March 26, 2015

Just-in-Time and Lean Systems - Review Notes of Chase et al. Book Chapter

Just-in-time or JIT is an integrated set of activities designed to achieve high-volume production using minimal inventories of raw materials, work in process, and finished goods. Parts arrive at the next workstation "just in time" and are completed and move through the operation quickly. Nothing is produced until it is needed later in the assembly line. The consumer expresses a need for a product, and "pulls" demand through the production system.

In Japan, JIT has been used to isolate the elements of waste in an organization. The Japanese practice a great respect for people and depend on the personnel to identify and eliminate sources of waste, excess, and inefficiency. The basic elements of JIT are a focused factory with networks following the strategy of reducing waste, the use of group technology or teams for problem-solving, quality at the source so no time and energy and materials are wasted on less than perfect quality products, uniform plant loading, Kanban production control systems, and empowerment of workforce.

While North American systems have modified JIT, the techniques can be used in layouts and design flows as well as in job shops. JIT has also merged in theory and practice with TQC, or building quality into the process. JIT works at its best when only good-quality products are pulled through the system and no "just-in-case" extra inventory is needed.

JIT requires a stable schedule over a lengthy time horizon. Along, with customers and employees, who are key components of the JIT system, vendors are also important to the process.

JIT is also applicable to service industries. Successful service applications include organizing problem-solving groups, upgrading housekeeping and quality, clarifying process flows, eliminating unnecessary activities, and developing supplier networks among others.

JIT is a powerful tool for reducing inventory and improving production and service operations. Management support, commitment, and training to continuing JIT progress are essential to success.

Industrial engineering and JIT

I define industrial engineering as human effort engineering and systems efficiency engineering. Functional design of a system is not the core focus of industrial engineers. There are various disciplines of engineering for functional design. Each of the designs created by functional engineers can be evaluated by industrial engineers for efficiency audit and improvement. JIT may have started as an efficiency improvement initiative. But now JIT could have become a functional discipline. Industrial engineers still have the role to audit efficiency of JIT systems and improve their efficiency further with the tools of efficiency currently in their tool box and tools which may come out subsequently.

Chapter Topics

Lean Logic

Lean production is an integrated set of activities designed to achieve production using minimal invetories of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods. Parts arrive at the next workstation "just in time" and are completed and move through the process quickly. Lean is also based on the logic that nothing will be produced until it is needed.

The Toyota Production System

Toyota production system was created as the chief of Toyota told his team, we have to become price competitive to survive American imports. Hence we have to become lower cost and more productivity company.

Elimination of waste, improvement of efficiency, an industrial engineering slogan became the theme of Toyota Managers. Taichi Ohno, a production manager is credited for the development of TPS. Along with the elimination of waste, respect for people is also highlighted in Toyota culture. People are given importance in the system and they are asked to learn new skills and focus on productivity and continuously improve productivity.

The book gives a Toyota President, Fujio Cho's statement. "We must use the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, and workers (working time) which are absolutely essential to production." So the emphasis on finding optimal or ideal requirement of resources and controlling the process in such a way that production is achieved with those optimal resources.  But waste occurs in production processes and more resources are consumed by production systems. Seven types of wastes were described in TPS which have to measured and eliminated. 1. Waste from overproduction  2. Waiting time 3. Unnecessary transportation  4. Inventory  5. Unnecessary processing  6. Unnecessary human motionand 7. Defects and reworking.

MIT Team who studied TPS and developed theory of lean systems, recommended value stream mapping as the major visual tool to identify waiting time and inventory. It provided a box structure to various show waste at various work centers and operations in a process.

Lean Implementation Requirements

Design principles that guide the design of lean supply chains (Production facility and supply and distribution networks)

Focused factory networks
Group technology
Quality at the source
JIT Production
Uniform plant loading
Kanban production control systems
Minimized Setup times
Respect for people

Lean layouts and design flows
Preventive maintenance
Six sigma quality
A stable schedule
Working with suppliers as partners on a long term contracts

Lean Services

The concepts of efficiency implemented very successful in production systems are being extended to services systems.

Suggestions given are:

Organize problem solving groups.
Upgrade housekeeping
Upgrade quality
Clarify process flows
Revise equipment and process technologies
Level the facility load
Eliminate unnecessary activities
Reorganize physical configuration
Introduce demand pull scheduling
Develop supplier networks

Chapter Outline of  Richard B. Chase 12/e

Richard B. Chase. F. Robert Jacobs, Nicholas J. Aquilano, Operations and Supply Chain Management 12/e, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010

Lean Six Sigma at Solectron
Lean Logic
The Toyota Production System
Lean Implementation Requirements
Lean Services

Chapter Outline of Richard B. Chase  10/e

Richard B. Chase, F. Robert Jacobs, Nicholas J. Aquilano, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 10/e, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2004

JIT Logic
The Toyota Production System
Elimination of Waste
Respect for People
North American Modifications of JIT
JIT Implementation Requirements
JIT Layouts and Design Flows
JIT Applications for Line Flows
JIT Applications for Job Shops
TQC (Total Quality Control)
A Stable Schedule
Work with Suppliers
JIT in Services

Case: Toyota, Ford, GM, and Volkswagen - Some Differing Opinions about Working with Suppliers
Case: Quality Parts Company


Richard B. Chase, F. Robert Jacobs, Nicholas J. Aquilano, Operations Management for Competitive Advantage, 10/e, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2004

Originally posted in 448

Updated  26 March 2015, 10 Dec 2011

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