Lean waste assessment in a laboratory for training chemical analysts for the pharmaceutical industry

Cláudia C. E. Muiambo, Isabel M. João, Helena V. G. Navas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to make a lean assessment of a chemical analyst training laboratory in a higher education institution and identify the main types of waste on a daily basis and understand the lean maturity of the laboratory and establish priority areas of intervention to make the laboratory leanest. Design/methodology/approach: A single descriptive case study methodology was used to carry out the lean laboratory evaluation. The lean manufacturing waste terminology was adapted to a lean analytical laboratory environment, and a lean waste assessment step-by-step procedure was developed to reach the study goal. Findings: Three types of waste (i.e. transport, waiting and defects) were the main contributors of the problem. The Pareto analysis results showed that 37.5% of the different types of waste contributed to almost 51.4% of the problems. The case study allowed on diagnosing wastes, understanding the lean maturity in a teaching laboratory setting and priority areas of intervention Practical implications: Some data collection methods were used, and tools were developed to answer the research questions. A waste measurement instrument was created to evaluate lean waste in a chemical analytical laboratory, and a lean classification scheme was built to understand the lean maturity of the laboratory. The lessons learnt of the lean assessment in a teaching laboratory and the developed tools will be helpful for future research and for practitioners in a teaching chemical analytical laboratory setting. Originality/value: The number of lean assessment studies in teaching laboratories is not very significant, and this work contributes to overcome this gap illustrating the lean waste assessment foundation with a step-by-step procedure and tools used in a teaching laboratory to perform a lean assessment and identify opportunities for improvement. A generic roadmap to lean laboratory waste assessment and continuous improvement is proposed with the key elements to take into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal Of Lean Six Sigma
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Laboratory waste
  • Lean
  • Lean tools
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Sustainability

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