An important principle in Lean manufacturing, value stream mapping (VSM) can be helpful in understanding how process flow and information flow affect each other. A VSM is a static picture of a process that allows the user to see where value is added into the value stream. Simulation is used to evaluate the behavioral issues of processes. In a manufacturing realm this means simulation shows how each operation affects other operations so determinations can be made about where bottlenecks or other problems exist in the process. Theoretically, the integration of VSM and Simulation can aide in process improvement by showing both the static and behavioral characteristics of a process. Determining the feasibility of such an integration is the basis for this thesis. Using research performed by Jack McClellan at BullFrog Spa, a comparative study was conducted by two test groups. One used the traditional simulation approach and the other the integrated simulation approach. The test groups were formed from nine students taking the Manufacturing Systems course fall semester 2004. The traditional simulation approach used the ProModel simulation software to perform a test using a paper form of a VSM. The integrated simulation approach used Process Simulator simulation software, which created a simulation from a VSM created in Microsoft Visio. After completion of the tests, the students filled out surveys comparing their results with McClellan's results for verification of their simulations. The results from the study indicated that the students were able to create a working simulation using both approaches and there was no significant difference between times that it took to create the simulations. It was also discovered that a VSM helps increase understanding of a process, but cannot be the sole source of information to create a simulation. More behavioral information about the process is needed.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





simulation, VSM, value stream mapping, lean, manufacturing, ProModel, Process Simulator