Lean Production in the Precast Concrete Components' Industry

Jean Deffense1 & Nuno Cachadinha2

1MS.c in Civil Engineering. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Phone +351 214673485 ; jeandeffense@gmail.com
2Assistant Professor, UNIDEMI, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, , Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Monte da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal. Phone +351 212948557, n.cachadinha@fct.unl.pt


This article is a case study applying Lean Thinking and Lean Production principles in a factory that produces prefabricated reinforced concrete components. The objective is to reduce waste production and increase productivity. Nine factories were analyzed, of which one was chosen for developing an implementation model. A number of changes were proposed based on Lean concepts and the study of several similar factories to improve productivity. A Black Belt Team was created to improve the execution and continuance of the lean concepts. Value Stream Mapping was also used as an aid in the identification of existing waste and improvement opportunities, to which various Lean tools were applied in order to solve the identified problems. The main conclusions of this study are that it is possible to achieve a significant improvement in the production system of prefabricated reinforced concrete components using Lean philosophy. Improvements in the reduction of lead-time, reduction of waste and increase in productivity are achieved with simple and low cost techniques.


Lean Production, Value Stream Mapping, Black Belt Team, Implementation Model, Prefabrication



Deffense, J. & Cachadinha, N. 2011, 'Lean Production in the Precast Concrete Components' Industry' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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