Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Patrick N. Currier, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Sathya N. Gangadharan, Ph.D., P.E., C.Mfg.E.

Second Committee Member

Charles F. Rienholtz, Ph.D.


Increased demands in production numbers and higher expectations for product quality in today’s manufacturing industries have led to initiatives to improve processes through lean concepts. This study was conducted to demonstrate how Lean Manufacturing tools and techniques can be used to redesign a production system. The study focuses on the production of the compliant wind at Sparton Electronics. The compliant wind is one of the key components of a sonobuoy and its primary function is to isolate electrical components such as hydrophones from movement of the surface buoy. The goal of the redesign process is to increase production by focusing on customer demand. Quantitative tools, such as just-in-time production and takt time are used to design the tangible aspects of production. Qualitative tools, such as creating stability, standard work, and flow in production are used to control the intangible aspects.

To accomplish the goal of increasing production, this thesis proposes a machine and process that incorporate fundamental Lean Manufacturing concepts. The output is a redesigned manufacturing process and machine that, in theory, increases production by reducing cycle times and work in progress, establishes stability by creating standard work, and eliminates wastes such as wait time and unproductive movement.

The new manufacturing system has the ability to meet the customer demand in regards to units produced, and is also capable of increasing daily production by at least 15%. Additionally, utilizing modern components helps alleviate maintenance issues and increase equipment availability.