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Manufacturing enterprises are continuously developing and improving their production systems in order to be able to face today's highly unpredictable and competitive market environment. While many large sized enterprises succeed to implement lean production systems many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have not yet been able to do so. Previous experiences show that copying or simply taking over existing production systems is not a feasible solution for any enterprise, especially for SMEs due to their structural differences compared to large sized enterprises.
The aim of this final thesis (Diplomarbeit) is to determine today's state of the art regarding the implementation strategies as well as the characteristics of lean production systems in SMEs and to provide a general approach of lean production in SMEs. At first, existing approaches of lean production in SMEs have to be researched an analyzed. Furthermore, ongoing international research and development projects concerning lean production in SMEs should be examined. This thesis should establish common implementation strategies of lean production among SMEs. Finally it should give some examples of successfully implemented lean production systems and their corresponding implementation strategies in SMEs.
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