Quicker Reaction, Lower Variability: The Effect of Transient Time in Flow Variability of Project-Driven Production

Ricardo Antunes1, Vicente González2 & Kenneth Walsh3

1Ph.D. candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering - University of Auckland, New Zealand, rsan640@aucklanduni.ac.nz
2Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering - University of Auckland, New Zealand, v.gonzalez@auckland.ac.nz
3Dean, SDSU-Georgia, San Diego State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, kwalsh@mail.sdsu.edu

Abstract

Based on the knowledge of dynamic systems, the shorter the transient response, or the faster a system reaches the steady-state after the introduction of the change, the smaller will be the output variability. In lean manufacturing, the principle of reducing set-up times has the same purpose: reduce the transient time and improve production flow. Analogously, the analysis of the transient response of project-driven systems may provide crucial information about how fast these systems react to a change and how that change affects their production output. Although some studies have investigated flow variability in projects, few have looked at variability from the perspective that the transient state represents the changeovers on project-driven production systems and how the transient state affects the process’ flow variability. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of changes in project-driven production systems from a conceptual point of view, furthermore, measuring and correlating the transient response of five cases to their flow variability. Results showed a proportional relationship between the percentile transient time and flow variability of a process. That means that the quicker the production system reacts to change; the less the distress in the production output, consequently, lower levels of flow variability. As practical implications, lean practices focusing on reducing set-up times (transient time) can have their effects measured on project-driven production flow.

Keywords

Flow, variability, production, Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED), productivity function

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Reference

Antunes, R. , González, V. & Walsh, K. 2016, 'Quicker Reaction, Lower Variability: The Effect of Transient Time in Flow Variability of Project-Driven Production' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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