Process Improvement Techniques

Module summary

Module code: GEEN1042
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Grahame Baker



• To provide students with a strategic overview of which tools and techniques will be useful in improving operational effectiveness, and a critical review of their theory and practice.

• To develop the students understanding of process improvement techniques and how to select the right tool for the situation they face.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1 Identify waste and quantify productivity problems in industrial settings
2 Select and apply the appropriate tools to solve the productivity problem faced and achieve the improvement targeted
3 Quantify the degree of success of an initiative
4 Understand how Operations Improvement initiatives link with and effect all areas of a company
5 Critically appraise the process improvement tools available
6 Understand how assumptions and cultural aspects can impact analysis and perception of a situation

Indicative content

• Overall Equipment Effectiveness measurement
• Problem/waste identification (learning to see)
• Total Productive Maintenance
• Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
• Team selection and building
• 5S
• Process Variability Reduction
• Quick Change Over
• Theory of Constraints
• Pre-control charts

Teaching and learning activity

This course will be taught and learned using; lecture/class/seminar, individual or group-based teaching tutorial/project, self-study supported by structured learning materials.


Analytical assignment - 50%
LO - 1,2,4,6
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 30%
2500 words.
Analysis of a simulated industrial problem and recommending potential areas of improvement.

Consultative report - 50%
LO - 2,3,4,5,6
Numeric grading
Pass mark - 30%
2500 words.
Develop recommendations and a “business proposal” to tackle the problem analysed in the analytical assignment.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Tutorial discussion of assignment and appropriate tools, including use of previous examination questions to practice analysis techniques and frame tutorial discussions.

Pre and co requisites

None, but prefer students to also be taking PROD 1002 Quality Engineering (will combine with this to a 30 credit 'long' option).