This thesis assesses the potential of using computer simulation to aid existing lean manufacturing training methods such as lecture and live simulation. An investigation of this possibility was carried out in conjunction with UMEP's Lean 101 class. In the study, two experimental computer simulation models demonstrating the push and pull production scenarios were constructed using ProModel software. Simulation models were equipped with a Visual Basic interface to aid trainees to manipulate the model via ActiveX. Constructed computer simulation was compared with live simulation to answer these research questions: 1. Was computer simulation able to teach additional lean concepts not covered in live simulations? 2. Was training time less for trainees going through a computer simulation than for those going through a live simulation? 3. Was a computer simulation quicker and easier to set up than a live simulation for trainers? 4. Did computer simulation achieve comparable educational objectives as live simulation? Objective measurements for first three questions were positive and conclusive. For the fourth one, a survey was conducted among trainees of a treatment group (computer simulation only) and a control group (live simulation only) to collect responses. Statistical analysis of the subjective responses indicated the computer simulation aided the trainees to learn and implement lean manufacturing, but was not as effective as live simulation. Holistically, these results did not warrant the complete changeover from live simulation to computer simulation. Yet, a combined implementation of computer simulation and live simulation was proposed to reap the benefits from the best of both approaches.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





ProModel, Discrete-event-simulation, Interactive computer simulation training, Lean manufacturing, Training, VB ActiveX, Visual Basic



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)