SUNConferences, 27th Annual Conference of the SA Institute for Industrial Engineering

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Evaluating lean implementation in South African Casting Foundries
Goodwell Muyengwa, Yvonie Nyarai Mawane

Last modified: 2016-10-07


Manufacturing companies implement lean to enhance their competitiveness and meet the ever changing demands of the globalized markets. Literature suggests that when lean tools are correctly implemented, companies experience better productivity, improved worker morale and profits. However not much research has been done to evaluate lean implementation and the identification of best practices.  This research paper evaluates and studies the implication of lean implementation in South African foundry environment.

Multiple case studies were carried out to evaluate lean implementation. These case studies involved a survey, where questionnaires were distributed to the foundries.  The study focused on lean tools, techniques and strategy that companies adopt in the implementation of lean. The research showed that foundries have introduced lean manufacturing. The results revealed that foundries benefit from lean implementation. Some of the noticed benefits were improved quality, production, profitability and customer service. Barriers that hindered lean implementation were weak top management involvement, poor worker attitude and the non-availability of adequate resources.

This paper contributes to the body of knowledge in lean philosophy.  To lean practitioners the paper highlights some of the critical factors that needs to be monitored for a successful lean implementation.


Manufacturing, lean tools, lean implementation, foundry, productivity