Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Dr.Rupy Sawhney

Committee Members

Dr. Xueping Li, Dr. Joe Wilck


Purpose - The purpose of this thesis is to encourage the integration of Lean principles with reliability models to sustain Lean efforts on long term basis. This thesis presents a modified FMEA that will allow Lean practitioners to understand and improve the reliability of Lean systems. The modified FMEA approach is developed based on the four critical resources required to sustain Lean systems: personnel, equipment, material and schedule. Design/methodology/approach – A three phased methodology approach is presented to enhance the reliability of Lean systems. The first phase compares actual business and operational conditions with conditions assumed in Lean implementation. The second phase maps potential deviations of business and operational conditions to their root cause. The third phase utilizes a modified Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to prioritize issues that the organization must address. Findings – A literature search shows that practical methodologies to improve the reliability of Lean systems are non existent. Research Limitations/Implications –The knowledge database involves tedious calculations and hence it needs to be automated. Originality/Value • Defined Lean system reliability • Developed conceptual model to enhance the Lean system reliability • Developed knowledge base in the form of detailed hierarchical root trees for the four critical resources that support our Lean system reliability • Developed Risk Assessment Value (RAV) based on the concept of effectiveness of detection using Lean controls when Lean designer implements Lean change. • Developed modified FMEA for the four critical resources • Developed RPLS tool to prioritize Lean failures • Developed case study to analyze RPN and RAV approach

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