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ES3A7 Design & Management of Lean Operations

spr.jpgaut.jpg 15_cats.jpgModule Leader: Dr N.D. Davis


Module Information


This 15 CATS module is one of the third year modules for:

Core: Optional:
  • Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • BEng Engineering Business Management


  • To develop understanding of the principles of lean operations and where and how they can be applied.
  • To describe the limits of lean operation: what factors are constraining application and how various industries have sought to relieve these constraints.
  • To help prepare the future technology manager to exploit recent thinking and overcome resistance to change by giving them an opportunity to explore the subject from various perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to;

  • Identify where and how Lean Operations can be applied.
  • Analyse a manufacturing process using Value Stream Mapping critique and propose lean solutions using the map as foundation.
  • Calculate and identify key resource requirements and identify resource constraints using analytical techniques.
  • Develop a basic layout for implementing lean manufacturing including methods for managing the human – equipment interface.


Introduction: The module explains the techniques available for the effective management of lean production operations. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is used as the exemplar of Lean principles and forms a backbone around which industrial engineering, quality (through variability and waste reduction) and other technical subjects are organised. Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is introduced and used subsequently in laboratory sessions and/or assignments.

Alternative policies for the control of physical resources throughout the production system are compared, primarily Pull vs. Push (JIT and MRP/ERP). Industrial Engineering: Techniques for work measurement. Time and Method study. Human factors including job design and ergonomics. Flexibility of facilities and equipment. Cell design principles, single piece work flow, setup reduction and work standardisation.

Waste elimination: Inventory Management techniques for lean operation.

Organisation and management of distribution: linkages with manufacturing control system.

Teaching Methods

This module includes 25 hours of lectures, 2 hours of examples classes, 3 hours of seminars, 2 hours of extended
exercise and 2 hours revision classes.

Required self-study: 116 hours


A 15 CATS module: 70% examined via a 3 hour paper

Exam rubric information

  • All compulsory questions

and 30% assessed consisting of Individual Assignment up to 2,500 words (20%), Group Assignment (Poster), including peer assessment (10%)

Links to:

Student Resources

The Forum 

Staff Pages

Reading List

Recommended Textbook:

Lean Production Simplified

A plain-language guide to the World's most powerful production system

P. Dennis

ISBN: 1563272628
Format: Paperback, 170pp
Pub. Date: January 2002
Publisher: Productivity Press Inc.
Edition Number: 1