMR, irrespective of weight status.
Crystal engineering of ibuprofen using starch derivatives in crystallization medium to produce promising ibuprofen with improved pharmaceutical performanceNokhodchi, Ali; Homayouni, Alireza; Araya, Ruta; Kaialy, Waseem; Obeidat, Wasfy; Asare-Addo, Kofi (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015)Ibuprofen exhibits poor flow, poor compaction and dissolution behaviour, and it is prone to capping after ejection from the die. Therefore, the aim of the present research was to engineer ibuprofen crystals in the presence of two disintegrants (starch and sodium starch glycolate) in order to improve its flow, compactibility and dissolution behaviour simultaneously. To this end ibuprofen and different concentrations of disintegrant (0.25 to 10% w/w in case of starch and 0.25 to 7% w/w in case of sodium starch glycolate) were dissolved in ethanol and water respectively. The ibuprofen solution was then added to the aqueous solutions containing the different concentrations of disintegrant. Ibuprofen precipitated within 10 min and the crystals were separated and dried for further studies. The obtained crystals were characterized in terms of flow, density, tablet hardness, dissolution behaviour and solid state. The results showed most of engineered ibuprofen to have better flow with a high compactibility. The results also showed that an increase in the concentration of starch in the crystallization medium resulted in a reduction in the hardness of ibuprofen tablets, but this was not the case for ibuprofen samples engineered in the presence of sodium starch glycolate. It is interesting to note that although engineered ibuprofen showed superior dissolution as compared to untreated ibuprofen, the highest concentration of starch (10%) or sodium starch glycolate (7%) slowed down the release remarkably due to an increase in the viscosity of the dissolution medium around drug particles. Solid state analysis (FT-IR, XRPD and DSC) ruled out the presence of different polymorphic forms and also any interaction between these disintegrants and ibuprofen. In conclusion, the engineering of ibuprofen in the presence of disintegrant showed how properties such as flow, compaction and dissolution behaviour can be simultaneously manipulated to suit a desired application.