Title: The shift from belt conveyor line to work-cell based assembly systems to cope with increasing demand variation in Japanese industries

Authors: Dario Ikuo Miyake

Addresses: Department of Production Engineering, Escola Politecnica, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Prof. Almeida Prado, trav.2, n.128, Sao Paulo, SP, 05508-970, Brazil

Abstract: The increasing market turbulence has impelled leading manufacturers to search the development of alternative production systems supposed to enhance their responsiveness to the market. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the turnaround currently observed in some manufacturing industries in Japan, which are migrating to more human-centred production systems. The pattern of production organisation that has emerged from this trend has been called |cell production system| and should not be confounded with cellular manufacturing system. This paper intends to elucidate the rationality behind the conversion into cell production approach and examines the major features of this production organisation pattern.

Keywords: assembly lines; belt conveyors; cell production systems; workcells; flexibility; agility; agile manufacturing; flexible manufacturing; responsiveness; demand variation; Japan; human-centred production; automobile industry; automotive manufacturing; consumer electronics; office equipment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2006.012234

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2006 Vol.6 No.4, pp.419 - 439

Published online: 30 Jan 2007 *

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