This article provides a theoretical overview of the concepts of lean and manufacturing ramp-up in an attempt to conceptualize the strategic areas in which lean philosophy and principles can be applied for continuous improvements. The application of lean principles during the final stage of a new product development process, that is, the ramp-up process, is a critical, early enabler of lean manufacturing. The manufacturing strategy literature conceptualizes a state of “leanness in operations,” which can consolidate both the concepts of lean and manufacturing ramp-up, providing a dual perspective. Abstracting from the extant literature, the authors considered the competitiveness of manufacturing companies from two principal perspectives: the leanness of the ramp-up process and the new-value creation of quality managers. While much of the literature fails to acknowledge that the roots of lean actually lie in quality evolution and TQM, there is relatively sparse evidence on the subject of applying the lean philosophy to manufacturing ramp-up, so this study is an attempt to address this gap. This is achieved by providing a comprehensive outline of the two concepts and illustrating the areas in which mutual benefits can be drawn, as well as providing a conceptual framework for future studies in lean application to the manufacturing ramp-up process.
- Conceptual framework
- Manufacturing ramp-up