The use of lean manufacturing principles at the earliest stages of design is the focus of a four-year, €7.6 million ($10.1 million) European Union project.
Called Lean Product and Process Development, or LeanPPD, the work is to enable the implementing of lean enterprise principles throughout the entire product lifecycle from design to disposal and reuse. A pan-industrial project with 12 members including research centres, academia and industry, its aerospace partner is Rolls-Royce.
"For an enterprise to improve performance and ultimately cost savings there is a need for the whole organisation to undergo a lean transformation. This will provide the basis for the development of a knowledge-based environment to support...sustainable and affordable products," says LeanPPD technical committee chairman and Cranfield University knowledge management course director Ahmed Al-Ashaab.
The project is funded under the EU seventh framework programme and it is being co-ordinated by Spanish research centre Labein.