This thesis will be split into two parts (Figure 1-1). Part 1 will focus on a case
study performed over a one-year period. In the case study, the author will analyze and design a system within a manufacturing plant. This will be done to better understand the problems and obstacles of manufacturing system design through an in-depth study. The analysis of the current system and the design of the future system will be explored. With each step of the design, methodologies and tools will be used and each will be discussed in reference to the design. The case study can be used by the thesis reader to explore tools in manufacturing design or to compare his or her current framework for designing to the one used here, in an attempt to improve designing skills.
Part 2 of this thesis will take the opposite approach to exploring manufacturing
system design. One tool, value stream mapping, is chosen as the subject and an in-depth study of its impact and uses is performed. This tool is explored for its benefits, limitations, and current use through multiple case studies and a survey. From this study, the reader can gain insight into where to use it, why to use it, and how to use it.