Lean manufacturing history – The Ford System

Dal blog di LearnLean Manufacturing un articolo che ricorda le origini della produzione snella nella Ford all’inizio del secolo precedente…
Lean manufacturing is mastered at Toyota. But roots of Toyota can be found in Henry Ford’s system of line assembly. In the Ford system they manufactured automobiles in large quantities of standard designs. It made the system highly efficient, delivering a product with low cost.
Corner stone of the Ford system is the standardized product. This lead to the standard processes. Workers can be trained easily. Anyone can become a worker in the Ford plant within no time. They had to perform only a small part of the full job like tightening a screw or oiling a part. Moving assembly line made it possible to manufacture in the phase Ford wants not the other way around. In other words workers had to adapt to the speed of the conveyer. This will remove the personal element from the production line. The full system was in a harmonization with the rhythm of the assembly line.
The same aspects bought Ford the efficiencies, created its downfall. People wanted vehicles to meet their requirements, not the other way around. So the main assumption of the system, standard product was not in demand anymore. Hence the systems had to change, but Ford refused to change.
On the other hand Toyota executives who studied the Ford system managed to identify the problems that system had. With the unique requirements of Japanese market they had to look for the ways to deliver variety of products within short time periods. This lead to the unique Toyota Production System (TPS).
Instead of the manufacturing and then looking for the market, Toyota designed a system to look at the market demand and deliver what they want when they want. This was known as the Just In Time or JIT manufacturing system. Toyota created a unique pull manufacturing system instead of the Ford push manufacturing system which then became the backbone of lean manufacturing.


Ciao, sono Dragan Bosnjak e sono qui per guidarti nella scoperta del mondo di lean thinking!

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