Process improvement in Pharmaceutical Industry through Kaizen Lean Methodology – Instituto Superior Tecnico


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Abstract – Last decades registered huge technological progress in industrial processes. These advances are reflected in a large decrease of costs in production lines, which, combined with a strong competition, causes a huge reduction in the prices of the final products. Hence, the major concern of industrial managers is to reduce the maximum costs related to the production. Kaizen Institute (IK), the company through which this Project has been carried out, is the world’s leader in the implementation of the Kaizen Lean method. This method has its origins in Toyota Production System (TPS). The use of Kaizen Lean method, by mapping the value chain and the selection of activities and tasks that add value, improves the processes of production, searching and eliminating muda (waste). This paper considers a production flow and internal flow problem of Empresa X, current leader in the production of drugs in Portugal. The problem lies in both company’s plants and the aim of the project lies in the optimization of both logistics and production processes and internal flows, using some tools of Kaizen Management System (KMS), integrated in Total Flow Management (TFM) pillar. Through the implementation of SMED in the packaging area, it has been possible to increase considerably the efficiency of the equipment and reduce the average changeover time to less than half. The implementation of Daily Kaizen and several improvement suggestions resulting from it were conducive to the positive results obtained in most of Empresa X Industrial area KPI’s. Keywords – Pharmaceutical industry, Kaizen, Lean, Muda, Total Flow.



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