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The application of simulation in lean production research: a critical review and future directions

journal contribution
posted on 2021-10-26, 00:00 authored by W Shou, Jun WangJun Wang, P Wu
PurposeSimulation has attracted increasing attention in lean production research as a response to address the complexities of the production environment and difficulties of dealing with changes within a system. Considerable growth of using simulation to facilitate lean acceptance and implementation has been observed across different projects and sectors. However, a thorough review of the development and use of simulation in lean production research is limited.Design/methodology/approachThis study aims to address this gap by reviewing 311 journal papers published in the past two decades on this specific research area and identify the state-of-the-art development and propose future research directions.FindingsThe review shows that current studies related to simulation in lean production research can be categorised into two major research streams, namely, simulation assisted lean facilitation and evaluation, and simulation-based lean education and training. Under the first research stream, a total of 19 application areas have been identified which applied both lean and simulation in their studies. The evolution of the simulation techniques used in these studies has been analysed as well. Meanwhile, four types of simulation games have been identified in the stream of simulation-based lean education and training and the impact and applicability of the different simulation and games have been discussed. A framework for engaging lean and simulation is suggested based on the review of the existing studies. The analysis in both streams also highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement and the utilisation of information technologies for future studies.Practical implicationsThe findings of this study are expected to provide useful references for the future development and application of simulation in lean production research.Originality/valueThis paper conducted a broad and extensive review of simulation integrated lean production research. An in-depth examination of the retrieved papers was conducted through a structured and quantitative analysis to understand the current body of knowledge.

History

Journal

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

Volume

28

Pagination

2119-2154

ISSN

0969-9988

eISSN

1365-232X

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

8

Publisher

EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD