Radios are used in a variety of applications including automobile, aircraft, police and military, and base stations. We’ll look at the use of Lean and Six Sigma in radio manufacturing and repair in Malaysia, USA, Portugal and Sweden and finish with a video of how two-way radios are manufactured.


Lean Six Sigma Applied to Improve Two-way Radio Production: Malaysia


In a paper titled “Two-way radio line productivity improvement using Lean Six Sigma” authors Norzima Zulkifli and Mohd Zahreen Firdaus Mustapha discuss a study to identify the bottleneck in an assembly line followed by process optimization.

The paper includes:

  • Comparison of Product According to Standard Hour and Headcount Usage
  • Cycle Time by Process
  • Manual Time by Operator and Process
  • Current Test Station Capacity
  • Cause and Effect Matrix
  • Cause and Effect Diagram for Manual Time Reduction: Screwing Process
  • Before and After Improvement Layout
  • Process Balancing by Operator
  • Auto Screwing Robot
  • Before and After Process Times: De-panelize and Burr Cutting Machine
  • Cost Reduction Impact

You can read the paper here.


Lean Used to Improve Airborne Radio Test and Repair Process: USA-Pennsylvania


In an article titled “Lean improves airborne radio test, repair process” author Jacqueline R. Boucher discusses how Lean Six Sigma methods were used to streamline how members of the Flight Control Systems Branch test and repair airborne radios.

The article details their value stream analysis results.

You can read the article here.


Lean Thinking Applied to Waste Reduction in Car Radio Final Assembly: Portugal


“Using Lean Thinking Principles To Reduce Wastes In Reconfiguration Of Car Radio Final Assembly Lines” authors M. S. Oliveira and others discuss the use of Lean in the reconfiguration of car radio assembly lines in order to reduce waste.

The paper includes:

  • Layout of Final Assembly Line
  • Sequence of Operations
  • New Design Proposal
  • Capacity Analysis of Lines 1 and 2
  • New Operators’ Distribution for Test Stations
  • Machine Time vs Operator Time for Models
  • Values of Productivity and Utilization Rate Before and After Restructuring

You can read the paper here.


Applying Lean to improve the production of radio base stations: Sweden


In a paper titled “Lean assemble-to-order manufacturing at Ericsson” authors Maria Westin, Diana Chronéer,  and Anders Segerstedt discuss an improvement project to improve production by shortening lead times, decreasing variability in delivery times, reducing inventories, consuming less resources and lowering costs.

The paper includes a detailed discussion of the Lean applications and the following figures:

  • Three Main Process Steps of Production Flow
  • Identified Non-value Adding Activities
  • Elimination of Buffer of Cabinets at In-delivery
  • Example of Reduction of Balance Delay by Extended Cycle Time
  • Wished Future State

You can read the paper here.

[Citation: Westin, M., Chronéer, D.and Segerstedt, A. (2013) ‘Lean assemble-to-order manufacturing at Ericsson’,Int. J. Logistics Systems and Management, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp.1–17]


Manufacture of Two-Way Radios: Philippines


See how two-way radios are manufactured in this video from the Entel Group.

You can watch the video here.




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