Friday, November 30, 2007

Lean Manufacturing at Low Volumes

I can remember learning the concept of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) back in Onur Ulgen’s factory physics course at Michigan. VSM is a method of visually mapping a product's production path (materials and information) from "door to door” to reduce waste and streamline operations. As I practiced my Japanese for the midterm, I thought “how often does someone need to design a facility to incorporate these lean techniques?” When most people envision an automotive manufacturing plant, they think of a vertically integrated facility the size of a small city, churning out cars every minute. Taiichi Ohno did a great job of pioneering a new generation of production after WWII for the Toyoda family, which made the facilities even smaller. Local Motors plans to lead the next revolution of scale in efficient assembly.

It was once felt that the small volume, high product mix typical of the smaller shop was incompatible with implementation of lean principles. Not so, we assure you - we are even willing to bring you in to prove it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The co-founders enjoying an ice-cream because sometimes the car industry can be tough, and you never want to lose sight of the sweet taste of cool cars.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Local Motors Logo

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Welcome to the official Local Motors Blog! This blog was in the works for some time now and should have been made public over a year ago when the project was initially incubated. There is so much to tell about what has happened since then and what will happen in the future, so I am sure you will not be dissappointed. Please feel free to leave comments on our posts and thank you for visiting Local Motors!