Application of Lean Manufacturing Tools in the Food and Beverage Industries

Rui Borges Lopes, Filipa Freitas, Inês Sousa


Recent years have shown an increasing use of lean manufacturing (LM) principles and tools in several industrial sectors. Already a well-established management philosophy, it has shown numerous successful applications even outside production environments. This work presents the application of some LM tools, and the corresponding shift in philosophy, in two Portuguese companies of the food and beverage industries. Main implementation issues are presented and discussed; followed by the results obtained from the application of LM tools in the production system of these companies. Significant gains are obtained in both companies and, more importantly, it instills a continuous improvement culture and increases production flexibility while reducing lead times.


lean manufacturing; food and beverage industries; process innovation; case studies.

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