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.


Local Motorhead said...

Is that Jeff Jones in the suit....He sure looks like he is Constantly Improving.....

Unknown said...

Six sigma is one of the best concepts in improving the quality of the product and eliminate the problem. However, it has less concern on the cost involved. Therefore, now more and more company going to lean six sigma rather than only six sigma lean manufacturing

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