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Title: The adoption of lean manufacturing principles in electronic manufacturing : a case of Altech UEC
Authors: Naicker, Vanesh 
Issue Date: 2018
Electronic manufacturers are at increasing risk from offshore competition; often due to significantly lower labour costs abroad (Roberts, 2012). The implications are serious and, ignoring the threat, will, at best, lead to loss of market share and, at worst, the closure of many businesses with significant effect on the South African economy and society. This kind of competition has been seen in other industries. The clothing industry in South Africa, for example, has either failed or moved offshore. Traditional manufacturing production systems offer no solution to the problem, while a lean manufacturing has been associated with productivity increase, quality improvement, reduction of lead time and cost (Marudhamuthu
& Krishnaswamy, 2011). According to Taj and Morosan (2011), waste is anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts and working time which is absolutely vital to production.
The focus of this study is the adoption of lean manufacturing principles in the electronic manufacturing industry in South Africa: a case of Altech UEC. The aim of this research is to identify the possible or potential of adopting lean manufacturing principles in the electronic manufacturing industry and, in particular, Altech UEC. The study identified the tools, techniques and drivers for implementation. In order to achieve the aim of the study, the following objectives were developed:
• To capture employees’ perception of lean manufacturing and the principles that they believe have been implemented within Altech UEC;
• To establish the impact being made or lack thereof of implementing lean manufacturing at Altech UEC;
• To ascertain the challenges being faced by the implementation of lean manufacturing at Altech UEC; and
• To explore the ways in which the implementation of lean manufacturing can be improved within Altech UEC.

For the purpose of obtaining necessary information, the researcher employed a descriptive research design. With this research design, the primary data needed in this research are derived from the answers of the respondents of the survey through a previously used questionnaire.

This study sought to explore the use and implementation of lean manufacturing principles at Altech UEC as the basis for understanding how lean manufacturing can benefit an organisation within a South African context. There were four research questions asked under the broader topic of lean manufacturing and through extensive research of previous literature and logical inferences made from the analysis of the data it was found that while some aspects of lean manufacturing principles were being used to improve upon the lean manufacturing process, there was still a great deal of improvement for Altech UEC to be a lean manufacturing organisation.
The study was able to effectively conclude that lean manufacturing impacts positively on the manufacturing process and, if implemented correctly, the manufacturing process will run smoothly and efficiently. The more lean manufacturing aspects applied to the manufacturing process, the more likely it was to run smoothly and efficiently at an increased rate of production.
Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirement of the degree of Masters of Philosophy: Quality, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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