Increasing the Effectiveness of Value Stream Mapping using Simulation Tools in Engine Test Operations

J. Narasimhan, L. Parthasarathy, and P.S. Narayan (USA)


saVSM, VSM, Lean, NPI, Simulations, Test Operations.


The application of Lean philosophy and practices in New Product Introduction (NPI) and extended supply chain space is becoming a norm world over. There is a constant pressure for faster NPI, smarter supply chains and cost effective products, dictated by customer and competition, which compels organizations to think Lean. Value Stream Mapping (VSM), a process of visual depiction of material and information flow in a defined value stream, is implemented by many Lean thinking organizations. Discrete Event Simulation (DES) tools have also been used to build credible models, observe the behavior of systems and optimize processes and systems. This paper introduces a new approach known as the ‘simulation aided Value Stream Mapping’ (saVSM), which combines two powerful tools, VSM and Simulation, to ensure effectiveness, in any Lean implementation. A simulation tool in saVSM, is used for quick and efficient data analysis and for facilitating continuous VSM updation. The Test Operations group, in an Engine Product Development environment, primarily supports testing of new development and upgrade project engines. The utilization of test beds (cells), used to carry out the engine test is the most critical performance index for this group. This paper, illustrates a case study, showcasing the successful application of saVSM approach, at a global Engine Manufacturer’s Test environment.

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