Influence of Lean Automation on Resource Wastage in Sugar Industries: Case in Kenya

Osore E.A.E, Ogot M.M, Ogola J.M


Sustainability of resource utilization in local sugar industries is on a decline due to the adoption of obsolete technology, among other factors. In this regard, there is a need for an advanced manufacturing approach to address resource wastages in the local industries. Resource utilization efficiency of a sugar cane industry can be varied through combinations of energy consumption, setup time, and cycle time. However, this depends on manufacturing technology used by the industry that is embodied in different levels of automation. Thus, this study carried out an analysis of the different levels of automation at different stages of the pre-milling process of sugarcane in the case industry to determine the optimum automation level for efficient resource utilization. A randomized block experiment was adopted, and for each indicator under investigation, seven replicates were conducted for the reliability of results. It was found that the rate of power consumption employing LoA 4 (conventional automation) was relatively higher with a total of 45044 kW compared to when LoA 5 (SCADA) or LoA 6 (DCS) was used with a total power consumption of 42058 kW and 42008 kW respectively. Similarly, LoA 5 and 6 have virtually negligible setup and cycle times involved except when it is after a general plant overhaul. This is as a result of minimum variations in the process parameters due to their real-time monitoring and control. Therefore, lean automation proves to be the ultimate technique that should be adopted in our sugar industries.


the level of automation; waste reduction; lean thinking; power consumption; cycle time; set up a time.

Full Text:



Kenya Sugar Board report (KSB, 2007)

Kenya National Assembly, 2015

Kenya Sugar Board report (KSB, 2010)

Kenya Sugar Board report (KSB, 2013)

Ondiek G.O and Kisombe S.M (2015) Survey on Adoption of Lean Manufacturing Tools and Techniques in Sugar Processing Industries in Kenya, Industrial Engineering Letters, ISSN 2224-6096 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0581 (online) Vol.3, No.10, 2013 pg 92-104

Shaman, G & Sanjiv, K, J (2013) A literature review of lean manufacturing, International Journal of Management Science and Engineering Management, Volume 8, 2013 - 4, Pg 241-249,

Upadhye, N., Deshmukh, S. G., & Garg, S. (2010). Lean manufacturing system for medium size manufacturing enterprises: An Indian case. International Journal of Management Science and Engineering Management, 5,362–375.

Seth, D., &Gupta, V. (2005). Application of value stream mapping for lean operations and cycle time reduction: An Indian case study. Production Planning & Control, 16, 44–59.

Dennis, P. (2007). Lean production simpliï¬ed. New York: Productivity Press.

Zafarzadeh, M (2013) A guideline for efficient implementation of automation in a lean manufacturing environment, product and process development, innovative production, KPP 231 Master thesis, Malardalens University.

Liker, J.K. (2004) The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Padraic, J, K (2010) Packaging Machinery: Sustainability and competitiveness, Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative Sector focus study series, International trade administration, Department of commerce, USA

Oliverio, J.L. & Avila, A.C.R.D. & Faber, A.N. & Soares, P.A. (2014). Juice extraction systems: Mills and diffusers - The Brazilian experience. International Sugar Journal. 116. 190-202.

Hedelind, M. & Jackson, M. (2008b). Industrial Robotics in the Lean Enterprise - A Case Study. The 6th International Conference on Manufacturing Research. Brunel University, UK.

Orr, S. C. 1997, Automation in the Workplace: An Australasian Perspective, Technovation, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 83-105.

Hedelind, M.; Jackson, M. & Hellström, E. (2008a). Robotics for SME´s – Investigating a Mobile, Flexible, and Reconfigurable Robot Solution. Proceedings of the 42nd International Symposium on Robotics.

Hollingum, J. (1994). ABB Focus on “Lean Robotizationâ€. Industrial Robot, Vol.21, No.2, pp.15-16

Harris, C. & Harris, R. 2008, Can Automation Be a Lean Tool? Automation That Enhances Flow Is Lean; Automation That Reduces Uptime and Extends Changeover Is Not Lean, Manufacturing Engineering, Vol. 141, No. 2, pp. 27-34.

Chen, H. (2010). Lean Automated Manufacturing: Avoiding the Pitfalls to Embrace the Opportunities. Assembly Automation, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 117123.

Hoque, Z. (2000). Just-In-Time Production, Automation, Cost Allocation Practices and Importance of Cost Information: an Empirical Investigation in New Zealand-Based Manufacturing Organisations. The British Accounting Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp.133-159.

Kent, G. & Lewinski, J. (2007) Milling and Diffusion Extraction—Theory and Practice, Proc. Int. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol., Vol. 26, 2007

Ali. H, Arif. W (2012) Classical model-based analysis of cost of poor quality in a manufacturing organisation, African Journal of Business Management Vol. 6(2), pp. 670-680, Available online at, DOI: 10.5897/AJBM11.2332.

Garcia. F (2015) Integrating Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing the Challenges & Benefits, Advent Design Corporation

Martinez A. and Pérez M. (2001), Lean indicators and manufacturing strategies, International Journal of Management Science and Engineering Management, 8:4, 241-249, DOI: 10.1080/17509653.2013.825074



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development