Conference paper

Production system design (PSD) is a key process at the beginning of any manufacturing effort. It can be regarded as an initial planning task that involve a set of decisions that play an important role in the implementation of core Lean concepts, such as pull production, batch size, takt time. Despite its importance, very little attention is usually given to PSD in construction projects, and its relationship with the implementation of the Last Planner System (LPS).

This article reports the experience of a construction company that has implemented PSD and the LPS, as part of the development of an improvement program in production management based on the Lean Philosophy. This company is based in Chile, and its core business is the development and construction of residential building projects. The implementation of PSD, and the LPS were the means for the adoption of a number of Lean principles and concepts, including pull production, takt time, work-in-progress control, reduction of batch size, and process transparency.

Six main benefits of implementing PSD have been identified:

  1. formalizing and making explicit planning decisions
  2. reduction in uncertainty
  3. improving planning accuracy
  4. facilitating the adoption of cycle times and takt time control 
  5. increasing the engagements of stakeholders
  6. improving production stability.

A set of practices were proposed for implementing PSD and these were classified according to decision categories.

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