Toyota is one of the the most visionary car makers with respect to its manufacturing. They continuously and radically evolve and update their production system. Recently I learned about their new “flexible assembly line.” Now, you’ve probably heard about Toyota’s flexible assembly lines producing multiple products on the same line. That is old hat; they’ve done that for thirty years. Their new flexible assembly line involves a completely different aspect of flexibility, with which Toyota surprised me (again). Let me show you … Continue reading Continued Evolution of the Toyota Assembly Line
The spaces around your assembly locations are most precious. In my previous post I explained how to relocate or reduce the overall material quantity. In this post I focus on how to better use the area facing the worker. Ideally, all material should be within easy reach of the worker. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 2
Assembly needs lots of parts. Especially if you have larger parts, you may find that you are running out of space to put them. Fear not, there are a number of things that you can do to solve this problem. This post will present you with all the solutions (that I know) to remedy a space shortage in assembly. Continue reading Twelve Ways to Create Space around Your Assembly – Part 1
Supplying material for assembly operations can be quite a challenge. After describing the challenges in the previous post, I would like to show you in two posts what you need to consider when you want to create an assembly location. This is a somewhat structured approach on how to set up a material supply for your assembly operations, although you will still need some iterations to achieve a good solution. After that I will have a post focused on what to do if you are running out of space at your assembly location. Continue reading Structured Approach to Material Supply for Assembly – Part 1
Assembly of multiple parts into one bigger part is a common process in manufacturing. It is also the most challenging one for supply logistics. If there is only one part that gets milled, drilled, coated, formed, or other wise processed, logistics is much easier. But if you have dozens or hundreds of parts that have to come together in different variants, it becomes much more of a challenge. In this post I will look at the challenges of supplying material for assembly. In subsequent posts I will show ways to address these challenges. Continue reading The Challenges of Material Supply for Assembly
After an introduction and description of the fundamentals of karakuri kaizen, here are some different karakuri kaizen examples for a wide variety of uses. Most of them are from the 480 exhibits at the the Karakuri Kaizen Exhibition 2017 in Nagoya, Japan; others are from the 2017 OPEXCON in Stuttgart, Germany. Here is my attempt of a structured overview, even though some of the points below may be overlapping. Continue reading Karakuri Kaizen Examples
Karakuri is the art of creating machines without an external power source. After an introduction to the topic in my last post, I would like to show you some fundamental techniques for karakuri.
I would like to pay particular attention to power management: Where do these machines get their power from, how do they store it, and where does it go? I will also (very !) briefly talk about kinematics, and even some karakuri ideas that go beyond kinematics. My next post will have lots of examples, mostly from the Karakuri Kaizen Exhibition 2017 in Nagoya.