Simulation-based value stream map for manual steel fabrication workstations


  • Abdulaziz Alattas University of New Brunswick - OCRC, Canada
  • Alaedin Suliman University of New Brunswick - OCRC, Canada
  • Kamyab Aghajamali University of New Brunswick - OCRC, Canada
  • Zhen Lei University of New Brunswick - OCRC, Canada



Steel Fabrication, Value Stream Mapping, VSM, Simulation, Discrete Event Simulation


Industrial steel fabrication encounters numerous difficulties in having efficient steel production. These difficulties are usually caused by the presence of bottlenecks that are not easily identified using traditional methods. Value Stream Map (VSM) is a lean tool that can be used to identify process inefficiencies and plan to minimize non-value-added activities. However, traditional VSM is not designed to be applied in a non-repetitive work environment especially when workers are highly involved in the process such as in manual steel fabrication processes. Therefore, the typical VSM requires modification to achieve the desired outcomes. Hence, the goal of the current study is to produce a current state VSM and integrate it with a simulation model to plan for an optimized future state. The scope of this study is limited to the fitting and welding workstations since they represent the typical manual processes in the steel fabrication industry. The outcomes of this study will provide the ability to identify waste and improvement opportunities. Also, it will allow for precise quantification of the improvement gain and time savings. Decision-makers in the steel industry will have accurate information about the processes in fabrication plants. Also, they will be able to make evidence-based decisions that will ensure reduced waste and cost for steel operations.