Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Joseph C. Chen


In order to increase their competitiveness, numerous companies are trying to implement the Lean manufacturing concept in their production or office areas. However, the first step of Lean implementation is to explore the non-value added activities that exist in the current environment; normally, the tool used in industry is Value Stream Map (VSM).

Conventional VSM only presents the situation observed and recorded manually by participants. This is only one data set and is prone to create mistake. It may not represent a real situation and may be time-consuming and labor intensive. The main focus of this research was to develop a system that is able to use RFID technology to track the material flow in production systems, automatically generating and providing VSM to users with real time data and then allowing users to remotely supervise the performance of their production facility. The development of the system is described in two papers.

The first paper, The Development of an On-Line RFID-Based Facility Performance Monitoring (ORFPM) System, proposes a system which provides long term, real time lead time in each process and transportation time within two processes by using current RFID technology, and automatically uploading collected data to generate the VSM. It also combines the wireless technology to allow the use of laptops and allows users to supervise the performance of the system when they are unable to attend the shop floor. After successful development of the system, it is tested in a laboratory setting to ensure its functionality. Since laboratory testing was successful, development of the system continued.

The second paper, Applications of ORFPM System for Lean Implementation in a Small Company, presents the application of ORFPM system, which assists a Lean implementation in a small manufacturing facility. The ORFPM was run for an extended period of time so that the production lead time and transportation time could be used to ensure an accurate representation of the current VSM. Moreover, kaizen events were held so that the production system can be improved in order to eliminate the non-value added activities and the production variation. The result indicates using of and ORFPM system can successfully track performance variations affecting production while lowering time consumption and labor intensity.


Copyright Owner

Kuen-min Chen



Date Available


File Format


File Size

90 pages