A case study of VSM and SMED in the food processing industry

Malek Maalouf, Magdalena Zaduminska

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
227 Downloads (Pure)


The relatively limited application of lean in the food process industries has been attributed to the unique characteristics of the food sector i.e. short shelf-life, heterogeneous raw materials, and seasonality. Moreover, barriers such as large and inflexible machinery, long setup time, and resource complexity, has limited the implementation and impact of lean practices in process industries in general. Contrary to the expectations in the literature, we bring in this paper a successful experience of lean implementation in a company of the food-processing sector. By focusing on two lean tools (VSM and SMED), the company reduced changeover time by 34%, and increased the production capacity of the main production line by 11%. This improvement enabled the company to avoid the use of temporary workers by extending the worktime of its workforce during peak months. Moreover, the reduction of setup time avoided the use of large lot size in production, which, in turn, reduced the total cycle time of production and the incidence of quality problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement and Production Engineering Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Changeover
  • Food industry
  • Lean
  • Process industry
  • Value stream mapping


Dive into the research topics of 'A case study of VSM and SMED in the food processing industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this