Design of a Continuous Improvement Model in a Portuguese Food Industry Company – A Case Study


The search for perfection forces organizations to adopt new techniques and approaches, focused on the systematic creation of innovative solutions that facilitate the processes of continuous improvement. In view of this context, there was an opportunity to study the implementation of the Lean philosophy in the production line, at a processed food organization. A continuous improvement model was designed for an organizational system, combining tools used in both TRIZ methodology and Lean philosophy. Several Lean tools are used in the model in order to support problem formulation, e.g. Brainstorming, 5 Whys, Pareto Diagram, Ishikawa Diagram, Plan-Do- Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle. And the Kano Model integrated in the proposed model allows assessing employee satisfaction at a later stage than the implementation of previously found solutions. In case the problems identified are not very complex, were resorted to the use of both TRIZ and Lean techniques, such as cause/effect databases, the 40 problem solving TRIZ principles, visual management, 5S’s or line balancing. But if the problems identified are more complex, which means with an inventive issue to be solved, Matrix of Contradictions and S-Field Analysis TRIZ tools proved to be more appropriate to find the proper solution. With the case study carried out, it was noted that the proposed model proved to be very useful as a roadmap for the implementation of Lean and TRIZ tools in the continuous improvement of industrial products, services and processes should be the ways to continually minimize them in a company.

Keywords: Continuous improvement, Lean, TRIZ, Management tools, Model proposed

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