Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Evans, Gerald W.

Author's Keywords

Rotational manufacturing; Rotational simulation; One piece flow simulation; Non-rotational manufacturing; Process improvement; Cumulative trauma disorders


Personnel management--Research; Industrial management; Overuse injuries--Prevention


Implementing Job Rotation as a manufacturing method is beneficial to production efficiency, reduction of labor cost, operator satisfaction, and Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) reduction. In this thesis, the steps of simulating the change from a single station operator work center to a job rotational work center in an automotive components production facility are investigated, analyzed and performed. The objective is to show how the use of rotational manufacturing positively impacts the working environment by operators sharing the workload, but also that production is not negatively impacted and can thrive when implemented correctly. The production facility provided a real-world application of the change of manufacturing method and allowed for research and data collection of both non-rotational and rotational work centers producing similar components. The facility also provided historical information of medically documented WMSDs inside the facility and allowed for determination of which manufacturing method was related to the WMSDs. Through analysis of the operations by observations, research, and previously documented time studies the case was developed to present the benefits along with the drawbacks of converting a non-rotational work center to a rotational work center. The detailed savings of the manufacturing method change are highlighted throughout the document. The time between documented WMSDs with workforces utilizing job rotation occur at a rate of 84.00 shifts of operation. The non rotation work center is averaging a reported WMSD every 11.67 shifts. The switch of manufacturing methods from non-rotational to rotational would reduce the frequency of WMSD incidents by 620%. The efficiency of the associates in a rotational work center, evaluated by observations through time study is 100% when analyzing the documented standard time for the required operations through the course of a full shift. The operators of the non-rotational workforce are operating at an efficiency rate of 95% when reviewing all segments of time for their respective standard. When re-evaluating the operations simulating the change to a job rotation work center the efficiency increased 5% as compared to the same level of performance of the non-rotational work center. Hence, the changing of the method of one operator one job manufacturing environment with a rotational work method has significant benefits. In summary the benefits include no negative impact to production, developing associates with more skills, more operator knowledge, and developing a facility that has more built in flexibility when managing attendance, training, hiring, cost, labor, and production efficiency.