Asee peer logo

Extending Lean Manufacturing Systems Through Implementing Mobility (A Case Study)

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Lean and Six Sigma Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.567.1 - 15.567.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Mohamed Gadalla Central Connecticut State University

author page

Mahdy Alam UTC

author page

Yepery Soro Central Connecticut State University

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Extending Lean Manufacturing Systems through Implementing Mobility (A Case Study) Gadalla, M. A., Alam, M., *Watkins , P., Soro, Y. Central Connecticut State University *Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi


Lean manufacturing transformation has been adopted by many industries in the northern hemisphere including small businesses as a survival method against tough competition from low- cost labor markets. The lean manufacturing system is the final result of lean transformation. A lean manufacturing system is a manufacturing system that is characterized by low (Work In Process Inventory) WIP, material pull instead of push, and the use of kanban cards.

The heart of a lean manufacturing system is the cellular manufacturing [1]. Although cellular manufacturing has a proven track of success, it suffers a major drawback. That is, when the product and/or the product mix changes, a cell reconfiguration may be required. This leads to movement of heavy machinery inside the work area. Besides being a time consuming activity; it is a major contributor to employee dissatisfaction. This paper is based on extending lean manufacturing systems by enabling machine mobility through converting static machines into mobile ones.


The research in this paper is based on work done by two undergraduate students as their capstone senior design projects at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). The work was not only indented to expose students to interesting projects, but also expose them to projects of high research value.

Research Value of the Project

There is a great trend in industry in North America to adopt lean manufacturing as a means to face the fierce competitions from overseas and the low-cost labor markets. Although lean started from the Toyota assembly line, it has expanded enormously to include small to medium size businesses, small machine shops and was even extended to office work.

The main backbone of lean manufacturing systems is cellular manufacturing [1]. The principle of cellular manufacturing is to group parts into families. For each family selected machines are identified as being capable of producing (assembling) the corresponding family.

The main advantage of this approach is the close proximity of the different machines which in turn minimize handling cost and simplify the set-up. It is also a step in the right direction to promote the one piece flow, which is highly recommended in lean philosophy.

Gadalla, M., & Alam, M., & Soro, Y. (2010, June), Extending Lean Manufacturing Systems Through Implementing Mobility (A Case Study) Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15840

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015