Lean production and ergonomics: a synergy to improve productivity and working conditions

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Bruno Oliveira
A. C. Alves
P. Carneiro
A. C. Ferreira

Abstract

The markets globalization erased commercial boundaries and increased the competitiveness of companies all around the world. This competitiveness has forced companies to improve their processes and operations, as well as, their management relationships with suppliers and customers. Emerging from this progress, several needs led to the development of Lean Production (LP) – which proved to be effective in the waste reduction and efficient in providing production flexibility. Through its implementation, LP allows the increase of workers’ involvement, their safety and health. The main goal of this paper is to present how LP and Ergonomics improve not only the company productivity, but also the health and safety of the workers throughout continuous improvement processes. This was achieved in a project which purpose was to improve the consumables supply strategies, taking place in an electric mobility company. The implementation of LP tools in this industrial context resulted in improved productivity, reduced cost, enhanced and more efficient operations. This outcome was possible with a synergetic engagement of workers resulting in their ergonomic working conditions improvement.

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