Title: Learning from the Japanese: a lesson for American managers (doors off line sub assembly)

Authors: I. Otis

Addresses: Chrysler Motors, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Abstract: Two study teams from Chrysler Motors visited eleven Japanese automotive plants with a number of goals in mind. The overriding question, however, was |What tools could be adopted or adapted from those in use in Japan today?| One of the main techniques that attracted the attention of the study teams was the removal of vehicle doors. This unique feature of removing vehicle doors after the paint process and the re-installation of the same doors to the vehicle in the final assembly has proved to be most successful. With the use of lift-off type hinges the removing and re-installation has changed the concept of assembling an automobile. This paper will indicate the obvious advantages of this new approach being practised in the automotive industry worldwide as well as other Japanese techniques being utilised for improved quality and reduced labour costs.

Keywords: doors off line; hinge concept; just-in-time; JIT systems; labour-management relations; finely tuned watch; employee involvement; Japanese automobile plants; automotive assembly; Japan; vehicle design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1988.061486

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1988 Vol.9 No.3, pp.267 - 275

Published online: 26 May 2014 *

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