Lean Assignment: Production Wastes in a PCB Manufacturer

Agile, Lean and Competitive Enterprise                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ECMM113

A PCB (printed circuit boards) manufacturing company fabricates to customers requirements. As soon as a customer order is confirmed, the company starts the design process (Engineering) and makes a schedule for production of an initial quantity (loaded quantity). After production, each board is tested in Test process. When a defect in any PCB is found, the PCB will be scrapped.

The finished quantity is the quantity Customer Return of good products that have passed quality tests. If the finished quantity is less than the quantity ordered (wanted), an internal remake has to be done. The allocated quantity is the quantity despatched to customer. For any customer returns, the company will remake the product (customer remake) and refund the customer.

Since each type of PCBs is designed                                                                                                                                                         

for specific requirements, any unsold Figure 1 an illustration of the process flow product is assumed to be dead stock.

The process flow is illustrated in figure 1.

The data of six-month sales and production can be found in an Excel file, PCBs.xls, which can be downloaded from the ELE of the module.

Please note that PCBs/panel shows the number of PCBs contained in a panel which is the minimum production unit in order to fit to the fixtures in production.

Write a report, which should be limited to 2000 words, assuming to be submitted to chief executives of the company on the problems you have found based on the data available. You may determine the structure of the report, but it should have an executive summary in the first page and the main body of the report starts with an introduction and ends with conclusions. It may help to think about the following issues.

  • What are the different types of waste which can be found from the data?
  • How many PCBs and how much in sales price of each type? (You may assume that the materials cost takes 25% of the sales price.)
  • What could be the reasons for each type of waste? What are the relationships among different types of waste?
  • What do you think is the major problem at the company? And why?


The reports are to be submitted to the Harrison e-submission system (please follow the procedure described on ELE to make your submission). The mark of the assignment (40% of the module) is distributed to the following assessment items.

  1. Executive summary and introduction               10%
  2. Calculation of the relevant quantities and costs    30%
  3. Analysis of the results                                      30%
  4. Conclusion development                                      20%
  5. Report presentation including conciseness             10%