Ning JinFollow

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mark Doggett (Director), Daniel Jackson, and John Khouryieh

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The current study gathers thermoplastics professionals’ perceptions on the implementation of lean-manufacturing in the Thermoplastics-manufacturing industry through Qualtrics, which is a survey website. From the professionals’ perceptions, the current study infers the current status of lean-manufacturing implementation in the thermoplastic-manufacturing industry and identifies the best lean theories and tools for the industry. However, the results of the current study are not generalizable to the entire thermoplastic-manufacturing industry.

The current study reviews thermoplastic-manufacturing processes from the house of lean’s perspective. The foundations of the house are stability and standardization, the pillars are Just-In-Time (JIT) and Jidoka, the roof is customer focus, and the heart is employee involvement. Thermoplastic-manufacturing processes include extrusion, fiber spinning, film casting, film blowing, and injection molding.

The questionnaire of this survey includes six rating-scale, two multiple-choice (multiple-answer), and three closed-ended questions. The questionnaire was distributed to the respondents through email, LinkedIn, and Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE). The expected responses’ quantity was 35. Since some of the respondents did not complete the whole survey, the actual responses’ quantity for each question was between 39 and 45.

Based on the respondents’ perceptions, the implementation of lean manufacturing in the thermoplastic-manufacturing industry is incomplete. The industry professionals should put more attention and effort on the implementation of JIT and Jidoka. To fully implement JIT and Jidoka, thermoplastic-manufacturing companies should use lean tools that are related to JIT and Jidoka, such as kanban, takt time, heijunka, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and poka-yoke, more often. Additionally, the thermoplasticmanufacturing industry practitioners perceived that the best lean theories for the industry were standardization, involvement, and stability, and the best lean tools were 5S, Total Production Maintenance (TPM), and poka-yoke


Architectural Technology | Technology and Innovation